How I Was Super-Charged by the World’s First Giant Singing Bowl

I was standing in a private room looking at a huge bronze singing bowl. I was in Lucerne, the third stop on a trip to four regions in Switzerland, staying at the Palace Luzern.  The hotel describes it as the world’s first giant singing bowl and I had signed up for the “ceremony,” an experience that promised a “state of lightness and deep relaxation.” 

Photo: Courtesy of Palace Luzern

The giant bowl is struck, causing 1,000 frequencies to flow through the body and “Every cell unites in harmonious vibration,” states information at the hotel website.

OK. Sure.

The giant singing bowl took 15 years to create.  This process included studying the effects and functions of small traditional Tibetan singing bowls, making the mould for the bowl, which was cast in solid bronze and has a diameter of 1.76 meters and a weight of 1.2 tons.  It had to be housed in this cozy room on the ground floor instead of in the third floor spa (for obvious reasons.)

It has been found that certain vibrational sounds can invoke a deep state of relaxation. These vibrations can also help with meditation, which is why singing bowls or small gongs are sometimes used in certain treatments (especially those for balancing chi (energy) and in yoga.  Singing bowls in particular are used for stress reduction, healing and chakra balancing. 

As the ceremony began, I was offered water to drink in which a jaspis stone from New Zealand had been soaked. Jaspis (or jasper) stones are considered to be healing stones.  It is an ancient stone worn by shamans and priests as it is also considered sacred and offers protection. The power and purpose of the stone can depend on the type and color.  Jaspis stones have been used for focusing and centering the mind in meditation, as well as to alleviate stress, inspire tranquility, peace and calm. The water helps the vibrations go inside the cells, the therapist explained, and is only used at the spa in conjunction with the singing bowl. 

The ceremony is performed while standing inside the bowl or suspended above it in a hammock.  I chose to lie in the hammock. Another journalist was there to experience the ceremony and chose to stand inside the bowl.  I was curious to see if we would have different results.

Photo: Courtesy of Palace Luzern

A ball is pushed up to strike the bowl, using the same type of device that is used to spin a rollercoaster. During the ceremony, which last 10 minutes, I could feel most of the vibratory effects in my head, feet and hands. 

While the other journalist did indeed experience a state of relaxation, I was charged with energy, feeling chi in my hands, the way they often feel when doing Tai Chi.  As I was served more of the water, I asked the therapist about our polar opposite reactions and she explained that the experience gives you what you need. I’m normally calm and quiet, in a relaxed state and often seek out treatments or activities that give me more energy. So that made sense.  I was refreshed and ready to take on the day. (I also became a chatterbox—highly unusual.)  I continued to feel pleasant and serene during the day.  

The 25-minute Classical Ceremony is CHF 85 (Swiss Francs) which is about $86.30, and includes an explanation of the ceremony, a refreshing drink, 10-minute ceremony and relaxation with tea. I’m not sure how many people would go for spending $86 for water, tea and 10-minutes of sound vibration, but for skeptics, it does have a positive effect on the body.  Many locals come in and do the ceremony for relaxation.  For those who are into more traditional spa treatments there are spa packages that include the 25-minute Classical Ceremony along with free use of the spa (gym, sauna, steam, aroma shower and ice fountain) or that include breakfast or lunch, a 90-minute treatment after the ceremony. There are also packages for two, such as Two-Tone (that includes the 25-minute ceremony plus two hours at the spa.)  Find more information about the Giant Singing Bowl Ceremony at the Palace Spa website.

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