Tibetan Singing Bowls
A metallurgical analysis, done by the British Museum in London, reveals that the instruments are made of a 12-metal alloy consisting of silver, nickel, copper, zinc, antimony, tin, lead, cobalt, bismuth, arsenic, cadmium and iron. Now a lost art, it appears that this quality of bell bowl cannot be reproduced today.
In addition to their traditional usage for meditation, Tibetan singing bowls are used for deep relaxation, stress reduction, holistic healing, Reiki, chakra balancing, and World music. Many people find that the rich blend of harmonic overtones which the bells produce have a direct affect upon their chakras.
Playing the bells usually causes an immediate centering effect. The tones set up a "frequency following response" that creates a balancing left/right brain synchronization. Meditating on the subtle sounds of the Tibetan singing bowl tunes one in to the universal sound within and without.
Like Tibetan Singing Bowls, the Tingsha is a ritual artifact used by Buddhist Monks as well is in Shamanist traditions. The Tingsha is also made of seven metals (like the singing bowls) but is sometimes more decorated with designs including Dragons, the eight auspicious symbols (the Ashtamangalas) and the Om Mani Padme Hum mantra. As with the Singing Bowl, the Tingsha creates a meditative vibration but is more commonly used for calling one forth into the here and now. The striking sound of the Tingsha has the ability to call one forth as well as clearing any disturbing energies in the moment. The Tingsha brings clarity and spaciousness to any space. Ceremonially, a Tingsha can be used to represent the beginning, ending or transition within a ceremony. Many Yoga instructors use Tingshas coming out of Shivasana or the "meditation" part of the class.
The Bell (Ghanta) and Dorge (Vajra)
The bell originally stood for instability, for something transient and later represented the female principle, which symbolizes wisdom and purpose. The ghanta illustrated here has a vajra handle - this is a symbol for 'path and purpose' in union here which leads to enlightenment.
With the thunderbolt scepter, in Tibetan worship the bell is held in the left hand, which represents wisdom and impermanence.
The thunderbolt - dorge or vajra - originally was the symbol of the Vedic god Indra: it represents lightning. Among the Buddhists it is the symbol of the imperturbable male principle, which stands for the upaya or method of the path. There are five points that symbolize the five jivas or conquerors - the five Dhyani Buddhas.
In Tibetan the Vajra is known as the Dorje, a tantric symbol for the absolute, beyond all opposites, and represents the three jewels and also, the union of the spiritual and material world. Amng the Tibetans it is also a symbol of unity and strength.