My youngest was playing with my Tingsha bells this morning and it occurred to me that a post on the origins of this blog’s name is long overdue!
Tingsha bells are a pair of small cymbals made of thick metal and joined by a leather cord.
Unlike most hand cymbals which are hit together end to end, these are played by tapping their edges together. When the cymbals are moved away from each other they produce a long, melodic ring.
Tingsha bells are traditional Tibetan Buddhist instruments and are used during rituals.
They can be used alone or alongside singing bowls, gongs and other instruments during meditation, to make music and in sound healing.
The sound and vibration is said to clear energy and ward off negativity and can be used to show admiration towards Buddha.
A few of my favourite ways to use Tingsha are to set the tone and atmosphere for rituals, meditation or yoga. They can also be used to mark the end of these activities.
I also like to use them during meditation. Focussing on the sounds of Tingsha bells instead in place of the breath can be very centring and can lead to a deep meditation.
The use of Tingshas in meditation can also maintain grounding in the present as acknowledging the sound prevents ‘drifting’ of the mind.
Tingsha bells come in various sizes, with larger ones producing a sound that resonates with the lower chakras and smaller ones producing higher notes that connect to the upper chakras.
Some Tingshas are decorated with symbolic pictures representing the different aspects of spiritual and Buddhist development.
Mine (see picture) are decorated with the Ashtamangala. These are 8 suspicious symbols of Buddhism.
- The Conch – Self-development
- The Victory Flag – Attainment of happiness through Buddhas teachings
- The Lotus – Pureness of mind, body and speech
- The Golden Fishes – Praha (life force)
- The Water Vessel – Health, prosperity and empowerment
- The Parasol – Protection and the crown chakra
- The Dharma Wheel – Buddhas teachings and the ongoing cycle of self-development
- The Endless Knot – Interconnectivity of life
Tingsha bells are easy to use, portable and easily stored so are a very practical way to add an extra element to any meditation or yoga practise.
Take a look at the video below to hear the sound these Tingsha bells make (as demonstrated by my very small helper!).