The singing bowl, once a revered instrument of ancient traditions, is making a rapid resurgence in today’s mindfulness movement.
Singing bowls: Ancient instruments for modern healing
Originating from the mystical Himalayas, singing bowls are more than just musical instruments. They are conduits of experience, resonating with the energy around and within us.
Whether made from metal or crystal, singing bowls produce a vibratory hum that is said to clear energy blockages, reduce anxiety and awaken the chakras.
Traditionally used in Buddhist practices, these bowls have been hailed for their therapeutic properties, especially grounding and healing.
When struck or rimmed, singing bowls produce sounds that are believed to stimulate the brain, inducing deep meditation and relaxation. This harmonious resonance can be particularly beneficial for those navigating grief and loss.
The song of grief
Grief is a universal experience, yet it’s deeply personal. We’ve all felt its weight, searching for a way to articulate our pain, to find solace amidst the heartache.
From silent tears to heavy hearts, the myriad ways we express and cope with grief are as varied as the individuals experiencing it. Yet, recent evidence-based research has identified three primary grieving styles: intuitive, instrumental, and blended.
- Intuitive Grievers are deeply in touch with their emotions. They feel and express their grief openly, often through tears, talking, or writing. Waves of sadness, bursts of anger, or pools of guilt are their constant companions in grief.
- Instrumental Grievers cope through action. They might immerse themselves in work, hobbies, or other tasks, often avoiding the emotional depths of their grief. Logic, for them, is a trusted ally in the grieving process.
- Blended Grievers oscillate between emotion and action. They might let their tears flow freely one day and seek refuge in activities the next.
How singing bowls resonate with different grieving styles
For the Intuitive Griever, the singing bowl reflects their inner emotional landscape. The deep, resonating sounds can mirror their feelings, creating a bond of understanding. As the bowl’s vibrations intermingle with their emotions, it offers a therapeutic release, a sanctuary in sound where they can navigate and express their emotions.
On the other hand, the Instrumental Griever might find solace in the rich history and techniques of playing the bowls. Learning about their origins, the materials used, and the methods of producing sound can provide a structured path to recovery. Each note struck serves a purpose, mirroring their proactive approach to grief. The sound becomes an anchor, offering a brief yet healing escape from sorrow.
Conversely, for the Blended Griever, the singing bowl is a harmonious balance between feeling and action. Some days, the comforting tones of the bowl might pull them in, while on others, the history and technique behind it might pique their interest. The bowl, in essence, caters to their needs, whether they’re seeking an emotional outlet or a structured exploration.
Discover your grieving style: Quick quiz
Answer the following questions, remembering there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Keep track of whether you mostly answer A, B or Cs.
1. When faced with a painful experience, I…
a) Feel a rush of emotions and might cry or vent.
b) Try to stay busy or distracted, focusing on tasks.
c) Sometimes feel overwhelmed by emotions, but other times focus on activities.
2. How do you prefer to cope with sadness?
a) Talking about my feelings or writing them down.
b) Engaging in physical activities or problem-solving.
c) A combination of expressing my feelings and keeping myself occupied.
3. Which statement resonates with you the most?
a) I wear my heart on my sleeve.
b) I prefer to process things internally and rationally.
c) Depending on the situation, I might show my emotions or keep them inside.
4. When remembering a lost loved one, I…
a) Often tear up or feel a deep emotional connection.
b) Prefer to honor them through actions, like visiting their grave or doing an activity we used to do together.
c) Might shed tears one day, and the next day, immerse myself in an activity to remember them.
5. After a distressing day, I usually…
a) Need to talk about it or process my feelings.
b) Dive into a hobby, read a book, or do something constructive.
c) Sometimes talk about it, and sometimes, I distract myself with an activity.
Did you answer mostly:
A: You lean towards the Intuitive Griever style. You process grief more emotionally, feeling and expressing your emotions deeply.
B: You align with the Instrumental Griever style. You prefer to cope by doing activities or focusing on tasks, processing grief more cognitively.
A mix of A and B: You’re a Blended Griever. You use a combination of emotional and instrumental strategies, fluidly moving between them based on your feelings at the time.
Loss, grief and growth
As many therapists and counsellors often remind us, grief isn’t linear. It’s a journey with its own rhythm, often oscillating between intense pain and respite moments. While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, tools like singing bowls offer a comforting hand when embraced by modern mindfulness practices.
Many find a path to healing in the fusion of ancient singing bowls and contemporary understanding. Every note, every tear, every cherished memory of a departed loved one is a chapter in our ever-evolving life symphony. And as we all navigate life’s journey, it’s essential to remember that every individual’s grief song is unique and deserving of respect, understanding, and compassion.
Visit our Grief Rituals page to shop for singing bowls and mindfulness tools.