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How to Choose a Singing Bowl

How to Choose a Singing Bowl

Choosing a singing bowl can be daunting given the vast array of different types and sizes of singing bowls available for purchase. Quality singing bowls can also be pricey, making this purchase an investment that buyers should not take lightly. If you are overwhelmed by the choices of singing bowls out there, you are in luck! We have written this guide to help you narrow your choices and find the best singing bowl for your specific needs and preferences. 

In this article we discuss the following: 

  • What are singing bowls? 
  • What are the different types of singing bowls?
    • Older versus newer 
    • High quality versus low quality 
    • Sound and feeling
  • What can different singing bowls do?
  • Where can you buy singing bowls? 

What are Singing Bowls?

If you are looking to buy a singing bowl, it is likely you are familiar with what singing bowls are, what they do, and perhaps their history. Singing bowls, also called Tibetan or Himalayan singing bowls, are ancient bowls that produce sound and vibration when played with a mallet or striker. They are often linked with Buddhism or other spiritual practices.

Singing bowls are generally made from an alloy of various metals which include copper, silver, iron, tin, lead, or gold. At the end of the 20th century, pure crystal singing bowls became very popular.

Singing bowls range in shape, style, quality, tone, size, and more. There are many variations and characteristics that make singing bowls unique. However, this uniqueness can be a challenge when on the hunt for the perfect singing bowl for your collection. This article will take a look at the many different kinds of singing bowls so that you can make an informed choice when purchasing your very own bowl. 

What are the Different Types of Singing Bowls?

There are many different kinds of singing bowls. In fact, some researchers have identified as many as 50 different styles of singing bowls. However, most singing bowl dealers narrow their shop offerings down to seven or eight basic styles. Authentic, antique singing bowls will be at least 100 years old, while others can be hundreds of years old. Generally speaking, older bowls can be distinguished by their shape, markings, metal thickness, as well as the tone produced. Crystal bowls are new age and not considered to be antique singing bowls, so we will discuss their characteristics last. 

Although there are various styles of Himalayn singing bowls, most genuine singing bowls can be traced to Nepal, Tibet, Mongolia, and India. When comparing different styles of singing bowls, a range of over five octaves can be produced, from high to low tones. The sizes can also differ drastically. A large Jambati bowl will dwarf a small Manipuri and there are hundreds of differently sized bowls between them! 

Thadobati 

 
Source: Antique Singing Bowls

Thadobati singing bowls are characterized by high walls, straight sides, flat bottoms, with plain, undecorated lips. They can play up to five different octaves and respond well when being played by a mallet. Thadobati bowls are small or medium sized and can range in price from as little as $60 to $560 USD. Some ancient Thadobati bowls date back to at least the 15th century, making them the oldest bowl forms. Additionally, there are many different sub-styles of Thadobati bowls due to their decorative markings. Thadobati singing bowls are among the most popular bowls. 

Jambati

Source: Best Singing Bowls 

Jambati bowls have curved walls, flat bottoms, and lips that face inward. Their appearance is also notable due to their appealing hammer marks. They can play up to four different octaves but most generally play the 2nd or 3rd octave. They respond well when being played by a mallet. Jambati bowls are the largest and heaviest of all singing bowls. 3 to 4 craftsmen are required to forge a single Jambati bowl. Given their size and the labor required to make Jambati bowls, their prices range from $640 to $8,800 USD. These bowls are often found in great condition. Due to their size, they were often used for grain storage, which preserved them well. If you are interested in purchasing a Jambati bowl, you will also need to buy a mat or cushion to place it on while playing it. If you are planning on only owning one singing bowl, a Jambati bowl can be an excellent choice if your budget allows it. 

Naga

Source: Antique Singing Bowls 

Naga singing bowls are also called Naga pedestal bowls. Its name is due to its chalice-like appearance. They are responsive bowls, but, unfortunately, their sound can sometimes be distorted by the pedestal base. They are small to medium sized bowls and considered to be very unique and rare. Antique Naga bowls are generally found in great condition, causing specialists to believe they must have served a ceremonial or sacred purpose. It is thought that its pedestal may perhaps have given it purpose as an offering bowl. Naga singing bowls range in price from $160 to $640 USD.

Mani

 
Source: Antique Singing Bowls 

Mani bowls are short and stout with an inward-facing lip and flat bottom. They can play a range of three octaves and are considered mostly easy to play, however, some can be temperamental. Their tone is considerably higher than other bowls. Mani bowls are small to medium sized and can cost anywhere from $270 to $675 USD. Mani bowls are sometimes referred to as Mudra singing bowls and many might have been used for sacred, ritual or ceremonial purposes.

Ultabati

Source: Best Singing Bowls

Ultabati, similar to Jambati bowls, are large, heavy bowls. They produce the lowest two octaves and can be very easy to play with practice. Ultabati bowls are capable of producing fountains as well as the OM sound favored in Buddhist practice. They are also some of the most expensive bowls, starting at $700 and going upwards towards $2,000 USD. Their appearance is also notable with darkened, or even black, outside walls. If you are planning on only owning one singing bowl, an Ultabati bowl can be an excellent choice if your budget allows it. 

Manipuri 

Source: Antique Singing Bowls 

Manipuri singing bowls, which can be small or medium sized, have shallow insides and splayed rims. They produce a range of primary tones and are considered to be very affordable bowls, ranging in price from $75 to $425 USD. Given that they are easy to play and are financially accessible, Manupuri bowls are often the first singing bowls added to one’s collection. 

Lingam

Source: Antique Singing Bowls 

Lingam, or Lingham bowls, are shallow like Manipuri bowls but distinct due to the protrusion in the center of the bowl. The peak inside of the bowl creates a flat bottom with a navel-like indention. Their shape gives them a unique sound that can make them difficult to play. These small to medium sized bowls are extremely rare when authentic and can cost anywhere from $400 to $1,900 USD. However, be careful when looking for Lingam bowls. Some bowls can be reworked to appear like Lingam bowls but are, in reality, fakes. 

Remuna


Source: Best Singing Bowls

Rumana singing bowls are stout with smooth, thin walls. They are also known for their decorative artwork. These medium sized bowls are among the easiest to play and can cost anywhere from $235 to $635 USD. 

Crystal

Crystal, Clear, and Handle Singing Bowls from Sunreed Instruments

Crystal bowls were popularized in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Quartz crystal singing bowls can be frosted, clear, mineral fusion, or a handle bowl. Crystal bowls come in a variety of sizes and can produce a variety of tones, playing in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th octaves. Frosted bowls generally produce the loudest sounds. Clear bowls are not as loud, but give off clear tones. Handle bowls are louder and easy to play. 

Older Versus Newer Singing Bowls

There are both advantages and disadvantages to older and newer singing bowls. Ancient Tibetan bowls, like any antique, must be authenticated for their age and quality. Many of the newer bowls being produced today are made to look old, but old bowls will stand out from the new bowls in both appearance and tone. 

Older bowls generally have thinner layers of metal on the bottom than newer bowls. However, do not let the signs of aging and wear scare you away. These bowls are at least 100 years old and these signs of wear are not only to be expected but appreciated. Older bowls also have richer, warmer tones than newer bowls, which have more metallic and sharp tones. Newer bowls, on the other hand, will stand out when struck as the vibration of newer bowls is more powerful and will ring out longer. 

The most popular ancient singing bowls in the West are Thadobati, Manipuri, and Jambati singing bowls. Price is also a considerable difference between authentic, ancient bowls and new, machine manufactured bowls. Antique bowls will be a lot more expensive than new bowls. Antique bowls are investments, whereas new bowls can be affordable options for beginners. 

High Quality Versus Low Quality Singing Bowls

In order to differentiate between high quality and low quality singing bowls, you must be able to play the bowl or at least hear a sound clip. A high quality bowl will be able to hold its vibration and produce several tones, harmonics and overtones. If the vibration sounds as if it’s “fluttering” away, the bowl is not high quality.

You should be aware that the amount of time or effort it takes to make the bowl sing is not important. One might assume that a bowl that sings right away indicates that it is a good bowl, but whether it sings right away or needs to be played for a while is unimportant when determining a bowl’s quality.

Lastly, a high quality bowl will be one made from the finest metals, which will ensure durability and longevity. 

Sound and Feeling of Singing Bowls

Although there are many things to consider before purchasing a singing bowl, sound should be of the utmost importance. It is important to choose a singing bowl with an excellent voice--one that moves you and makes you feel something.

When listening to a bowl, observe how the sound affects your body. Do you feel moved? Are there any tingling sensations in any area of your body? You should be able to feel the vibrations and tones produced by your singing bowl and they should feel good upon receiving them. 

In addition to how the sound makes you feel, is the singing bowl a good physical fit for you? Is it too heavy? Is it too small? Is it too big to hold? Will the weight be a problem when playing for long periods of time?

Generally speaking, bowls weighing more than 3 pounds, or 1.5 kilos, may become difficult to hold when playing for long periods of time. On the other hand, very light bowls can be moved too easily while being played leading to distorted sounds or worse, as they are liable to falling over and cracking. You should look for a singing bowl that is as close to your perfect fit as possible!

What Can Different Singing Bowls Do?

Different styles of singing bowls can have different purposes and uses. Therefore, when looking for a singing bowl to purchase, make sure to ask yourself how you plan to use the singing bowl. Is it for meditation? Grounding? Physical healing? Sound therapy? Yoga classes? Chakra healing? Singing bowls can make great additions for all of these uses but specific bowls might work best in specific cases.  

When using singing bowls for meditation, bowls that produce low tones or even the OM sound are best. Ultabati and Jamabati bowls are known for their deep, lasting sounds and are great for meditation. However, if you are meditating in a small room, a smaller bowl, such as the Thadobati, Mani, or Manipuri bowls might be best.

Similar to meditation singing bowls, the singing bowls that work best in yoga classes are the ones that produce low tones. If your yoga classes move location, smaller bowls provide greater portability. Grounding practice requires singing bowls that can produce lower tones, as well, like the Ultabati and Jamabati bowls. 

Singing bowls that are useful in physical healing include extremely high pitched bowls, which can help drive out illnesses in the body. A Mani bowl, which is known for its higher pitched tone, could make a great bowl for physical healing.

Various singing bowls can be used for sound therapy. Choosing a bowl depends on how you plan to use the bowl and what ailments you are trying to remedy. Size, for example, can be an important factor. Larger bowls should be placed near the feet and smaller bowls with warm tones near the head. Crystal handle bowls can also be useful in sound therapy as the handle allows you to move the bowl across the patient’s body. Naga singing bowls are also linked to sound therapists and healers.

Singing bowls, specifically crystal singing bowls, are often associated with chakra healing. Some specialists believe that specific tones work for specific chakras. For example, smaller, higher pitched bowls work best for the third eye. However, some experts stress that regardless of the specific pitches and chakras, what is most important is the “quality of your own intention and awareness” when using singing bowls for chakras. 

Where Can You Buy Singing Bowls?

You can buy singing bowls in a variety of different places. There may be health and wellness stores in your area which have singing bowls for sale from time to time. In addition, there are great places to purchase singing bowls online. In particular, you should consider purchasing a singing bowl from Shanti Bowl, which was founded in 2015 to spread awareness of the beauty and health benefits of singing bowls. These bowls, which are of the highest quality, are intentionally priced well below their market value in order to ensure they are accessible to the most people possible. In addition, Shanti Bowl donates significant proceeds to non-profit organizations that work to provide meditation and mindfulness practices to at-risk communities.

Takeaway

Singing bowls can make a great addition to your therapy and health practices, to your daily meditation routine, or to your group yoga classes. Singing bowls and their healing properties, including  stress reduction and pain elimination, can improve our overall well-being. In order to purchase the best singing bowl to improve your life, be sure to narrow down your preferences of style, shape, size, sound, quality, and price. Ultimately, you should choose a bowl that both meets your needs and creates love and harmony within you upon hearing its special voice.

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How Singing Bowls Work: The Science Behind Singing Bowls

How Singing Bowls Work: The Science Behind Singing Bowls

While the enthralling sounds of singing bowls might calm you, they might also spark the question, “how exactly do they work?” Like all musical instruments, Tibetan singing bowls rely on friction and vibration to create the sound we hear. What makes singing bowls so special are the different sounds that can be created by them depending on their qualities and the various circumstances and conditions in which they may be played.

Scientists and musicians alike have recently become interested in the singing bowl and the manner in which it  creates sound. The science behind the sounds of singing bowls is quite simple and can best be compared to playing wine glasses filled with water. However, the science behind the healing properties of singing bowls is not quite as familiar or established.

In this article we discuss: 

  • How do singing bowls work? 
  • How can singing bowls be used with water?  
  • What are the physical effects of singing bowls?

How do singing bowls work?

To play a singing bowl, one must either strike the bowl or rub the rim with a mallet. The action taken with the mallet is the first step in creating sound with a singing bowl. As explained by Science Made Simple UK, the friction created either by rubbing or striking a singing bowl creates vibrations. These vibrations create the sound we hear and can feel when holding the singing bowl. As you continue to rub the rim of the bowl, the friction keeps the sound going. This is called resonance. Resonance is the note we hear even after the player ceases contact between the singing bowl and the mallet.

To make matters a bit more complicated, the note we hear can differ between singing bowls and mallets. Most singing bowls are made from a bronze alloy of either copper, tin, zinc, iron, silver, gold, or nickel. The material with which the singing bowl is made can change the sound, as can the mallet. Crystal bowls will not sound the same as bronze alloy bowls. Wooden mallets and padded mallets will produce different sounds as well. The size, shape and weight of the singing bowl can also affect what tones are produced. Adding water will change the note of the singing bowl as water is more difficult to vibrate than the air inside an empty singing bowl. Cushions, rings, or other accessories also alter the sound of singing bowls, often dampening or softening the sounds. Despite these differences, how singing bowls work can be boiled down to a simple idea: excitation of the rim causes the singing bowl to vibrate, creating a rich tone.

Singing Bowls and Water

Source: BBC

Many of the studies revealing the inner workings of singing bowls focus on singing bowls filled with water. In particular, there are multiple studies devoted to observing the way water is excited when playing a singing bowl. Two studies, one done by Octávio Inácio et al. called “The Dynamics of Tibetan Singing Bowls,” and another by Denis Terwage and John Bush called “Tibetan Singing Bowls,” have studied just that. These groups observed singing bowls filled with water being played with slow motion video and sound recording. In turn, their studies were summarized in a BBC article by Jason Palmer.

They found that as the singing bowl is played, the rim begins to change shape, switching back and forth between slightly oval shapes. The energy of the bowl transfers to the water. The energy charged water creates waves, which create droplets of water that bounce and skip on the surface. This phenomenon is known as Faraday waves. These studies have much larger implications than just acoustic music or sound meditation and healing--the study of the singing bowl’s Faraday waves can actually be applied to processes such as fuel injection.

A figure from the study, “The Dynamics of Tibetan Singing Bowls”, showing the different shapes of singing bowls when being played.

Adding water changes the frequency of the singing bowl. The addition of water often lowers and creates a deeper, longer-lasting resonance. Incorporating water filled singing bowls can create additional tones used for meditation or sound therapy, but it can also be an example of an interesting science experiment. How singing bowls work is based on scientific studies and physics. On the other hand, the effects of singing bowls on our bodies and well-being is on less solid scientific ground but should be discussed nonetheless.

What are the Physical Effects of Singing Bowls? 

Researching the scientific physical effects of singing bowls has yielded lots of contradictory evidence. Overall, most publications focus on the beneficial side effects of using a singing bowl in sound therapy rather than scientific proven fact that singing bowls can heal a variety of ailments. In fact, Chris Kyriakakis, a professor of audio signal processing at the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering has said that there are no “scientific published peer reviewed papers” that support the claims that sound therapy “unblocks or redirects energy in the body” or that the vibrations produced work in tandem with humans’ own vibrational frequencies.

Despite Professor Kyriakakis’s statements, positive testimonials from other professionals and practitioners is overwhelming. One of the biggest proponents of using singing bowls for healing was Mitchell Gaynor, an oncologist and professor at Weill Cornell Medical College. Gaynor, who began working with singing bowls in the 1990s, championed the use of sound healing in addition to conventional treatment and medicine. The reason for this, Gaynor argued, was that sound therapy eased the psychological and physical effects of those with disease. He also argued that sound therapy gave patients “lower stress hormones and stronger immune systems.” The pulsating tones of the singing bowl help practitioners feel good and relax.

Practitioners will also sometimes provide the afflicted with sound therapy as an alternative treatment for problems such as anxiety, chronic pain, sleep disorders, and PTSD. These practitioners maintain that sound therapy places listeners in a meditative state, in turn, allowing them to de-stress, relax, and heal.

There are numerous articles on the internet written by sound healers and those that incorporate singing bowls into their treatment for a variety of illnesses and disorders. Singing bowl vibrations can have various physical, emotional, and spiritual effects on the mind and body. Sound therapy can be a great additional or alternative treatment to a number of physical or mental problems or just added relaxation to meditation or yoga classes.


Source: Awakening Wellness Center

The Bottom Line

We now know that singing bowls sing not because of magic or mystical forces. Singing bowls sing because of physics! Vibrations and resonance are created by striking the bowl with a mallet. In addition, while the scientific evidence is not clear, a wealth of anecdotal evidence indicates that singing bowl tones have positive physical, mental, and emotional effects on those who hear them. Tibetan singing bowls have been used in religious practice for about 2500 years and are now increasingly found in sound therapy practices, meditation, and yoga classes. Singing bowls work like any other instrument but their implications to improve our lives are endless! 

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Complete Guide to Singing Bowl Pillows, Cushions, Pads and Rings

Complete Guide to Singing Bowl Pillows, Cushions, Pads and Rings

While there are various guides for choosing the correct singing bowl or mallet, there is also a need for a guide on the singing bowl’s many accessories. From embroidered or felt pads, to brocade rings, to square silk cushions, there is certainly a lot of variety available when searching for something to put under your singing bowl. There are many benefits to using something under your singing bowl but each option has its various advantages and purposes.

Why Should You Use a Singing Bowl Cushion?

Certainly, singing bowls can be used without having anything “extra” under them. Most frequently, singing bowls are held in the hand of the person playing them. However, there are certain benefits to using something under your singing bowl.

When not being used, having something under your singing bowl provides two things: protection and ambiance. A cushion under your singing bowl will likely prevent any scratches or dents if the singing bowl is bumped or moved by accident. A cushion also provides a more stable sitting surface and would likely prevent a fall. If you want your singing bowl to last a long time and remain in excellent shape, a singing bowl cushion is the perfect affordable investment to provide protection when your bowl is being stored.

In addition to adding security, a cushion under your singing bowl is bound to make your singing bowl the center of attention in any room. Often times, the cushions sold for singing bowls are made of delicate silk or brocade with colorful, gold-detailed fabrics. Any of these cushions will beautify any room!

Additionally, if you are using singing bowls in a professional setting, such as in sound therapy or sound baths, guided meditation, or yoga classes, a display of your singing bowl on top of a beautiful cushion is a great mood setter. The ambiance provided by a beautifully crafted cushion can improve the overall setting you are providing to your clientele.

Using something under your singing bowl while playing it also has its benefits. Similar to the protection provided when not being played, a singing bowl cushion adds extra security while being played. A common way of playing a singing bowl is to strike it. Of course, hitting the singing bowl with a mallet will cause it to move but a cushion underneath the singing bowl will help it stay put. You do not want to accidentally drop or cause the singing bowl to roll away during its use. Not only would that seriously interrupt your session, but it could also result in damage to your singing bowl.

Playing your singing bowl while resting it on something can also provide better quality of sound. All singing bowls and mallets are different and interact differently, thereby creating unique sounds. However, the surface on which you play your singing bowl can affect its sound. A surface which is too hard will dampen the sound, producing a dull tone. In this case, it would be beneficial to use a softer surface that is specifically made for singing bowls.

Additionally, you may find that some singing bowls require the use of a cushion. In particular, larger singing bowls are harder to handle and play by hand. In this case, using a cushion would be necessary in order to get the most out of your singing bowl.

Lastly, it can be very useful to use a cushion under your singing bowls when playing multiple singing bowls at the same time. Having cushions under each of the singing bowls will make them accessible to the player and produce even tones.

What Are the Different Kinds of Singing Bowl Cushions?

Singing Bowl Pads

Source: Dharma Shop

Pads generally come in a variety of sizes and fabrics. They range in size in order to correspond with the size of your singing bowl. For example, a singing bowl with a diameter of 20-23 cm should use a pad of about 17 cm. A smaller bowl with less than 12 cm should use an 11 cm pad and so on. However, the thickness of these pads remains about the same at less than one centimeter thick.

Most often you will find pads embroidered with Buddhist or Tibetan symbols or covered in a rich, brocaded silk fabric. Pads can be an affordable yet stylish option. Placing your singing bowl on top of a pad will provide protection from scratches or dents and will also allow for a fuller tone.

Square Cushion


Source:
What the Whiz

A square cushion is often the most luxurious option when choosing a singing bowl cushion. They are often larger, thicker and more detailed, making them excellent for display. Square cushions are often made from silk or brocade fabric and include a button in the center of the cushion and four tassels at the corners. The thickness of square cushions will often raise the height of your singing bowl for playing which makes these an excellent option for professional settings, such as with sound therapy.

In order to pick the right square cushion for your bowl, you should pick a size that corresponds to the diameter of your bowl. For example, a singing bowl with a diameter less than 12 cm should use a cushion that measures 12 x 12 cm. A bowl with a diameter between 12 and 20 cm will use a 15 x 15 cm cushion and so on. A general rule of thumb is that you should not use a square cushion that is much smaller than your bowl. Your bowl needs to nestle into the indentation made by the button in the center. This keeps the bowl from moving when played.

Round Turban Cushion


Source:
Tashi’s Treasure

Similar to square cushions, round turban cushions are quite thick. In professional settings and sound therapy these cushions come especially in handy. For example, round turban cushions can be used to nestle the singing bowl near the client’s body. When using a round turban cushion, the bowl can be placed between the client’s knees, thighs, feet, or between their arms and body. These cushions should be about the same diameter as the bowl and will prove great support for your singing bowl.

Ring Cushion

Source: Dharma Shop

Ring cushions are debatably the most functional of all the cushion options while also remaining very pleasing to look at. As the name implies, ring cushions are donut shaped with a space in the middle large or small enough to fit your singing bowl. They are generally made from silk or brocade fabric.

With this particular kind of cushion, choosing the correct size is very important. If your cushion is larger than the diameter of your bowl, the singing bowl will sink into the ring and the sound will be dampened. If the ring is too small, the bowl will not be secured and will fall off when struck. Generally speaking, the cushion’s diameter must be 85% of the diameter of the bowl. A correctly sized ring cushion will create the best sound quality and keep your bowl safe from accidents. 

Felt Cushion

Source: Himalayan Healers

Felt cushions tend to be the most functional and simplistic in style as well as the preferred cushion of many Nepalese Buddhists. Felt cushions have been traditionally used underneath singing bowls, provide a steady surface to rest on, and create clear, full sound. Most often, these cushions are hand felted by communities in the Himalayas.

While not appearing luxurious or sometimes even perfectly round, felt cushions should be considered your bowl’s best bet, as after time the felt will form to the shape that best fits your bowl. Felt cushions come highly recommended by many singing bowl sellers. Once your bowl is placed on one of these fine, thick cushions you will understand why they are tradition’s choice.

Temple or Cover Cloth

Source: Spiru Shop

Temple or cover cloths are less about functionality and more about what is customary for Tibetan singing bowls. In Buddhist temples and other places of worship, singing bowls are often placed on an altar cloth. Using an altar or cover cloth in your own space can provide quality sound as well as a display of traditional ambiance. However, due to the thinness of the material, they do not offer as much height or protection as other options listed here. However, these cloths can also cover the bowl when not being used, protecting it from scratches and preventing the buildup of dust.

Rubber Ring


Source: Sound Travels

Similar to ring cushions, rubber rings are donut shaped and can be placed underneath your singing bowl to provide extra security while playing your bowl. They work best with crystal singing bowls. A correctly sized rubber ring will help stop your bowl from slipping around but may not be appropriate for all environments. The rubber rings are generally quite thin and require a sturdy, flat surface to be used. Their slim design, however, make these a good option when traveling to play your singing bowl for others.

Tibetan Wool Mat

Source: Best Singing Bowls

Most similar to the felt cushions, these Tibetan mats are flat and made from wool in the Tibetan community in Kathmandu. When placed under a singing bowl, these mats help create an amazing resonance. Not to mention the care and artistry that goes into making each individual mat! Each mat is unique and handmade, making it not only functional but a special piece to add to your space.

Wooden Stand

Source: Rakuten

For many of the examples of cushions listed here, they serve both a function and an element of style. Wooden stands, on the other hand, are recommended only for the display of your singing bowl. Wooden stands do not provide the necessary security and stability to be used underneath your singing bowl while playing it. As wooden stands are only recommended for displaying your singing bowl, the size of the stand should be to your liking, not necessarily the diameter of the bowl.

Zen Ultragrip Handle Tool

Source: Sacred Sound Shop

This last option for your singing bowl is the most modern among those listed above. Similar to PopSockets you might use with your cell phone, the Zen Ultragrip Handle Tool uses suction to attach itself to the base or center or your singing bowl. The Ultragip is strong enough to be placed on the inside or outside of the bowl. This is an option that should be considered if you use singing bowls in sound therapy practices that require you to move the bowl around a patient. Although the rubber is attached to the bowl, while moving and playing the bowl the vibration or sound should not be distorted or dampened.

In Summary

For the most part, choosing something to put under your bowl will be based on personal preference. Perhaps you prefer the look of something more elegant to display your bowl when not in use, like a brocade cushion. On the other hand, you might find yourself choosing practicality and functionality over beauty and choose a felt cushion. Either way, we hope this article has pointed you in the right direction when searching for the right singing bowl accessory for your needs and wants.

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The Complete Guide To Sound Baths and Sound Bathing Therapy

The Complete Guide To Sound Baths and Sound Bathing Therapy

What is a sound bath? The practice of sound bathing, as the name suggests, is the practice of being deeply immersed in sounds and vibrations that have the power to cleanse and heal. It is a journey of self-discovery through deep relaxation and meditation.

Taking a sound bath is taking a holistic approach to relaxation and healing. It can be a perfect escape from the modern stresses of life. A sound bath can cleanse your soul and restore your balance. This stems from the immense power of sound and vibration. Sound has a great influence on our emotions and health and can make us feel happy, energized and relaxed.

During a sound bath, a profound sense of peace and tranquility will surround you. If your sound bath is being conducted using singing bowls, you will feel the healing and cleansing power of various different singing bowls which surround you. All your stress, tension, and depression will become washed away with these vibrations. Both your emotional and physical trauma will be released, making you feel vibrant and lively.

In this article, we discuss the beliefs of  energy practitioners in respect of the health benefits of sound baths, sound healing and sound bath meditation. We will also explain how sound bathing works and describe the tools used during a typical sound bath. We will then discuss how to prepare for a sound bath and describe the experience of participating in a sound bath. We will conclude by discussing the healing properties of sound bathing and how you can create your own sound bath in the comfort of your home.

History of the Sound Bath

When we open up the history books to learn about the origin of sound bathing, we are taken back to the age of the ancient Greeks. Back then, sound frequencies were often used to treat various health ailments, including indigestion, mental disturbance, and insomnia.

It was believed that sound waves could calm the nervous system and balance the physical and spiritual aspects of the body. It was believed that a holistic approach which utilized the power of sound could help to relieve stress, insomnia, anxiety and depression. In fact, in the famous book De Anima, which was written by the ancient Aristotle, there is mention of how music can help purify the soul.

In addition, sound healing has been used in various other cultures for healing and wellness, and has led to the creation of various ancient instruments, from Tibetan singing bowls to Aboriginal didgeridoos. For thousands of years, these instruments, along with chants and mantras, have been used to balance the chakras by awakening consciousness. Healing with sound is the most ancient and natural form of healing.

At the end of the 19th century, researchers began to study the application of music in medicine and healing. Those early studies study revealed that music can affect physical responses, and reduce blood pressure and heart rate while improving the metabolic process.

How Sound Bathing Works

Sound has a powerful impact on our lives and is all around us. Whether or not you use sound-producing instruments such as singing bowls and tuning forks, there is always music around you. Even a simple walk in nature will surround you with the harmonic music of the wild. Music provides relief from pain and discomfort and makes you feel relaxed.

Sound bathing is the practice of intentionally creating waves of harmonic sound which envelop and surround your body. Whether you are actively participating in the creation of the sounds or acting as a passive receiver, you will feel the healing effects of sound bathing.

Sound healing practitioners use different methods of sound therapy to enhance your emotional and physical well-being. These practices are based on the belief that sounds and vibrational forces can directly influence your health and well-being.

According to quantum physics, every cell is made up of small pieces of vibrating matter joined together by magnetic forces. It is believed that during illness or disease the vibration in the cells is less effective or there is a reduction in the frequency of the vibration. Alternative health practitioners theorize that when your body is exposed to healing sounds, the sound vibration helps to raise the frequency of your body which brings health and spiritual enhancement. This is the basis for the belief of alternative health practitioners that sound therapy helps you to achieve an optimal vibration.

Sound Bathing Tools

Energy healing practitioners use different instruments or sound tools to create different frequencies depending on a person’s particular needs. These vibrations influence different energy fields of the body affecting the chakra or aura to bring balance to a person’s life force energy (prana). This encourages physical, emotional and spiritual growth and healing.

These are some of the tools commonly used during sound bathing sessions:

Tibetan Singing Bowl - This sound tool has its origin in ancient Tibetan Buddhism and is made using different metals. Practitioners strike the bowl with a mallet to create a vibration that helps to balance your energy. Singing bowls used in sound baths are often referred to as sound bath bowls, and sound baths which rely largely on the use of Tibetan singing bowls are often called Tibetan sound baths. Singing bowls are known to have excellent health benefits and have been used since ancient times.

Crystal Singing Bowl - These bowls are made of quartz crystals. Crystal singing bowls are designed to produce a specific tone to align with your specific energy center. Crystal singing bowls are often used in sound baths in conjunction with other crystal singing bowls or Tibetan singing bowls.

Tuning Forks - These are made of steel and produce a single precise tone. The practitioner will often tap the fork and hold it near your body.

Crystal Pyramid - Quartz is molded into the shape of a pyramid. The practitioner uses a mallet to strike different parts of the pyramid that produces a ringing sound which helps balance your energy.

Chimes - It is believed that wind chimes can cleanse your aura. They are commonly used by practitioners in feng shui.

Gong - This tool plays soft sacred music in a geometric pattern. It is also believed that loud sound vibration from a gong can release stuck or trapped energy from your body.

Drum - In many ritual practices, drums are used as a symbol of divinity. Drums help to heal by improving focus and stimulating your energy center.

Digital Sound - In this modern age, sound bathing can be performed using digital sounds generated by smartphone applications or digital recordings. Although this method is not as effective as vibrations that are produced in your physical presence, they can still help to relax and balance your chakra.

How to Prepare for a Sound Bath

Preparing for a sound bath means preparing yourself for physical and emotional cleansing and healing. Bringing any emotions or thoughts to your sound bath session can inhibit the healing and cleansing process. Be aware of your thought process and try to avoid distraction in order to fully benefit from the practice.

Being mindful in anticipation for your sound bath will help relax and prepare you for the process of sound healing. On the day of your sound bath, spend your day reading and relaxing.

Some things to consider before your sound bath:

  • Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. Sound waves travel better through water. When you are well hydrated, you will have a better experience. 
  • Eat light and healthy food. A sound bath becomes more impactful when you have an empty stomach.
  • Set your intentions and be positive.
  • Wear warm, comfortable and flexible clothing.
  • Try to arrive 15 to 20 minutes prior to your sound bating ceremony. Settle yourself in the space with a calm mind. 

The Sound Bath Experience

Sound baths are offered in either individual or group sessions. Follow your instincts during the session. If you feel like standing, then you should stand. Alternatively, if you feel like you want to lay down in savasana, do that.

During a sound bathing session, everyone will feel intense vibrations surrounding their body. Some will receive those vibrations and feel themselves moving to a meditative state. Others may experience emotional release. Have a clear intention and let go of your stress. Whatever you feel is all good, so let your feelings come and go. Being open in this manner will help you release deep-rooted emotions. You might have moments where you feel very happy or very sad. You might even cry during the session. Whatever happens is fine.  Let your emotions flow and accept the release.

During sound bathing, your facilitator may use a variety of tools to create sonic space, which is the frequency range that an instrument or a vocal sound takes up when it is played. Generally, a collection of singing bowls are used, although some sessions may also use tuning forks, chimes and drums. Each instrument creates its own frequency which will help guide you to a meditative state. These sound waves are known to trigger the creation of theta brain waves, which are associated with deep relaxation and healing.

Sound bathing generally starts with a light breathing exercise which gradually quietens your mind. You will likely be told to lay down in savasana to feel comfortable and relaxed. The session may last for 60 to 90 minutes. At the end of the session, the instructor will bring you back to reality using some focused breathing. Every person experiences sound bathing differently. It may shift you into a state of deep relaxation or an altered state of consciousness, or you may even find yourself falling asleep, which is fine. The room will usually be dimly lit to set the mood.

Different sound bath instruments serve different purposes. Crystal and singing bowls help to keep you grounded, resonate with your chakra and allow you to attain a meditative state. Bells and gongs help to remove deeply stuck energy.

Group sessions for sound bathing generally cost between $35 to $60, while individual sessions often cost a bit more and often between $150 and $250.

After completion of the sound bathing session, spend the rest of your day relaxing. Have a light meal and go to sleep early.

Healing Properties of the Sound Bath

Experiencing deep rest, relaxation and bringing balance to your chakra is the goal of the sound bath. The harmonic vibrations produced by singing bowls, gongs or other sound bathing tools are intended to stimulate alpha and theta brain waves which resonate and trigger the deep meditative state of the brain in a way that stimulates healing. When done regularly, sound bathing can have profound health benefits. The following are a list of some of the health benefits of sound bathing:

Helps to release stress and anxiety - Sound vibrations help to reduce anxiety and stress. They also help your brain enter a deep meditative state, which creates an environment conducive to cleansing and healing. In fact, studies have shown that meditative therapies can reduce anxiety and that relaxing music can reduce stress and anxiety.

Decreases blood pressure and balances your nervous system - The sound vibrations produced in sound baths bring physiological as well as psychological benefits. When you enter a mindful meditative state, your blood pressure and heart rate are reduced. In fact, research published in the Journal Of Psychiatric Research found that mindful meditation practice can decrease the physiological markers like heart rate, systolic blood pressure and cortisol levels.

Helps you to focus better and achieve a deep meditative state - Meditation has many healing benefits but attaining a full meditative state with a completely clear mind is not easy. The vibrations produced during a sound bath compel you to focus on the intense sounds, which helps you keep your mind clear of thoughts and distractions. As a result, a sound bath is a simple way of attaining a full meditative state.

Helps balance your chakra and makes you feel relaxed - Sound bathing creates a completely safe and relaxed space. When you are lying in savasana, a comfortable and restorative pose, sound bathing can allow your body to feel more relaxed. It helps your mind let go of thoughts and rejuvenates and recharges you.

Helps you find inner peace - A sound bath helps you completely reset your mind and reconnect with yourself. The healing vibrations expand your consciousness and bring inner peace. In fact, studies have  revealed that the use of Himalayan singing bowls in meditation practice greatly enhance physiological and psychological responses before attaining complete relaxation.

How to Create your Own Sound Bath

Attending an organized sound bath or an energy healing session is always impactful. But, when that is not possible, there are ways you can harness this powerful practice in the comfort of your own home. The easiest way to do this is to use singing bowls, which are very effective healing tools and very useful for use in sound bathing. Accordingly, it is a great idea to always have at least one singing bowl at home.

You should follow these steps in order to create your own sound bath at home:

    • Begin by clearing out negative energy from your space. Hold a singing bowl in one hand and use your other hand to strike your bowl with your mallet as you move around your house.
    • Once you have cleansed your space, sit in a comfortable position and surround yourself with your singing bowls. If you only have one singing bowl, hold it in your hand.  Light a candle to set the mood and increase the flow of spiritual energy. 
    • Set your intentions on peace, love or hope and play your singing bowl. Connect with the sound resonating from your singing bowl.
    • Breath deeply and focus on your intentions. Feel relaxed and let the sound vibration bring deep harmony and inner peace.
    • Singing along with your singing bowls can make you feel empowered. Let your intentions guide you. When you give yourself completely to your practice, you will have a wonderful experience and feel vitalized.
    • When you are finished, sit silently for a few seconds and express inner thanks for your practice. Show your gratitude for your singing bowls and for your own efforts.

    As an alternative to the above, you can also consider creating a sound bath by listening to digital recordings of singing bowls or other sound bathing tools. The benefit of this method is that you need not occupy yourself with playing any singing bowls. Instead, you can lay down in savasana and listen to the digital sounds while attempting to attain a deep meditative state.

    However, please note that most alternative health practitioners believe that the healing benefits of sound bathing are greatly increased when you are physically present with the tools that are creating the vibrations, rather than merely listening to a record of a previous sound bathing session conducted elsewhere.

    Conclusion

    The sound bath is the most natural and primal form of healing. This powerful practice brings a sense of relaxation and peace, which resets and rejuvenates your mind and body. Although sound bathing sessions can be somewhat expensive, you can create your own sound bathing experience by purchasing your own Tibetan singing bowl and following the steps set out above.

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        Clearing Negative Energy with Singing Bowls

        Clearing Negative Energy with Singing Bowls

        The home is a fundamental human need. It welcomes you after a tiring day and protects you from the elements. It is where you and your family thrive, and where relationships are built and strengthened. Whether you live in an apartment, bungalow, mansion or flat, it is essential that your home allows you to recuperate and rejuvenate your body and mind.

        Because human beings absorb and exhibit a particular kind of energy, your home may, at certain times or during specific occasions, make you feel energized, relaxed, or even stressed. Particular areas or rooms of your house can evoke feelings of joy, or maybe feelings of gloom.

        These energies are namely positive and negative. Perhaps the principles of feng shui have best tried to grasp and explain this phenomenon. The negative energy is identified as sha chi (translated as killing or attacking energy) and si chi (lifeless and dying energy). On the other hand, positive energy is referred to sheng chi and is the bright, uplifting energy that refreshes and invigorates.

        There are various factors at work which create the energetic atmosphere of your home. It can be caused by the design, the cleanliness and orderliness of the objects, or the emotions and conditions that were manifested by the people living within it. There are easy and practical ways you can try to cleanse your home of negative energy, simply by opening the windows, repairing broken objects, or clearing a cluttered space.

        Clearing Negative Energy with Singing Bowls

        One way of clearing unwanted energy in your home is with sound. An empty and quiet house can easily absorb negative and stagnant vibes, and bells have often been used to drive these energies away from a particular space.

        A special kind of bell known as the singing bowl produces a pure, resonating tone and is an effective instrument in clearing negative energy. These bowls are also valued for their capacity to bring the body’s energy levels into balance. In fact, they are used in meditation sessions and Ayurvedic sound therapy treatment.  

        Tibetan singing bowls are frequently used in cleansing the home and ridding it of low and confined energy. In feng shui, singing bowls are often utilized to create positive sounds which causes negative energy to disperse. When negative energy is cleared, fresh new chi can flow through the house. Singing bowls also help improve the effectiveness of feng shui.

        There are specific steps to follow when using a singing bowl for space-clearing sessions. Firstly, position the bowl on the palm of your hand, taking your time to feel and appreciate the bowl’s weight. Then, when you are ready, start to play the bowl by striking its rim gently. Hit the bowl a few more times and get familiar with the sound that is produced. This is a good time to immerse yourself in the bowl’s sound and let its purifying effects flow through your body. Another way of playing the bowl is by circling the rim clockwise with the mallet.  

        Move through your home one room at a time. In each place, produce a sound from your singing bowl by striking it three times. Pay attention to the tone that the bowl produces. You may be able to notice that in some sections of your home you will hear a dull sound being emitted, while in other areas the sound may be bright and sharp. These differing tones represent the “dead” and “alive” energy of your house. Playing the singing bowl can help bring these energies into positive balance.

        To release negative energy from within the walls of each room, stay near them as you play the singing bowl. You may also focus on the doors and windows as these are considered portals from which energy outside flows inward. You can do this by playing the bowl and moving it clockwise around the door and window frames several times.

        For spaces within the home that you feel especially troubled and anxious, you may place the bowl on a table in the center of the room and play it for a longer duration.

        Other Ways to Clear Negative Energy

        Prior to playing the singing bowl during cleansing sessions, you may wish to burn some incense in each room. Good choices include sandalwood, sage, and lavender. When used for this purpose, it is believed that the aroma summons spiritual forces that facilitate the creation of positive energy.

        Salt is also known to have cleansing properties, and you can pour it into each corner of the room and allow it to absorb the negative energy for 48 hours. After this time, ensure you dispose of it and not allow it to remain in your house. Crystals are also believed to possess the same capability. One of the most recommended crystals is the black tourmaline, which is used as protection from bad energy. Place black tourmalines in a jar with water and position them in the corners and entryways of your home.

        With this understanding of how energies can affect your house and living space, you may wish to purchase a singing bowl of your own. If you are shopping online, make certain that the weight of the bowl is listed in the description. This way you can ensure that it will be comfortable for you to hold while you move around your home using it.

        Although these practices are not easily defined in a physical manner, they do influence your well-being. If you are feeling heavy, negative vibes in your home, consider trying these easy tips to help usher in fresh and positive energy. You can also get your very own Tibetan singing bowl to use in ridding your home of negative energies.

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