Nothing enhances meditation and promotes feelings of deep connection and serenity like the enchanting tones and vibrations of a singing bowl. These unique instruments have a rich history throughout many cultures and are still produced today using old-world techniques.
Tibetan Buddhists use singing bowls to signal the beginning and end of silent meditation. The Chinese Buddhists use the bowl while chanting and changing phrases. In Japan they are used during funeral rites and are found in every temple. Ancient Tibetan paintings and statues depict the use of these bowls, and it is believed the tradition dates back to approximately the 12th century AD.
Singing bowls may have originally been used for religious ceremonies and meditation rituals, but today they are used in a variety of ways. They can be used as part of music or sound therapy, during Yoga, energy healing sessions, or simply for relaxation and pleasure.
You play a singing bowl by rubbing or striking a wooden mallet, often called a “dowel”, around the rim. A strike creates a bell like tone that reverberates. Rubbing the dowel striker along the edge creates a continuous humming or “singing” sound with various harmonic overtones. Slowing the dowel down, produces a lower tone with slower vibrations, while increasing the speed elevates the pitch a bit and produces a faster vibration. Each of these will produce a different effect on the body and mind of the individual.
The tones produced by the bowl are believed to align the chakras and can be felt throughout the body. The hum of the bowl is unlike anything you’ve experienced before and it is simultaneously stimulating and calming. With a little practice, anyone can learn to play a singing bowl. It is quite simple and will allow you to find the tones and speed that resonate with you. You can hold the bowl in your hand to play it, or place it on a table top in a cushioned ring.
Singing bowls can be very plain and simple, or exquisite and ornate. Bowls that are made by a process called “hand hammering” produce the clearest tones. This is the traditional method that has been used for centuries. Many of these bowls closely resemble their antique counterparts and are painted or etched with intricate designs or mantras. Machine lathed bowls are also common today; most of them are made from a form of Brass alloy.
A singing bowl can add beauty and function to your home or favorite sacred space. Add one to an altar, or use it during quiet time when you need to relieve stress and tension in the body. There are styles to fit any personal taste and décor.