A singing bowl is used for meditation, yoga practice, and personal health and healing. Sound is created with a wooden mallet called a puja - when it is swiped around the bowl and the tone gets higher, the bowl is said to sing. Singing bowls were historically crafted in Asian countries, principally in Nepal, Japan, and China.
What are singing bowls?
Singing bowls are metal bowls that are considered a type of standing bell. The bowls create distinctive sounds depending on how they are played with a special padded mallet. Singing bowls are used in meditative and religious practices, for relaxation, and health care. They are sometimes known as Tibetan or Himalayan singing bowls as the bowls are commonly found in the Himalayan regions of India, Tibet, and Nepal. In Buddhist traditions, singing bowls are played to mark the beginning and end of a silent meditation cycle.
What are singing bowls made of?
Antique hand-hammered singing bowls have been analyzed to contain up to eight different metals: tin, copper, iron, zinc, gold, silver, mercury, and lead. Modern bowls are typically composed of a kind of bronze called "bell metal," which is a mix of copper and tin. Many bowls are made using a hand hammering technique, by machine, or a combination of both.
How are singing bowls played?
- Striking method - Using the mallets padded end, strike the singing bowl on its exterior wall towards the middle or on the interior upper wall. Abstain from striking the bowls top lip as it will create a percussive hit that will shock the bowl unnecessarily.
- Around the rim method - With your dominant hand, hold the mallet as if it were a writing instrument. Hold the bowl in the palm of your other hand. Rub the mallet clockwise around the rim of the bowl with evenly applied pressure. Use full arm movements, not just your wrists. The movements are similar to stirring a pot of soup. As the stick is rubbed around the rim, a singing, long-lasting harmonic hum is created.
How do singing bowls aid in meditation and healing?
Playing the singing bowl triggers a person to instant feelings of being centered. The tones create a way for the left and right brains to synchronize. Sounds from bowls cause the brain to move into wave frequencies that generate meditative states and peacefulness. The vibrations affect nervous systems by inhibiting pain and stress.
How do you care for singing bowls?
Wipe your singing bowl with a soft, dry cloth to dust it. A dusty singing bowl will change its tone. Warm water and gentle soap can be used to clean it when necessary. Avoid touching the rim of the bowl as that is the most important part of the bowl. Handle bowls with both hands while only touching the side exteriors.