History And Ritual

Nada Brahma

Everything is vibration, everything is sound

Whether we know it or not, sounds have a major effect on us. They affect our bodies, our moods, our energy, and well being more than we realize.

Consider the following examples:

  • In stressful situations, we like to listen to classical or meditative music in order to become calm and relax.
  • We choose exciting music for the purpose of partying and celebrating.
  • Aggressive music can be used to generate excitement.
  • In a film or TV show, sounds and rhythms can create different moods instantly for the viewer including love, passion, grief, or fear.

The knowledge of the power of sounds allows us to use it to maintain our own wellbeing.

Here lie the origins of healing through sound.

Everything Strives for Harmony

Dating back 5,000 years, people in Nepal believe that humans who vibrate harmoniously are healthy. If unpleasant sounds creep in, that person will lose balance and harmony and fall ill. The belief is that when sick, a person who listens to harmonious sounds will readily absorb these sounds, become centered, and will start to heal.

In the Royal city of Bhaktapur, the sounds are of such importance that special temples have been erected and devoted to the deities of music, with the specific purpose of watching over the order of sounds to make sure that no discordant tones disturb the harmony of the town.

Only a musician who has proven himself to the music god of Nasadjo is permitted to play the healing sounds during the festivals that are held, in order to keep the town’s people healthy.

Singing bowls contain the sounds of the celestial, making them especially suited for the purpose of centering and harmonizing. Their specific sound is intended to bring inner clarity.

Peter Hess® Sound Massage

Peter Hess began his career as an engineer, but his life-long interest in teaching and psychology led him to India and Nepal, where he studied untraditional forms of healing and researched the effects of sounds on the mind and body.

Through his work with singing bowls, Peter developed The Peter Hess® Sound Massage. The Peter Hess methods are structured to create a consistent offer of relaxation.

It is the softness of the sounds that allows you to experience the pure effect of the singing bowls on your body.

The Peter Hess® Singing Bowls are produced specifically for this purpose.

Origin of Singing Bowls

  • Singing bowls are at home in the Eastern cultures of Japan, China, Thailand, and the Himalaya region.
  • Early on, the bowls that would eventually be used as singing bowls served a functional purpose as food containers. Cooked food and water were believed to become enriched by the minerals of the bowl that they were stored in. The nourishment supplementation and the vibration of the metals transmitted through food and drinks were believed to maintain good health.
  • This can be thought of as an ancient version of daily vitamins.
  • The number of metals used in a bowl depends on the religious influence of the region in which they were forged.
  • With the change of society and the significance of religion, as well as with the progress in medicine, the metal bowls lost their importance in every day life. Cheaper metals or plastic dishes and modern health supplements now serve this purpose.
  • This development, as well as the end of the singing bowl production and the disappearance of knowledge about it coincides with the Chinese invasion of Tibet.

Materials, Shape, & Dimensions

Singing bowls are manufactured with different metals, usually between five and twelve.

The combination of metals determines the quality of vibration and the sound of a bowl. Bowls that were produced according to the old craftsmanship usually have the best sound.

Singing bowls are offered in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and tonal gradations.

  • Shape: Round
  • Color: Gold (Shiny or Matte)
  • Diameter: 10cm – 30cm
  • Weight: 7oz – 9lbs

The sound depends on form, material, and strength of the rim. To elicit a sound from the singing bowl, one has to tap, strike, or rub it. Typically the bowl is played with a mallet.