The singing bowl, prayer bells and prayer cymbals have been used for centuries in Tibet, Nepal and India and probably many other countries as part of prayer and ritual. The ceremonies are performed for any number of reasons in any kind of place. They can be formal or informal.
The ringing of one of these bells before the ritual can bring focus and attention to the mind. This practice can help a person to be present without distraction. It is also said to drive away evil spirits from the area the ritual is being performed.
The symbolic meaning of the prayer bell carries significance and the object is often filled with magical power. The physical bell is like the Buddha’s body. The sound of the bell is like the Buddha’s voice teaching the dharma, it is wisdom. Vajra represents the compassion of the Buddha and is his mind.
The sound of singing bowl, prayer bells and prayer cymbals can be soothing, calming and healing. The vibration of the bell is said to: purify negative energy, be spiritually cleansing, return harmony and balance and increase the positive energy.
You may use a prayer bell or singing bowl on the self to clear old energy or remove energy blockages. (The bowl will be a lot harder to keep control of in motion if working on yourself; so, I use a prayer bell.) You can start from the crown and move over the front of the body toward the feet, down the left side, back up, down right, up again, center and then move the bell or bowl over the backside in the same way as the front. I concentrate on the crown, heart and root, the three energy centers afterwards to create movement at the three energy centers or tan tiens.
Ringing any of these bells before prayer or a ritual practice can seem a bit odd or strange and the act of ringing any of these may make you uncomfortable. (It might help to get Tibetan or Buddhist chanting music and hear the process and how they use the bells.) Like all other things you do repetitively, there begins to be a connection to the act. It becomes a natural, comforting, useful practice over time. It is effective in a number of ways; such as, bringing forth the intention of the space, the message in the mind, asking for help from the higher force. A process that connects you to the spiritual world or to: guides, angels or forces that can help you manifest your intention in your world.
Ringing prayer cymbals before meditation or yoga practice is a way to signify the beginning and end of your practice. When you ring a prayer bell or cymbals in the beginning of practice you bring your focus and attention to the moment to quiet the mind and ready the body for practice. This act may help you elevate your practice of yoga or spiritual development to another level. Remember, practicing yoga is but one element in a host of activities recommended to create a strong spiritual practice.
Ringing a bell or bowl to can clear old energy from the space. Holding the bell and thinking of the intention to clear the old energy from the space and bring in the good or new energy will benefit the space and the people living in it. It is like sound feng shui.
Prayer bells and singing bowls are often rung as part of the healing process. It is not uncommon for an energy body worker to use a singing bowl in the treatment to promote healing, relaxation or move energy throughout the body.
As one begins or continues to use these bells for rituals in their life the vibration sound force from this practice will accumulate and benefit the person or people who are connected to this practice. I am so happy I took the “chance” of doing something “weird” like beginning these healing and prayer rituals because it turned into something beautiful and rewarding. I recommend picking up a bell, bowl or cymbals and carving out your own connection.
You can find these bells and bowls in many places, the TotallyZenStore.com happens to make them available for you too. http://www.totallyzenstore.com/collections/meditation-spiritual