by Maria Dummermuth
Representing Serenity Tibet
Do you remember the first time you heard a singing bowl being played? What sensations did you notice in your body, mind or perhaps even soul? How did you react to the sounds of the singing bowl?
For me, I will never forget the first time I heard a singing bowl being played. The sound was deep and gentle, washing over me like a soothing ocean wave. My ears received the sound of the singing bowls as gentle, soothing tones that possessed no particular melody or song, just peace. With each invitation of the bowl, the sound began as an audio experience, but as the gentle frequencies dissipated, my body received these same soothing notes and I noticed my muscles relax and my body felt as if it was sinking deeper into the yoga mat I was laying upon. As a reiki practitioner, pilates instructor, yogi and energy worker I had not previously been able to feel the subtle qualities of energy moving in my being and for the first time ever – I could feel prana, chi, life force or whatever your belief system calls it pulsing through my being. My mind wanted to pay attention and observe every nuance in the experience, but soon I drifted off into a state of quiet surrender and sunyata as I was lulled into a deep meditation by the silence that followed.
I was so deeply moved that I wanted to re-create that experience myself and decided to take the “Learn to Heal with the Singing Bowls” classes created and taught by Suren Shrestha at the Atma Buti® Sound & Vibrational School in Boulder, CO. I am currently a certified teacher and practitioner of the Atma Buti® method. The Atma Buti® Sound & Vibrational School teaches about the chakras and how notes are matched up to the chakras in both the Vedic and Himalayan traditions. However; when it comes to choosing a bowl for one’s personal practice this is a time to sit back, receive the sound and simply observe which bowl your body, mind and soul connects with.
The first time I stepped into the Serenity Tibet warehouse I was blown away. Singing bowls of all shapes, colors, sizes and ages graced the small space from floor to ceiling. Walking into a store that carries singing bowls, a trade show with bowls or even looking for a singing bowl for online can seem like a daunting task. For those reading this article attending the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show, just like the thousands of rocks one will see – there will be thousands of singing bowls to choose from. So the question arises, “How does one choose a singing bowl?”
The bowls carried by Serenity Tibet are unique in that their creation is about connection. Suren and Ruby Shrestha, both natives of Nepali spend extensive time in Suren’s home village of Khandbari, Nepal and Ruby’s hometown of Kathmandu, Nepal seeking out the highest quality craftsmen to create the bowls offered at Serenity Tibet. Suren and Ruby work closely with artisans to design bowls that are crafted with attention to sound and vibration in relation to how those tones are received on or around the body. It is a vital piece of the Serenity Tibet mission to support families in the villages of Nepal by purchasing these handmade bowls from them. A portion of proceeds from concerts, books sales and classes also goes to the orphanage foundation, Soul Medicine 501c3, which supports disadvantaged youth of Khandbari, Nepal.
In Nepal, sound is everywhere. It is an important part of the Nepali culture and ritual. On any given day ranging from festivals to even a typical morning it is common to hear chanting, temple bells, offering bells, shamans drums and music or sound in many forms. Like blood pulsing through a human’s veins, sound and vibration pulses through daily life in Nepal. Ritual and reverence for the vast array of deities is practiced and carried in this beautiful sound current. This vibration, this pulse is carried through in the production of the singing bowls. In a visit to Nepal I witnessed the ritual of Himalayan singing bowl creation. The entire process is blessed by intention beginning with even the simple blessing or offering, called puja, to the tools used to create the bowls. It is true that during the hand hammered production of singing bowls, the artisans will chant, “Om Mani Padme Hum” to the rhythm of each strike of the hammer. Perhaps that is why we as consumers are so deeply affected by this sound, because we can feel the reverence, the vibration of the place where these bowls come from.
So this takes us back to the question of how to choose a singing bowl and the answer is simple and clear. Play a singing bowl and notice how your entire being reacts. Where do you feel the sensation of the sound? Suren Shrestha in his teachings of the Atma Buti® method asks students to be guided by their own intuition. He guides students to listen, feel, allow themselves to sense and be guided to what is most healing for them as an individual. This means any bowl can work because it is about your resonance, your vibration, your personal needs in this very moment. Find what is joyous and peaceful for you and healing will follow.
So I ask, what would happen if you allowed yourself to connect with the sound current that is most healing for you?
Join Serenity Tibet at 6395 Gunpark Drive, Unit G, Boulder CO to find out.
“Where there is sound & vibration – allow no negativity to remain” – Suren Shrestha