Tingshaws

Harmonic cymbals from the Tibetan Buddhists

Tingshaw bells, also known as cymbals, were traditionally used by Tibetan Buddhists centuries ago for prayer and yoga meditation. The "Ting" in Tibetan refers to the ringing sound of metal, while "sha" means hanging or suspension. Therefore, the name of tingshaw is often taken to mean either "hanging metal bell" or "sustained musical note."

As an instrument, the tingshaw helps capture the notes of seemingly endless desire, they are used in the West for meditation, healing work and their sound is perceived as sacred and is considered to draw positive energy.

Tingshaw come in matched pairs. Each cymbal is made from the alloy of five to seven different metals, and held together by a leather cord. By holding the cord and striking them gently, tingshaw will produce a pure, vivid, brilliant tone for up to 30-seconds.

The variety of metals used to create tingshaw make each note resonate. They create a durable and harmonic note with a pleasant, oscillating wave of sound. The sound of tingshaw has often been compared to a sacred summons; although it's also said to soothe the nerves. The richness of the sound and the vibrancy of the natural modulations are impressive.

The smaller the bells; the finer the sound they produce. Similar to singing bowls, the tingshaw is a ceremonial artifact used specifically by monks or Buddhists. In addition to praying, singing, chanting and religious celebration, tingshaw bells are used to represent the beginning and the end of a meditation session or a focusing of the mind.

Most tingshaw are selected from the Himalayas and have different patterns on the outside of the bells. Some of them have a dragon design and others depict the 8 fortunate symbols of happiness that are believed to bring people good fortune. The price range of a pair of tingshaw ranges drastically from $20 to $120 online.

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