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Listening

Singing Bowls

Singing bowls are well known for the continuous sound they make when the rim is rubbed with a stick. However, when they are struck, they make superb sources of sound for focused, meditative listening. We can use our own consciousness to shift our attention around the inner ingredients of a sound.

Most singing bowls of a reasonable size produce at least three ingredient sounds, or partials, that we should be able to hear and consciously focus on, independently. Each partial has a different subjective quality when focussed on. Listening and focussing has a tangible effect that is essentially a form of meditation.

Singing bowls are especially good for this, because their voices tend to be made from very clear and distinct ingredients. These samples make learning to listen to singing bowls in this way, easy. Each ingredient of the voice of a bowl, is called a partial. When listening to live singing bowls, it is usually easy to hear three distinct ingredients, although there may be many more.

If you can only hear one to begin with, you must "look around" the soundscape with conscious listening, and when another comes into consciousness, it can be focussed on. Try not to just go with the easiest to hear, or loudest.

When listening meditatively, find a partial, and focus the attention exclusively on it. With practice, it is possible to shift attention from one ingredient to another, which induces a subtle change in our own inner experience.

Ingredients or partials often "warble" with a rhythmic repetitive pattern. Some of these correspond to brain-wave frequencies, and listening to them can create a palpable calming or enlivening effect, depending on the frequency. Irrespective of any scientific evidence, you can try this with live singing bowls, and see for yourself.

Explore the links below to learn more. You may need to use earbuds or earphones for the best experience.

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