The history of the Tingsha bells originated in Tibet and are commonly known as Taa in Nepali. They date back to the pre-Buddhism religion Bon Shamanism. Bon Shamanism had a vast spiritual and ritualistic influence on the Tibet Buddhism religion.
A Tingsha bell is a pair of small cymbals that are connected to a leather strap. Tingshas range between two and a half to four inches in diameter. They are constructed by tempered metal made of an amalgam of up to twelve different metals and poured into the mold creating the shape of cymbals. The main material used is bell bronze blended with aluminum, iron, gold, silver, zinc, tin, nickel, manganese as well as many other rare metals to produce a superior sound.
Each cymbal is one of a kind and tuned by hand to create specific musical notes. The two cymbals are deliberately tuned to a slightly different pitch to produce a ring that embellishes the practice in which it is intended for. Tingshas are often embossed with the mantra of “Om Mani Padme Hum” to invoke the nature of the great Buddha of compassion, Chenrezig or the mantra “Om Ah Hung” which represents the attainment of Enlightenment. They may also be embellished with other spiritual symbols or icons to give the instrument a deeper spiritual feeling.
Tingsha bells are often used by Tibetan Buddhists during meditation and rituals. They are used to focus awareness and to signal the beginning and end of group meditations. It is believed that the ring of the cymbals helps to clear the mind for meditative purposes. In Feng Shui, they are used to clear the energy in a specific space.
They are also used for personal use to clear old or negative energy from a place. One may use it when moving to a new place of residence or office to clear the residues of the previous occupants. Also used after an illness to help one feel refreshed or after someone has died to remove all negative emotional residue from a place.
Tingsha bells are also used for toning in alternative medicine. Toning is a traditional therapeutic technique used in alternative medicine. Toning helps to clear the mind, so one can concentrate. This can help one to focus on breathing which helps in stressful situations, depression, and grief.
The way one would use Tingsha bells would depend on the purpose. For instance, to use for starting or finishing a meditation session one would give a few strikes to the bell. For a focal point for meditation, the bell would be struck or rubbed repeatedly to produce a sound for the listener to concentrate their attention on. To clear a space, the bell is struck in a ceremonious manner before the session to ward off negative energies and create an atmosphere of purity for deeper meditation.
If you are interested in purchasing Tingsha bells for yourself or a gift for someone else, you can find it at Navadurga Handicraft & Singing Bowl House in Alameda, Ca. For your convenience, you may also find it online at www.navadurgasingingbowl.com and have it delivered right to your door.