Blimey, The Science And History Of Singing Bowls Is Just Insane Really
You probably know what a Tibetan Singing Bowl is already, right?
But you will be amazed by the science and history of these amazing Buddhist instruments.
By the end of this guide, you’ll probably be sprinting to the store like a lunatic desperate to buy a singing bowl…
What is a Tibetan Singing Bowl, Though, Really?
Tibetan Singing Bowls (sometimes called whistling bowls or prayer bowls) are instruments used in meditation.
They are almost definitely one of the best meditation tools ever.
They are actually a type of standing bell. in the shape of a bowl But instead of being inverted they are held in the hand. They produce sounds you can meditate on to open chakras (using specific chakra bowls) and heal your mind and body.
Tibetan Singing Bowls are actually one of the best meditation tools. No Buddhist temple would be complete without one of these. But why are they so important? And what is a singing bowl used for?
Truth is, there are tons of reasons to buy a singing bowl for use in you meditation practice. Not only do they sound amazing and look beautiful, they actually heal your body, mind and spirit.
When you meditate on a singing bowl your brain changes structurally and your mind heals emotionally and spiritually. That’s why Buddhists have been meditating on the sound of Tibetan singing bowls for 3000 years. Today you can even have healing massages done at health space where they put the bowl on your skin and the vibrations from the bowl heal the body—seriously, these bowls are a complete mind-body healing system.
I’ve personally been using Tibetan Singing Bowls for around ten years now. I find they make a great addition to my meditation practice, and they look beautiful sitting on a table-top as a decorative-piece. (I’ve shared a guide to buying a Tibetan Singing Bowl below if you want to get one for your home). Plus, if you love Buddhism, these are arguably the best type of Buddhist instruments, musically or otherwise.
When you buy a singing bowl, you’re buying a piece of spiritual history.
If you ever visit a Buddhist temple you will likely see some antique singing bowls among the relics. I recently visited our local Buddhist temple and was delighted to see on a shelf the most beautiful Tibetan singing bowls set (along with wooden fish, Buddhist cymbals, bells and Dorje). Attached to the cabinet was a little leaflet introducing singing bowls and explaining what they are and how they are used. Traditionally, Buddhist Tibetan Singing Bowls were used in Asia by monks. The monks would use Buddhist singing bowls as an auditory marker to start and stop a period of meditation. Monks would combine Tibetan Singing Bowls with a percussion instrument called the “wooden fish,” which is struck when a specific phrase is chanted. And this would be done as part of a ritual before and after meditating.
In Japanese and Vietnamese tradition singing bowls are used a little differently. There, they are used to mark the beginning and ending of periods of walking meditation and seated meditation.
It took thousands of years, but Tibetan Singing Bowls gradually became popular in the West, and today they are used in health spas and yoga studios as a way to relax the mind.
Many people believe that Tibetan Singing Bowls are made of seven metals that are astrologically related to stars and planets: Gold (sun) Silver (Moon), Copper (Venus), Iron (Mars), Tin (Jupiter), Mercury/Quicksilver (Mercury) and Lead (Saturn) (1). But actually, Tibetan Singing Bowls are usually made from a bronze alloy of copper and tin. There are also expensive crystal singing bowls made of quarts, and even pure gold singing bells.
Tibetan Singing Bowls Are Amazing!
Aren’t Tibetan singing bowls amazing instruments?
Don’t you want to stat listening to one right now?
No sweat: here’s some beautiful meditation music with them.