It’s a quiet thing from Tibet. When I meditate, it sits there peacefully, the mallet resting in the bowl. At the end of my meditation time, I tap the side … three times.
There’s something magical about lingering between taps, till the sound is no more. It reminds me of giving a speech. When my words are done, I pause at the podium until I know it’s time to walk away. There’s a gap within which there is completion. Same with the singing bowl.
The singing comes when you sweep the mallet around and around the lip. Sweet … but it’s not my sweet. I tap instead.
Should I release the idea of “quality” in my tapping? Any old strike will do? Well, I could do that, but it doesn’t feel right. There’s a communion when the tone hangs long in the air. I intend to reach that state of relating, to experience the freedom that comes with precision.
Tapping near the lip creates an extra tinny sound at the beginning. It fades quickly to a slow vibration but it’s not what I want. It is indeed extra … beyond the essence of things.
Hitting hard halfway down the bowl produces a jolt, rather than a caress. The tone lasts a long time, but I still find myself shaking my head “No.”
Hitting soft halfway down begins the flow almost immediately. It allows me to hear the nuances of quieting music. A quiet that fades to empty space. I nod approval. It feels “appropriate” without that word being offered by anything other than the Divine.
At the last, when the third tone has faded away to nothing, I lean close to my friend. The song continues. And I smile.