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Crystal Singing Bowls: The Complete Guide (Updated 2020)

Crystal Singing Bowls: The Complete Guide (Updated 2020)

Welcome to the ultimate guide to crystal singing bowls! In this post, we discuss how to play a crystal singing bowl, their health benefits, how they are made, the significance of colored bowls and their chakra notes, their origin and history, and what makes quartz singing bowls special. Let's dive in!

Introduction

Sound healing, which is also known as sound therapy, has been practiced since ancient times. The concept of sound therapy is based on the idea that every part of your body creates a vibration which resonates in a certain way. Put another way, vibrational healing is based on the idea that everything in the universe - including our bodies - is in a state of vibration.

When your body is out of balance, diseases can result. That is, illness is caused by blockage which stops the organ in question from vibrating at its healthy frequency. Sound healing works by sending sound waves throughout your body, which brings harmony through oscillation and resonance. This helps restore your body’s balance which in turn helps you heal. 

Singing bowls are often utilized in the course of sound therapy. One type of bowl commonly used in this regard are known as crystal singing bowls, which are also known as quartz singing bowls or glass singing bowls. Various alternative health practitioners believe that the use of these bowls can have a significant beneficial effect on the healing of your mind and body, especially when combined with positive affirmations in the form of mantras and chants.

One of the reasons for the use of crystal singing bowls is the belief that our bodies are made of crystalline structures. For this reason, it is believed that crystal singing bowls significantly affect all the organs and cells of your body. In addition, some alternative health practitioners believe that your brainwave frequency and state of consciousness can be positively charged by the vibrations that are created during sound bowl mediation.

In this blog post, we discuss crystal singing bowls along with their history and origin. We also discuss how crystal singing bowls are made, what makes them special and explain in detail how to use a crystal singing bowl. We will then discuss the healing properties of crystal singing bowls, how sound bowl healing can help with your physical and mental health, and things to keep in mind when considering the purchase of a crystal singing bowl. We then conclude by comparing crystal singing bowls to Tibetan singing bowls, which are another popular type of singing bowl made from an ancient blend of metals.

What is a Crystal Singing Bowl

Crystal singing bowls are made of pure quartz (essentially 99.8% silicon quartz) and sand in a spinning mold, in a process that heats the mixture to about 4000 degrees. 

Crystal singing bowls are clear or frosted and are made in a variety of sizes ranging from 5 to 24 inches. Clear crystal bowls are generally lighter, smaller and can be played while being held in hand. During the manufacturing process, crystal bowls can be “programmed” to create specific sounds using digital technology, depending on individual needs. When played simultaneously, some bowls harmonize with each other.

The body has a natural affinity to quartz. On a molecular level, our cells contains silica, which balances our electromagnetic energies. Crystal acts as an oscillator, magnifying and transmitting pure tone. As the sound affects brainwave activity one can enter into an altered state of consciousness. As different parts of the brain are affected, it is probable that they release different hormones and neuro-chemicals.

It is believed that crystal singing bowls produce a vibrational sound that resonates with the chakra of your body. A series of pure crystal bowl therapy is said to help rebalance your body to optimal health. This therapy is believed to transmit energy to your aura and directly affect your brain wave activity, supporting an improved state of consciousness. Various alternative health practitioners believe that crystal singing bowls are powerful tools that can help heal mental and physical ailments.

History and Origin of Crystal Singing Bowls

Singing bowls began their journey in the ancient time of Buddhism. It is believed that singing bowls were an integral part of practicing Buddhism. Notwithstanding these origins, sound therapy has traveled across many religions and cultures throughout their history.

The significance of sound, and its important role in supporting human spirit and our physical, mental and emotional health, has been well known through the generations. Our ancestors practiced sound and vibration therapy to resonate with the body’s energy centers or chakras and support optimal health.

At the outset of their history, singing bowls were crafted using different metals. In accordance with an ancient Tibetan formula, many singing bowls were made of “panchaloga”, which is a Sanskrit word meaning a five-metal alloy that includes copper, zinc, iron and traces of gold and silver. These bowls are commonly known as Tibetan singing bowls.

While metal bowls are still very common, modern technology has permitted the invention of crystal singing bowls, which require complex manufacturing processes and the ability to heat crystal and sand to extreme temperatures. Today, many alternative health practitioners believe that pure quartz crystals greatly promote the overall health of our body. As a result, many wish to benefit from what are believed to be the properties of healing crystals.

How Crystal Singing Bowls are Made

Singing crystal bowls are mostly made of a natural element: pure quartz. These crystals are molded to shape at 4000 degrees, which is a temperature at which most impurities are burned away. Different methods of manufacturing are used for different kinds of quartz singing bowls. For example, to make frosted bowls, the mold is spun into shape, whereas to make clear bowls, quartz tubing is used. Singing bowls may also be manufactured using different kinds of quartz. For example, rose quartz singing bowls are a popular variation.

During the manufacturing process, it is very important to consider the tone of the sound that will be produced by the end product. Frosted bowls have a octave higher tone when compared to clear quartz singing bowls.

Each quartz singing bowl is digitally matched to the musical scale - C, D, E, F, G, A, B - which relates to different chakras of your body. Bigger bowls produce deeper sounds which have a more grounding effect and resonate more strongly with the physical aspect. Smaller bowls have a higher pitch which stimulates higher chakras and resonates more with the spiritual aspect. 

What Makes Quartz Singing Bowls Special

Every cell in the human body has a geometric crystalline structure. This helps your body resonate with the frequencies of quartz crystals. Because quartz crystal bowls have the ability to align with your chakra, they are widely used and considered to be effective singing bowls. They can also produce the purest sounds, which can be ideal for meditation and singing bowl healing.

Clear quartz singing bowls contain seven rainbow colors which stimulate seven energy centers or chakras of your body. This helps heal the listener by transferring pure light into the human aura. Some alternative health practitioners believe that this process expands your awareness and brings a positive shift in your consciousness, helping align yourself with your true, original self. It is also believed that quartz crystals have the ability to balance your electromagnetic field during singing bowl meditation.

Some energy health practitioners also claim that crystal singing bowls are most effective relative to other metal bowls on the theory that metal is foreign to the human body. Further, it is believed that crystal singing bowls are aligned to match the frequency found in the human body and that this makes them the most dynamic and modern type of tool used for sound bowl therapy. It is also for this reason that many believe that crystal singing bowls are the best singing bowls.

Chakras and Colors

The sounds of crystal singing bowls correspond to the octave of the sound within our etheric body. Sound can be translated into color and the body may be seen as a visible frequency that produces an auric color field which reflects our emotional states of consciousness and thus our physiological status. Pure quartz crystal contains the full spectrum of light and these bowls use specific colors that compliment each chakra:

 Chakra Color Note
Crown Violet B
Brow Indigo A
Zeal Point Magenta G#
Throat Blue G
Thymus Turquoise F#
Heart Green F
Solar Plexus Yellow E
Navel Orange D
Root Red C

 

How to Play Crystal Singing Bowls

Playing a singing bowl is an enriching activity that helps in both healing and meditation. Crystals are believed to have a living energy which, when matched your energy, can help make you feel happy, calm and relaxed.

Steps to play:

  • Use your singing bowl in a quiet and calm space. 
  • If you have a large singing bowl, please the rubber ring that comes with the bowl on a flat surface and set your bowl on it.
  • With smaller bowls, it may be preferable to place them in hand to hear them better.
  • Grasp the mallet or striker (it often looks like a pencil).
  • Gently tap the outer rim of the bowl and glide the mallet around the outer edge of the rim.
  • Continue gliding with constant, firm pressure to continue the ringing sound. 
  • You may have to practice a few times to achieve that perfect sound. 
  • Always use light pressure while taping the quartz bowl as they are fragile. When handled with care, these bowls can remain vibrant and beautiful for a lifetime. 

Healing Properties of Crystal Singing Bowls

The ancient civilizations of India, Africa, Europe and the Orient have used sound and music as powerful healers for thousands of years. Our ancestors believed that the sacred vibrational sound can adjust any imbalance affecting our physical or emotional well-being. Based on this concept, crystal sound therapy is believed to balance your chakra and re-energize your auric field.

Each crystal singing bowl is tuned to a particular sound that resonates with a specific chakra. These bowls are also pleasing to look at and pleasant to listen to. They are used in sound healing, yoga, crystal cleansing and specially used at the beginning and end of meditation. Some experienced practitioners believe that crystal singing bowls, when played in the right way, can produce the most calming and healing sounds.

A famous oncologist, Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, used crystal singing bowl therapy on his patients to minimize and relieve pain without medication. His studies have claimed that sound healing therapy helps to create natural inner harmony in the body.

Crystal singing bowls are powerful tools to help enhance your mood and soothe your soul. Some of the healing properties of these bowls include the following:

1. Relaxes your mind - Your mind is constantly processing thoughts, often on perpetual repeat. Crystal singing bowls help stop this thought process, allowing you to relax deeply. Some of the benefits of this relaxing therapy include the following:

  • Effectively reduces stress and anxiety
  • Relieves physical pain
  • Improves mental and emotional clarity
  • Cleanses and balances chakra 
  • Stimulates the immune system

    2. Helps meditation and healing - Crystal singing bowls help you meditate by creating more awareness in your mind. Being aware of your thoughts can help you change your negative thinking patterns and move towards positivity. In particular, positive affirmations create balance and harmony in your mind and soul by activating your physical, emotional and energy centers.

    By meditating with a crystal singing bowl, you can become immersed in a soothing singing bowl sound which further helps you heal by changing your thinking patterns. All the healing happens naturally while you are enveloped by the overwhelming, magnificent singing bowl sound.

      3. Helps improve sleep - Crystal singing bowls have the ability to slow your brain wave patterns, creating more delta waves. These are the dominant waves present during your sleep. In this way, singing bowls can help bring deep sleep by releasing your stress and worries. 

        Who All Can Benefit From Crystal Singing Bowl Therapy

        Crystal singing bowl therapy can help you if you are:

        • Attempting to achieve complete relaxation of your mind.
        • In need of enhancement of your meditation and yoga practice.
        • Seeking to balance the chakra or energy centers of your body.

        Everyone can enjoy these benefits by using singing bowls. Due to the nature of our modern, industrialized lives, many pure, natural healing sounds have disappeared from our lives. We no longer commonly hear the beautiful sounds of nature such as singing birds, rustling leaves or running streams. Because of the high pitched noises surrounding us, our mind tries to shut out sounds from reaching us in an effort to protect us from constant distraction. During this process, even the beneficial sounds are filtered out.

        It is believed that the pure sonic vibration from crystal singing bowls can help wake up your ability to hear. Vibration from these quartz crystal bowls moves through your body creating a relaxed meditative feeling. Alternative health practitioners believe that they help to bring health and harmony to your life by balancing your chakras.

        Tips For Choosing Your Crystal Singing Bowl

        Crystal singing bowls come in a variety of size, shape, tones and colors, and some even have embedded gems on them. The easiest way is to choose your bowl is to go for the one that feels right to you. This means letting the bowl sing and trying to interact with it emotionally and physically. You can also listen to sound clips to get a sense of how it feels. Allow your intuition to guide you. Once you choose the tone that connects with you, then consider the different sizes and weight of that crystal bowl. 

        Being aware of your affirmations and thoughts is important while playing your crystal singing bowl. Your thought process can affect the sound. You can better experience the powerful healing effect of these bowls when used deliberately and with intention.

        Some important factors to consider:

        1. Do some research. Depending on your needs, decide whether you need a large bowl or a smaller one. Determine the optimal pitch for your particular preferences.
        2. Practice playing your bowl and see how you can enhance your experience. 
        3. Handle them with care. Crystal bowls are delicate and can shatter if played strongly. 

        Crystal Singing Bowls vs. Tibetan Singing Bowls

        An important factor to be considered while choosing a singing bowl is where and how it is intended to be used. Tibetan singing bowls are a popular alternative to crystal singing bowls and can often be more suitable depending on your needs. These singing bowls are created using an ancient Tibetan formula known as “panchaloga”, which is a Sanskrit word meaning a five-metal alloy that includes copper, zinc, iron and traces of gold and silver. 

        There are various reasons why your needs may be better served by a Tibetan singing bowl than a crystal singing bowl.

        First, metal singing bowls are very durable and can tolerate a lot of handling and movement. On the other hand, crystal singing bowls are very fragile and can easily becomes cracked or damaged during transportation or use, rendering them useless. If you wish to use your singing bowl for meditation or yoga sessions, or during travelling, then you may benefit more by enjoying the versatility and ease of transport of a Tibetan singing bowl.

        Second, metal singing bowls can produce multiple harmonic tones, which is incredibly calming and helps enhance mood and create a sense of happiness. This is not something that can be achieved in the same way with crystal singing bowls, which only produce a single tone. Accordingly, Tibetan singing bowls offer a greater breadth of experience than do crystal singing bowls. Put another way, you can use a Tibetan singing bowl to create a range of sounds which you could not otherwise achieve unless you were playing several different crystal singing bowls at the same time.

        Third, crystal singing bowls are generally expensive, and can cost anywhere from $150 to thousands of dollars. That said, price is not always a good indication of quality. In many cases, sellers mark up their crystal bowls considerably higher than their production cost in order to increase their profits. Unfortunately, these sellers make their crystal bowls less accessible to those who cannot afford them. Fortunately, there are some sellers that produce excellent quality crystal singing bowls but price them fairly to make them accessible to everyone (a good example is here).

        However, even in this case crystal singing bowls will generally be more expensive than Tibetan singing bowls. While there are many singing bowls for sale, very high-quality handmade Tibetan singing bowls can be obtained for a reasonable price of less than $75 from certain sellers who are focused on making Tibetan singing bowls more affordable and accessible.

        Conclusion

        Crystal singing bowls are a way of honoring ancient wisdom with modern technology. They create beautiful sounds that can help shift your consciousness and support positive transformation. 

        We invite you to get your own crystal singing bowl or Tibetan singing bowl today!

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        Cleansing Crystals and Stones: Complete Guide (Updated 2020)

        Cleansing Crystals and Stones: Complete Guide (Updated 2020)

        Have you ever wondered how to clean your crystals or stones? In this post, we reveal the various different methods of cleansing crystals, including the method of cleansing crystals with a singing bowl. We also reveal  a step-by-step guide for cleansing crystals and explain how cleansing and programming your crystals is believed by some alternative health practitioners to have the potential to support your overall wellness. Let's get started!

        Introduction

        Crystals and stones have been popular since ancient times. When we open up the history books, we learn that crystals were used by the ancient Egyptians, Romans, Chinese, Japanese and Indians to encourage healing and enlightenment. Even today, various alternative health practitioners, such as Krista Mitchell, a spiritual teacher and author of the book Change Your Energy: Healing Crystals for Health, Wealth, Love & Luck, claim that crystals have metaphysical properties which can benefit health when used regularly. 

        In particular, various alternative health practitioners believe that crystals and other stones have an impact on energy levels by emitting natural vibrations which help with physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. Our ancient ancestors believed that crystals bring energetic changes by interacting with the human electromagnetic field. In particular, it was believed that they form a bridge between your conscious thoughts and your body. It was further believed that these healing crystals had a  powerful vibratory effect which facilitates the free flow of energy throughout the body. 

        In this blog post, we discuss the belief of some alternative health practitioners as to the need to cleanse your crystals. We will also discuss the various different methods of cleansing crystals, including the method of cleansing crystals with a singing bowl. We will then set out a step-by-step guide for cleansing crystals with a singing bowl and conclude by explaining how cleansing and programming your crystals is believed by some alternative health practitioners to have the potential to support your overall wellness. 

        Why Crystals Need to be Cleansed 

        A crystal travels from source to seller before landing in your hand. During this journey, a lot of energy can become collected in the crystal. In fact, research conducted by Jyngyu Zhang from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom UK has demonstrated that crystals have the ability to store a massive amount of data indefinitely. According to some alternative health practitioners, if you want to start fresh with your new crystal then the first step should be cleansing. This will help restore your crystal to its natural state. 

        Crystals have a strong and unchanging physical structure called a crystal structure. In particular, crystals are built in a specific geometric pattern without any randomness. Because this geometric pattern is repeated in a crystal structure, crystals can produce a steady vibration which is commonly referred to as the dormant oscillatory rate. It is believed that when a crystal with these characteristics interacts with you, it brings a balance to your energy field which supports your well-being. But, when unwanted excess energy becomes stored in a crystal, the vibration (or the oscillatory rate) of that crystal becomes disturbed. 

        Some alternative health practitioners believe that crystals have the amazing ability to return to their dormant oscillatory rate on their own. However, it is believed that it takes a significant amount of time for a crystal to go back to its original state. By following the methods described below to properly clean your crystals, you can quickly restore your crystals to their dominant state.

        Some alternative health practitioners also believe that if you are using your stones for any healing then they should be cleansed before and after every healing session. It is believed that healing crystals work on the theory of ‘vibrational healing’, during which they absorb and release energy. For this reason, it becomes important to remove any built-up negative energy. Put simply, it is believed that crystals work better when they are cleansed regularly. 

        There are many ways to cleanse your crystals. Most of the methods are therapeutic, not only for your crystals, but also potentially for yourself as well. 

        Methods to Cleanse Your Crystals

        Some alternative health practitioners believe that crystals can be cleansed in a variety of different ways depending on their nature, type and color. 

        For softer stones, you can use sunlight or moonlight. In general, a minimum of four hours of sun exposure is needed to cleanse most crystals, but certain stones can become faded through this method. While moonlight cleansing may therefore be preferred, that generally requires a significant period of time. Similarly, while crystals are sometimes cleansed by washing using water or salt water, this is not suitable for some crystals or stones which may dissolve or disintegrate in water or salt water. 

        One of the best methods for avoiding these and other common problems is cleansing using a sound bath. Each of the methods for cleansing crystals is discussed in more detail below. In general, you should aim to cleanse your crystal at least once per month, and more often if you feel that they have been affected by negative energy.

        1. Running Water

        It is believed that water can be a great neutralizer for all the negative energy which can become inadvertently stored in crystals. Place your crystals directly under tap water or natural rain, or in a stream, for approximately 4 to 5 minutes. This method is believed to be most helpful in cleansing strong stones like quartz, amethyst and turquoise.

        2. Sunlight and Moonlight

        One  of the oldest methods of cleansing crystals is to use sun or moon energies. When your crystal becomes a bit dull in appearance or effectiveness, the best way to cleanse it is to return it to natural light. Place the crystal directly under sunlight or moonlight for at least four hours. Sunlight bathing works best with warm-colored crystals like yellow, red and orange crystals. Make sure not to expose them to the sun for a longer period of time, as they may become faded. 

        • For best results, cleanse your crystals during a full moon light or during a cloudless day.
        • Some crystals respond better to moonlight, but it may be difficult to be certain of this without testing each method and evaluating the results.
        • Continue the moonlight or sunlight cleansing for three days. 
        • Recharge your crystals using this process once a month. 

        Moonlight cleansing is a delicate method but can be especially effective during a full moon. When the moon is bright with full potential, it can help increase your crystal’s vibrational energy. 

        3. Cleansing with Quartz or Selenite

        Some alternative health practitioners believe that quartz or selenite has a special ability to purify and cleanse other crystals. This method requires the following approach:

        • Place your crystals on clear quartz or a selenite charging plate.
        • You can also place your crystal in a bag with quartz. 
        • Leave them there for six hours, or overnight.

        It is believed that, after following this method, your crystals will become cleansed of any unwanted energies. 

        4. Cleansing with Smudging

        Smudging is an ancient cleansing method used in many cultures to cleanse items, rooms and other things of negative energy. Alternative health practitioners believe that surrounding crystals with smoke and letting the crystals pass through the smoke helps cleanse them. 

        This method, which is believed to work for all kinds of crystals, requires the following approach: 

        • Use a sage stick, sandalwood, cedar, palo santo or frankincense to create smoke. 
        • Allow the sacred smoke to surround your crystals. 
        • Smoke carries low or negative energies away from the crystal, which helps raise the vibrational energy of the crystal.

        5. Cleansing with Soil

        This cleansing method is based on the theory that crystals can be cleansed by returning them to nature. This method is believed to be particularly helpful when a heavy cleansing is required to remove toxic or otherwise negative energies. This method requires the following approach: 

        • Look for a clean place to bury your crystal.
        • Bury your crystal in the soil just a few inches deep. 
        • Leave your crystal buried for a minimum of 24 hours and for up to three days for best results. 

        Some alternative health practitioners believe that the elements present in the soil will help soak up all the unwanted energy present in the crystal, leaving the crystal restored. 

        6. Cleansing with Saltwater

        Some alternative health practitioners believe that saltwater can be a useful vehicle for absorbing unwanted energy. According to this method of cleansing, stones are soaked in saltwater overnight. It is believed to be ideal to use natural seawater for this purpose. 

        Afterwards, rinse your crystals with clean water. Please be warned that saltwater can damage or change the appearance of certain delicate stones, with the result that this method is not suitable for all crystals and stones. 

        7. Breath

        Cleansing your crystals by breath is most suitable for crystals that are small in size. According to this method, you need to focus on your intentions and with quick exhalations blow away the negative, unwanted energy. This method requires the following approach:

        • Hold the crystal in your dominant hand.
        • Take a deep breath by focusing on your intentions.
        • Exhale on your crystal firmly with short quick bursts.
        • Continue this process for approximately 30 seconds.
        • Allow the stone to dissipate its negative energy. 

        8. Visualization or Meditation

        Some alternative health practitioners believe that you can use your own thought processes to cleanse your crystal. While this method is often referred to as the ‘visualization’ approach, it is also known as the ‘meditation approach’ given its similarities to meditation. This method requires the following approach:

        • With a clear mind, hold your crystal in your hands.
        • Visualize a bright, radiant light surrounding your crystal and passing through it.
        • Direct your thoughts to impurities flushing out of the stone. 
        • End this process when you feel your crystal has restored its balance.

        9. Rice 

        Some alternative health practitioners believe that cleansing with rice is suitable for all types of crystals. In particular, it is believe to be beneficial for soft and protective crystals. For this method:

        • Bury your crystal in a bowl of brown rice. 
        • Leave it there for approximately 24 hours. 
        • Dispose of the rice after cleansing.

        10. Cleansing with Sound

        If you are looking for a simple way to cleanse your crystals, then doing so with sound can be a great choice. Cleansing crystals with sound is one of the most effective cleansing methods available. Some alternative health practitioners believe that gentle vibration created by a tuning fork or a singing bowl can help clear negative energy quickly and effectively. 

        In particular, it is believed that the vibrations created with sound helps break up any stuck negative energy in the crystals, and that the musical frequency of the process restores the harmony of the crystal.

        In essence, sound sends vibrations into the environment which penetrate the structure of the crystals. This method is particularly useful if you have a large collection of crystals and wish to cleanse them at the same time with minimal labour. 

        You can create cleansing sound in a number of ways. The most popular and effective way is to use a Tibetan singing bowl. While it is open to you to play a recording of a singing bowl, most alternative health practitioners believe that the cleansing will be most effective if used in the presence of a singing bowl. 

        Cleansing Crystals with a Singing Bowl

        Singing bowls have been used since ancient times for therapy, healing and meditation. They are designed to create a long-lasting and powerful vibration. Healing with sound, also known as sound healing or sound therapy, is one of the oldest and natural methods of supporting health and well-being. 

        Singing bowls are similar to bells and create a soothing sound which can help quiet your mind. The pure and gentle vibrations created by singing bowls can also help remove the stubborn energy that may become settled in your crystal. 

        Singing bowls are not only used for cleansing crystals but are also used for healing, meditation and for creating a sacred place. They use sound to balance the aura and the chakras. They are believed to turn unbalanced negative energy into positive balanced energy. 

        This singing bowl originated from Tibet and developed in connection with Buddhism. Traditionally, Tibetan bowls are handmade in Nepal and India using brass, bronze and seven different metals. In order to produce the best sound, it is essential to use a singing bowl made with an optimal metal ratio that is high in copper and which is formed in the right shape. Tibetan sound bowls are available in different sizes.

        Tibetan singing bowls are also known as sound bowls, Himalayan singing bowls and meditation bowls. Practitioners believe that the healing sounds produced by Tibetan bowls not only restore crystal energy but can also raise your level of consciousness and support healing.

        Tibetan healing bowls create sounds that are believed to reach the chakras and energy points of your body. Chakras are the energy centers of your body. Notes of the singing bowl correspond to different chakras of the body and help to maintain harmony and wellness. It is for this reason that singing bowls can also be called chakra bowls or chakra singing bowls.

        Tibetan singing bowls also help to release theta brain waves which are generally observed during deep sleep. The soothing sound creates a deep meditative state in your mind. It helps your mind temporarily distance itself from the busy world around you. Playing one of these sound bowls during meditation can also help to harmoniously return you to the world and keep you grounded.

        It is believed that when you meditate with a singing bowl your focus is tripled. In addition, when engaging in Tibetan bowl meditation the power of meditation increases with time. It helps keep your mind away from distractions by immersing you in sound. In fact, a study conducted has revealed that meditation with Tibetan singing bowls has significant beneficial effects on well being, mood and physical pain

        When looking for a singing bowl, make sure you keep the following considerations in mind:

        • A small singing bowl is enough to cleanse small crystals and stones.
        • Small singing bowls produce a high pitched sound whereas larger ones produce a deep, resonating tone. 
        • The singing bowl should be accompanied by a wooden mallet. 
        • There are many varieties of singing bowls available, like brass singing bowls, crystal singing bowls and Tibetan singing bowls

        Guide To Cleansing Crystals With A Singing Bowl

        Follow this step-by-step guide to quickly and effectively clean your crystals using a singing bowl. Due to the healing power of singing bowls, this process is also supportive of physical and mental well-being.

        1. Start by spreading a clean piece of cloth on a flat surface or on a table. The area should be clean and clutter-free. 
        2. Your crystals should be placed on the cloth surrounding the singing bowl.
        3. Start playing your singing bowl. You can do this by striking the singing bowl gently with the mallet to let it emit a ringing sound. 
        4. Move your mallet outside the rim of the singing bowl in a clockwise direction to cause it to “sing”. This process will help perpetuate the ringing sound. 
        5. Continue to rub the mallet around the bowl for 5-10 minutes until you sense that the cleansing process is complete. 

        Do not place the crystals inside the bowl, as the high vibration could damage them. If you are using the singing bowl for the first time, then you may need to practice to get comfortable. While buying make sure to choose a quality singing bowl. Good quality singing bowls emit a melodic ringing sound which continues for some time and gradually reduces. Poor quality singing bowls produce a dull metallic sound and will be less effective at cleaning your crystals.

        An alternative method is to hold the singing bowl in your hand rather than placing it on a table. To apply this method, place your crystals on a flat surface and stand next to them. Put the singing bowl on your non-dormant hand. With the other hand, strike the bowl with a mallet to produce a ringing sound. Firmly rub the outside rim of the singing bowl with the mallet in a clockwise direction. This will continue the ringing sound, which you can stop anytime.

        Program Your Crystals

        After cleansing your crystals, you will need to program them. Generally, crystals are neutral and they need direction to properly work for you. If not programmed well, they may amplify the unwanted energies in your life. With effective and clear programming, your crystals can help support your mental and physical health and well-being. 

        • To begin with, first cleanse your crystal using one or more of the methods described above.
        • Once your crystal is cleansed, place the crystal in your hand and take deep breaths.
        • Express your faith and connect with your highest vibration.
        • Ask your crystal to let go of all the unwanted negative energy.
        • Command the crystal to hold on to your positive intentions and energies.
        • End the programming process by saying thank-you. 

        Conclusion

        Whether you are buying a new stone or just looking to maintain an existing one, regular cleansing is important. Using a singing bowl can be a great way to support your meditation practice while also keeping your crystals well cleansed and as vibrant on the inside as they are on the surface.

        We invite you to get your own Tibetan singing bowl or crystal singing bowl today!

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        Singing Bowls: Everything You Need to Know (Updated 2020)

        Singing Bowls: Everything You Need to Know (Updated 2020)

        In this post, we tell you everything you need to know about the different kinds of singing bowls. Let's dive right in!

        Introduction

        Anyone on the journey to wellness is likely to encounter a singing bowl or two along the way. These ancient devices are rooted in the practice of healing through vibration. They are a form of idiophone, and they come in many shapes, sizes and with different intentions. Consider this your comprehensive, go-to guide when navigating the big world of singing bowls. 

        In this article we discuss the following:

        • Tibetan Singing Bowls
        • Crystal Singing Bowls
        • Quartz Singing Bowls
        • Crystal Sound Bowls
        • Meditation Bowls
        • Tibetan Bowls
        • Sound Bowls
        • Music Bowls
        • Himalayan Singing Bowls
        • Standing Bells
        • Chakra Bowls
        • Root Chakra Singing Bowl
        • Throat Chakra Singing Bowl
        • Tibetan Bell
        • Tibetan Singing Bowl Set
        • Brass Singing Bowl
        • Tibetan Sound Bowl
        • Tibetan Healing Bowls
        • 528 Hz Singing Bowls
        • Yoga Bowl
        • Fake Singing Bowls

        Tibetan Singing Bowls

        There are few ancient civilizations known to Earth that didn’t make use of singing bowls in some shape or form. We know very little about most of them, and historians estimate that the first singing bowls originated in Mesopotamia roughly 5,000 years ago. 

        We owe all presence and knowledge of singing bowls in the Western world to the Chinese region of Tibet. Singing bowls appeared here roughly 2,000 years ago. During the mid-19th century, Tibet saw the wrath of the Chinese Invasion. The indigenous people, known as lamas and monks, were forced to flee the land and took whatever valuables they could grab with them, singing bowls amongst them. 

        In order to survive the following years, the lamas and monks were forced to sell off their valuables to anyone who was interested. This directly led to the spread of Tibetan singing bowls across the globe, and the start of a fruitful singing bowl production industry in Tibet. 

        Tibetan singing bowls hold a certain allure and ambiguity to them when compared to other, more commercial, renditions of the devices. All that is known about these bowls is that they were used in powerful sacred rituals and ceremonies by the lamas and monks, but, as history has it, the monks were never allowed to discuss anything pertaining to the bowls in question. 

        Some practitioners believe that Tibetan singing bowls, when used properly, emit vibrations so powerful that one can astral project into alternate dimensions. 

        Traditionally, Tibetan singing bowls are made from bronze alloy, with the most ancient of bowls being made from a combination of seven “scared” metals. 

        Crystal Singing Bowls

        Modern technological developments have resulted in experimentation when it comes to ancient devices. Crystal singing bowls are an example of this. They offer an alternate experience relative to what metal bowls usually can. 

        Crystal singing bowls are generally made from 99.8% crystal compounds, which is just another way of describing purified crystals naturally found in the Earth. They can be made from a variety of crystals deemed inexpensive and abundant, usually rose quartz, clear quartz or amethyst. 

        Some practitioners have linked crystal singing bowls to body healing, on the basis that each cell within the human body has its own geometric crystalline structure. It is thought that the sound emitted from a crystal singing bowl can stimulate and balance the electromagnetic field of the individual in question. Different musical notes are directly linked to the different chakra bodies within a person’s energy field. 

        Crystals have long been known as powerful agents for healing and protection, so it’s only natural that when used in the form of a vibration emitting bowl that some practitioners would believe that they project the same qualities on a more heightened level. 

        For more information, check out our complete guide to crystal singing bowls.

        Quartz Singing Bowls

        Depending on the crystal compound used to make a singing bowl, the bowl in question is believed to take on the healing properties of the crystal used. White quartz is a popular substance used in the making of crystal singing bowls, also known as quartz singing bowls

        White quartz is milky in color, and is made from 99.8% silicon quartz. The difference between white and clear quartz is that white quartz simply has a denser mineral content and thus it shows up as a milky hue. 

        The human body is believed to have a natural magnetic attraction to the electromagnetic compound of quartz crystals. Our cells contain silica, which some believe is able to directly magnetize to the electrons of the quartz itself. The oscillation of the sounds that emerge from a singing bowl are believed to affect the cells in our brains and thus allow for altered states of consciousness. 

        Less common are clear quartz singing bowls. These look more like regular glass compared to other crystals, and refract light in a way that reflects the seven colors of the rainbow. The human body contains seven energy centers, or chakras, and so clear quartz singing bowls are believed to work by directly transmitting light energy into each relative chakra. 

        Crystal Sound Bowls

        The power of crystal sound bowls lies in the notion that the electromagnetic and mineral compounds of crystals are closer to that of the human body than regular metal bowls could ever be. 

        In actuality, metal is seen as a very foreign substance to the body, and therefore their frequencies could never properly match that of the user. A crystal sound bowl, however, contains many energetic similarities found within the human body and aura, so their influence is thought to be greater. 

        Different crystals hold different healing properties. Rose quartz is extremely concerned with the heart, while a crystal such as amethyst is a powerful overall protection stone. 

        Crystal sound bowls are interesting because, unlike metal, they are rechargeable. Since crystals are naturally charged with the energy of the Earth, a crystal sound bowl should be cleaned and recharged as one would any piece of crystal jewelry or trinket. In order to do this, one need only leave their crystal sound bowl under the light of the full moon, overnight, once a month. To learn more, check out our complete guide to cleansing crystals.

        Are crystal sound bowls the best singing bowls? It’s impossible to say, but energy healers around the world encourage singing bowl users to remain open to the benefits of both metal and crystal based bowls. 

        Meditation Bowls

        The term ‘meditation bowls’ has become a blanket reference for singing bowls of all types. One of the primary uses for sound bowls is to induce or elevate states of meditation. 

        Meditation bowls have become instrumental devices used in a range of meditative ceremonies; everything from guided group meditations to Shamanic ceremonies using plant medicines. The meditation bowls are customarily played by facilitators so that the individuals who are meditating can simply listen to, and absorb, the vibrations. 

        There is an undeniable sense of ancientness that comes with the sound of a meditation bowl. When it is played properly, the sound has a transportive effect, especially when the person on the receiving end is engaging in a meditative state. 

        It’s no easy task to play a meditation bowl simultaneously whilst meditating. Recordings of meditation bowls are widely available online through which listeners can enjoy two, three or more hours of non-stop meditation bowl sounds to carry them through their meditation session. 

        When used with meditation, sound bowls are said to bring the human body into deep relaxation and facilitate muscular rejuvenation. It has been known to alleviate pain in joints, as well as relieve migraines and headaches. 

        Sound Bowls

        ‘Sound bowls’ is a common alternate reference for singing bowls. This is one of the more modern names given to the ancient singing devices, and is thought to have emerged as a more explanatory, colloquial phrase for bowls that make sounds when properly tapped, as opposed to 'singing'. 

        There is no difference between a sound bowl and a singing bowl; they are one and the same. In order to properly use a sound bowl, one uses a mallet (sometimes wrapped in leather) to apply force to the outer edge of the bowl while cradling it in the palm of the hand. As the first strike of the bowl emits the initial sound, the user then uses the mallet to guide the sound vibration around and around the bowl for as long as possible. 

        It is recommended that one use their full arm movement in order to play a sound bowl, as opposed to simply rotating the wrist around the bowl’s circumference. 

        Music Bowls

        It is thought that as Tibetan singing bowls made their way even further east, they became instead known as ‘music bowls’. 

        Practitioners of Buddhist meditation across Southeast Asia use ‘music bowls’ in their meditation sessions. In this part of the world, meditation is taught in schools from a young age, and is seen as a crucial part of early development. 

        Referring to Tibetan singing bowls as ‘music bowls’ makes the device a lot easier for a young mind to latch onto. Children respond to the idea of music making and instruments, and so the popularity of the term ‘music bowls’ grew naturally as younger generations made acquaintance with them. 

        Since the resounding tones that come from an active music bowl causes almost immediate feelings of bodily calm, they make for great assistants when teaching meditation to children or newcomers. 

        Himalayan Singing Bowls

        In ancient times, it wasn’t only the people of Tibet who were clued into ways to manipulate metals into bowls. There is evidence that singing bowls were being made across different parts of the Himalaya region, namely Nepal and India. 

        It is likely that the Himalayan people learned their metalworking techniques from the people in the Middle East, as singing bowls are thought to have originated with the Ancient Mesopotamians. Without these skills being generously passed over, the Tibetan people would never have been able to craft singing bowls of their own. 

        Legend has it that during the making of Himalayan singing bowls, the monks would chant specific prayers as the metal was being hammered. Legend also has it that each bowl had to be made from a combination of the seven sacred metals: gold, silver, copper, tin, iron, lead and mercury. 

        It is not unlikely that the Himalayan people had secrets to metal bowl making that we will never know or understand. Actual bowls from this period in time are today considered to be ancient artifacts, and are found only in museums. Since Tibetan singing bowls are still in production, we are able to purchase these instead. 

        Standing Bells

        When one thinks of a bell, one likely thinks of a specifically shaped chunk of metal, suspended strategically so that the body of the metal is never obstructed from movement, thus allowing the inner mechanism to bang to and fro, resulting in sound. 

        Tibetan singing bowls are a form of bell, or more specifically, a “standing bell”. Standing bells work without the need for suspension; they are inverted devices that are supported from the bottom up, instead of top down. 

        Sometimes standing bells are referred to as “resting bells” for the simple reason that these bells require no physical movement of their own in order to produce sound. Sound is produced by striking the outer rim of the standing bell using a mallet. 

        The less obstruction involved in the use of a standing bell, the better. For optimum performance, standing bells are best played whilst resting on a firm pillow, or solid palm of the hand. 

        Space allows the standing bell, or singing bowl, to vibrate freely, which in turn makes the sound emission more effective. 

        Chakra Bowls

        Ancient understandings of energy make reference to seven energy centers within the human body. They are the crown, third eye, throat, heart, solar plexus, sacral and root chakras. 

        These energy centers are said to be responsible for the balance, or imbalance, of each human being in question, and the disruption of one chakra can cause noticeable imbalances to manifest in one’s outer experience. 

        Since chakras are energy, and energy vibrates, chakras can be directly manipulated by using vibrational devices such as chakra bowls, or Tibetan singing bowls. Each chakra has an octave that it vibrates at, and these octaves can be matched by tuning the sound of your singing bowl. 

        Clear quartz crystal chakra bowls are popular since clear quartz contains the full spectrum of light; like a rainbow. Each color within the spectrum correlates to a colored chakra within the human body. 

        Here are the notes needed to match each chakra when using a chakra bowl:

         

        For more information, check out our comprehensive guide to chakras and singing bowls.

        Root Chakra Singing Bowl

        Your root chakra is responsible for all forms of grounding and stability in your life. When this chakra is out of balance, one can feel particularly out of sorts, as though they have no solid basis on which to hold onto. This can manifest as a lack of safety, shelter, and even interconnectedness. 

        Most energetic healers will work directly with the root chakra as a means of bringing the rest of the energetic body back into balance. They might use a root chakra singing bowl in order to do so. 

        Using a root chakra singing bowl requires the user to tap into the vibrational frequency of the root chakra itself. Healers of the Western world have, for years, been under the impression that the correlating musical note for the root chakra is a C. This is incorrect, and all starting vibrations directed at the root chakra should actually begin at G.   

        Throat Chakra Singing Bowl

        Like the root chakra, imbalance in the throat chakra can cause intense misalignment for the individual in question. 

        Our throat is our easiest and most frequently used tool for interaction with the world, and the people around it. It is how we express, defend and establish ourselves, so you can imagine that any imbalance in the throat chakra will bring with it a trail of imbalance at best. 

        Being silenced, even if just energetically, is a one way ticket to imbalance in all other parts of the body. Using a throat chakra singing bowl is believed to help realign and open up a closed throat chakra, so that the body can resume its most natural flow state, void of all blockages. 

        The note we aim to hit whilst using a throat chakra singing bowl is a D. By playing the singing bowl directly in front of the throat chakra at this tone, it is believed that we can pull the chakra into a reciprocating vibration and normalize the flow of energy. 

        Tibetan Bell

        If you don’t know how to properly play a singing bowl, it’s easy to understand why some people are more comfortable with the phrase ‘Tibetan bell’. 

        Not knowing how to start, and continue, a resounding tone on the singing bowl means you’re likely to repeatedly tap the bowl over and over, resulting in a bell sound instead of a single continuous, escalating tone. 

        Tibetan singing bowls are essentially just inverted bells. The player learns to balance the Tibetan bell on the palm of their hand, and play it until they are able to achieve a solid ringing sound that doesn’t fade out until the player decides that it should. 

        Tibetan Singing Bowl Set

        If you’re investing in your first singing bowl, consider opting for a trusty Tibetan singing bowl set. 

        A Tibetan singing bowl set comes with a metal-based singing bowl, a sturdy cushion for display and playing purposes, and a traditional mallet usually made out of wood with a leather wrapped tip. 

        When it comes to a Tibetan singing bowl set, the two most important things are the actual bowl and the mallet. The bowl cushion is not a necessity when owning your own Tibetan singing bowl, but they do make aesthetically pleasing additions when displaying your bowl on a table or shelf when not in use. 

        Tibetan singing bowl sets occasionally contain more than one size of mallet. Different sized mallets mean you’ll be able to experiment with playing different notes and volumes when using your Tibetan singing bowl

        Tibetan singing bowl sets make for fantastic gifts for anyone remotely interested in energy or ancient healing techniques. Their timeless, etched facades mean they look good in just about every home or commercial space. 

        Brass Singing Bowl

        It is believed that, initially, Tibetan singing bowls were made from a combination of quality copper and tin. Later, singing bowls were increasingly produced out of brass. Brass is an alloy metal, and therefore easy to manipulate when properly heated. One of the biggest benefits of brass singing bowls is the even, soft, heavenly tone that the metal emits when played. Aesthetically, a brass singing bowl is also one of the best looking.

        There is much debate surrounding the authenticity of using brass to make Tibetan singing bowls. Some extremists go so far as to refer to them as “fake singing bowls”, while others simply regard them as more affordable alternatives to the ancient copper singing bowls.

        Tibetan Sound Bowl

        Incorporating a Tibetan sound bowl into your daily meditative practice could be the best thing you ever do for your energetic body. 

        Tibetan sound bowls are the culmination of centuries of medical institutions centered around music as a healing vibration. What’s interesting is that the Tibetan sound bowl was, in ancient times, nothing notably special when it came to healing using sound. 

        If we look into any ancient civilization we can find similar objectives being attained using very different objects. In native Australia, for example, the Aboriginal people developed the didgeridoo; a vibrationally based wind instrument used in ceremony for both celebratory and healing purposes. 

        In Southeast Asia, the gong, which was commonly used in ceremonies, is not all that different from a Tibetan sound bowl. Instead of holding the metal in hand, a gong simply suspends the circular slice of metal from a frame, allowing it to be hit without obstruction and the relevant vibrations to be emitted. 

        Tibetan Healing Bowls

        Sound therapy is one of the most ancient forms of regeneration. Tibetan healing bowls have brought the possibility of healing through sound into the homes of thousands around the world. 

        Scientifically speaking, the sound that comes from playing a Tibetan healing bowl is one of few that is able to relax both sides of the human brain. Most everyday sounds, and even music, only pacifies one side of the brain while leaving the other active to contemplate the experience. 

        As humans, we don’t actually “zone out” while listening to the sounds of a healing bowl being played. Rather, we tune directly in and concentrate on the tones being played, all the while being distracted from our aches and pains long enough for them to dissipate out of the energetic body. 

        A healing bowl sends the listener into a deep state of zen, allowing the body to begin releasing its held stress and toxins. A sound mind permits significant healing opportunities.

        Tibetan healing bowls have been known to help hyperactive children find calm and concentration, as well as help boost the immune systems of younger bodies. 

        528 Hz Singing Bowls

        Most who seek healing from singing bowls know that the most effective form is that of the 528 Hz Singing Bowl. 

        In layman’s terms, 528 Hz refers specifically to a singing bowl’s ability to reach the note of C/Do. It is here where powerful resonance and vibration lies, and optimum healing can take place as a result. 

        528 Hz singing bowls have become the sought after octave for energy workers seeking prime results, though there is little evidence as to whether the octave makes any real difference at all to the level of healing being attained. 

        528 Hz singing bowls tend to be a little bigger and heavier than traditional Tibetan singing bowls. 

        Yoga Bowl

        Energy healing and yoga remains an ever blurring line, especially as more of yoga's effects on the energy body are continuously being brought to light. 

        Many yoga teachers in the Western world make the effort to travel to the East and receive their training where the practice of yoga actually originated. Yoga masters who have also uncovered the powers of Tibetan singing bowls might opt to include a yoga bowl in the space during practice. 

        In Kundalini yoga, a major focus is the element of sound healing. Typically, a gong is used throughout the practice, but a yoga bowl makes for a powerful replacement instrument in attaining the same level of sound focus. 

        Use of the gong during yoga can be traced back thousands of years to Northern India, the same region where sound bowls first emerged in the Himalayas.

        If you are interested in incorporating a yoga bowl into your daily practice, but don’t have extra hands present to play the bowl as you move, consider using the many recordings of yoga bowls available online. These offer consistent, repetitive sounds of actual yoga bowls being played for designated periods of time. They make for fantastic background noise during a deep yogic practice and can help you transcend into a meditative state. 

        For more information, check out our comprehensive guide to singing bowl music.

        Fake Singing Bowls

        There is a lot of conflicting information available online when it comes to identifying fake singing bowls from the real ones. 

        Of course, few of us are in a position where we are sifting through ancient artifacts trying to determine the real from the duplicates. The term "fake singing bowls" often refers to contemporary singing bowls rather than ancient singing bowls or low quality bowls that are very poorly made.

        The most important thing you need to understand is that there is really no such thing as a “fake singing bowl”; there are simply ancient bowls that were produced hundreds of years ago, excellent quality bowls produced recently, and low quality bowls that should not even be considered in your purchase decision.

        Cheaply made, or “fake”, singing bowls will be able to make sounds just as quality singing bowls do, but they won’t always sound as pleasing. 

        Crystal singing bowls are easier to fake, especially if you are purchasing from an unreliable source. There is a massive black market for crystals around the world, and mock or replica crystals are often made and sold simply using colored glass or dyed stones. As of today, there is little to no evidence that any manufacturers have been producing  fake singing bowls in crystal form. This is a relatively new style of singing bowl and therefore most retailers are still using reputable crystal suppliers… for now.

        The quality of the singing bowl you opt to purchase will largely depend on your budget. An ancient singing bowl can cost you thousands of dollars, but will get you as close as possible to the ancient experience of playing a singing bowl. If you would like a high quality bowl with a more reasonable price tag, you could also opt for an excellent quality Tibetan singing bowl which is comparable to an ancient bowl except for that fact that it has been manufactured more recently.

        We invite you to get your own crystal singing bowl or Tibetan singing bowl today! Happy playing!

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        Singing Bowl Mallets and Strikers: Complete Guide (Updated 2020)

        Singing Bowl Mallets and Strikers: Complete Guide (Updated 2020)

        No singing bowl is complete without a beautiful mallet or striker. But what kind is best for your singing bowl? In this post, we describe the kinds of singing bowl mallets and strikers, explain which kinds work best for certain bowls, and reveal the different methods of using your mallet or striker. Let's get started! 

        Introduction

        After choosing your singing bowl, it may seem like a daunting, overwhelming task to choose the right singing bowl mallet, striker, puja stick, or gonger tool. However, it doesn’t have to be! Understanding the different types and uses of singing bowls and mallets will help you choose an appropriate singing bowl mallet. Here’s everything you need to know about singing bowl mallets.

        In this article:

        • What are singing bowls?
        • What are the different uses of singing bowls?
        • What are singing bowl mallets?
          • Types of singing bowl mallets
          • Which mallets work best for certain bowls 
          • Different methods for using your singing bowl mallet

        Introduction

        A quick Google search of “singing bowl mallets” will render over 1 million search results. However, most of these links are to mallets for sale, with little explanation of their use or how to get the best results. Few of these resources outline the ways that different sounds can be produced by different tools and techniques.

        Singing bowls can have two, three, or even four main tones, in addition to more subtle ones. Bringing out these different tones is completely dependent on the type of mallet being used.

        Learning how to make your singing bowl sing does not have to be difficult when you have the right information. Consider this article a comprehensive guide on choosing the right singing bowl mallet for your purposes, your bowl, and yourself.

        What Are Singing Bowls?

        Singing bowls, also referred to as Tibetan singing bowls or Himalyan singing bowls, are ancient bowls that produce sounds and vibrations when struck by a mallet. These vibrations are frequencies that we can hear and feel in our bodies and energy fields. Many original singing bowls can be traced back to Tibetan Buddhist areas such as Tibet and Nepal. Even modern singing bowls are often manufactured in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu.

        singing bowls
        Source:
        Ohm Therapeutics

        Singing bowls are generally made from an alloy of various metals which include copper, silver, iron, tin, lead and even gold. More recently, pure crystal singing bowls have become more popular. In addition to being made of a variety of materials, there are almost 50 different types of antique Himalayan singing bowls, though their functions are all similar. Naga, Manu/Mudra, Manipuri, Remuna, Jambati, Utabati, Thadobati, and Lingan are the most basic, widely recognized types of singing bowls.

        Unfortunately, much of the history of singing bowls remains unknown due to the Chinese invasion of Tibet in the 1950s. The oral traditions that remain regarding singing bowls place their existence back to the time of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni (560 - 480 BCE). The singing bowls were brought from India to Tibet, along with the teachings of the Buddha. During this time and for hundreds of years after, singing bowls were used in a number of ways. Some scholars say that they were used as begging bowls, bowls to eat from, as well as storage for grain. However, their main uses were as a sacrificial bowl or musical instrument within Buddhist monasteries and temples.

        What Are The Different Uses of Singing Bowls?

        Singing bowls are primarily used during meditation practice by Buddhist practitioners in their homes, monasteries, and temples. Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leaders (rinpoches) and monks also use singing bowls to perform other activities such as chanting, marking the passage of time, or signaling a change in activity. Furthermore, Japanese and Vietnammese Buddhists have been known to use singing bowls in traditional funeral rites and to worship their ancestors.

        When used as a tool for meditation or grounding, singing bowls provide the user with a harmonic aura that helps them concentrate with peace and intuition. Buddhists use singing bowls in order to bring themselves closer to the ultimate peace and calm by way of the sounds produced by the bowls. Those that meditate with a singing bowl can experience deep feelings of connection and release, which ultimately brings about a strong sense of wellness.

        shanti bowl singing bowl
        Source:
        DharmaShop

        The connection between singing bowls and essential wellness has also lead the singing bowl’s migration to places outside of Buddhist spaces since the 1980s. For example, many sound healers and sound healing therapists have found that singing bowls have many medicinal values in their healing practices. Physical healing benefits include:

        • Improved immunity
        • Improved blood pressure 
        • Improved circulation 
        • Increased mental and emotional awareness
        • Reduced stress and anxiety 
        • Alleviation of pain and depression
        • Promotion of an overall state of happiness and wellness

        When used in pain management, Shatki Gray says the bowl’s vibrations often address the ancillary effects of pain such as stress, muscle tension, anger, frustration, and hopelessness, rather than the pain itself. For this reason, although there is little scientific support for the healing effects of singing bowls, medical professionals still like to incorporate singing bowls into their treatments. Illnesses and diseases often create the need for stress management techniques, like meditation, deep breathing, and guided imagery, which is where a singing bowl might be used.

        In addition to traditional healing and therapeutic spaces, singing bowls have also gained popularity within the meditation and yoga communities, classrooms, as well as in chakra healing. Various practitioners have written about the chakra healing capabilities that singing bowls possess. Singing bowls have the ability to realign the chakra of the user. According to Jevon Dängeli, an Authentic Self Empowerment (ASE) Facilitator and Trainer, singing bowls naturally cause chakras to self-correct. The vibrations produced create sound waves with frequencies that bring unbalanced chakras back to normal functioning.

        What Are Singing Bowl Mallets?

        In order to create the sounds and vibrations singing bowls are famously known for, a mallet or striker must be used. The friction of the mallet against the bowl is what produces the sound-making vibrations. The mallets and strikers are among the most important part in producing the relaxing sounds for meditation, healing, and spiritual practices. While singing bowls can be considered “tools of discovery”, they are rather ineffective without tools such as mallets, strikers, gongers, and puja sticks. In fact, singing bowls can sound completely different depending on the material they are struck with.

        It is very important to find the right striker to play with since singing bowls might play extremely well with one mallet and then not sing at all with another. Often times when purchasing a singing bowl an appropriate mallet will be included. However, if your singing bowl does not come with a mallet or you feel unsatisfied with your current mallet, it is important to understand the different types and uses of the different singing bowl mallets in order to make your selection.

        Throughout the years, the tools used to play singing bowls have evolved and expanded. Historically, plain wooden dowels were used. However, as we will discuss later on, wooden sticks can create harsh, high-pitched sounds that drown out the fundamental tone. The varied success of wooden sticks led to the use of padded mallets, which create lower pitched tones and a better sound when struck on the metal. Today, a wide array of singing bowls can be found at an equally wide array of price points. Strikers range from as low as $10 USD to over $100 USD, however, the average price rests at about $35 USD.

        Types

        Singing bowl mallets come in different sizes and are made from different materials. Different sizes, handles, and materials can all lead to different sounds being produced by the singing bowl. Luckily, many of the following mallets are dual-ended, allowing both ends to be used to produce two different results. We will discuss the main types of mallets and then which mallets work best with which singing bowls.

        Wool Padded Mallet


        Source: Bodhisattva Trading Co., Inc.

        Wool padded mallets are designed to bring all of the bowls’ frequencies up at an equal volume so that certain tones are not louder than others, drowning out more subtle, still pleasant tones.


        Suede Mallet


        Source:
        DharmaShop

        Suede mallets began to be used in the late 1990s and are mostly used for the rimming method of playing a singing bowl. Generally they are made of a harder wood and wrapped with suede, which produces less-harsh, more ethereal sounds.

        Fat Boy


        Source: Bodhisattva Trading Co., Inc. 

        Fat Boy is a mallet whose width measures between 40 and 60mm, should be used with larger singing bowls as there is a greater surface area of suede. 

        Xcelite Mallet  


        Source: Bodhisattva Trading Co., Inc.

        The Xcelite mallet might look like an average, household item and that’s largely because it is--it’s a modified screwdriver handle. The Xcelite mallet is a good option if you are planning on recording or playing your singing bowl live into a microphone.

        Gong Mallet


        Source:
        Heaven of Sound

        Gong mallets are used for tall, larger sized singing bowls. These mallets can be felt, wool, or rubber padded. Gong mallets emphasize deeper tones but can help create softer gong-like sounds. 

        Mallets from Ludwig Drums 


        Source: Steve Weiss Music

        Mallets produced by Ludwig Drums are characterized by small heads and long handles. These characteristics allow the user good control while playing. The oval shaped heads allow users to play the bowl at different angles. There are several types of mallets from Ludwig Drums that can be used with your singing bowl. 

        • Musser small cord mallets has one inch heads that can be soft, medium, or hard. They have long handles and work well with small singing bowls. 
        • Musser small fluffy yarn mallets have a larger head and are best for medium sized and larger sized singing bowls. Similar to the small cord mallet, the head ranges from soft to hard. Softer heads produce lower tones, while harder mallets produce higher tones. 
        • Musser large mallets are best for large singing bowls and are comparable to Nepali felt mallets.

        Nepali Felt Mallets


        Nepali Felt mallets vary in shape, size, and handle length. They are most commonly used with medium or larger bowls like the Jambati singing bowls and Thadobati singing bowls. They also go well with taller, deeper bowls. Nepali Felt mallets are known for producing good rhythms and loud sounds, but are not suitable for rimming. They are also known for being made out of a harder wood, which can be bad for beginners as harder sticks more easily bounce off the singing bowl causing a squeal sound.

        Puja Sticks


        Source:
        Garuda Trading

        Puja sticks are the least popular tool to use when playing singing bowls. Made of wood, they are covered almost completely in suede, which helps them achieve a purer sound when rimming. When used as a striker, a deeper, more resonant tone will often be achieved.

        Crystal Singing Bowl Mallets


        Source:
        Sound Travels

        As crystal singing bowls have become more popular, the creation of new tools to play them increased. Crystal singing bowls are often played with dual-ended mallets. One end, most often, is made of pure crystal, like the singing bowl itself. The other end could be suede but is more likely to be silicone or rubber. Silicone and rubber mallets reduce the sound of friction when playing crystal singing bowls. Silicone mallets have a smoother sound and do not wear down and shred as quickly as other materials. Crystal singing bowls can also be played with solid, clear quartz, which will make for a heavy striker.

        Which Mallets Work Best for Certain Bowls

        While the easiest way to select a striker is to go to a store that sells singing bowls in person, we realize that you may not have access to a store that meets your needs. If you are unable to test different strikers with your singing bowl in person, there are several tips to keep in mind while shopping online in order to find a mallet which works best for your bowl.

        A general rule to keep in mind is that the size of the mallet should be proportionate to the size of the bowl. This pairing creates the most optimal circumstances for creating relaxing and soothing sounds. Another rule to keep in mind is that the larger the bowl, the softer the mallet. Lastly, though it might seem self-explanatory, be sure to find a mallet that fits comfortably in your hand. You want to avoid mallets which feel awkward or uncomfortable, as they can be hard to handle if you plan on playing your singing bowl for an extended period of time.

        Larger bowls, which produce deep octaves, are suitable for meditative purposes. Medium sized bowls are suitable for grounding purposes and smaller bowls, with their higher tones, are suitable for physical healing. Each of those bowls require the use of certain mallets. 

        Small Sized Singing Bowls 

        Small, light bowls need lighter mallets. If the mallet is too large, it can push the singing bowl around. A stiffer wooden handle, like birch, is also best for small singing bowls. Manipuri singing bowls are often the smallest of the basic kinds of singing bowls. Manipuri singing bowls, for example, when lightly tapped with a very hard mallet give out the most sound. Furthermore, when small sized bowls are struck by hard, suede mallets, the sound will often come off as deeper and louder than a wool padded mallet. Musser small cord mallets work well with small sized singing bowls.

        Medium Sized Singing Bowls 

        Mallets measuring about 30 mm thick will produce a balanced tone when it strikes a medium sized singing bowl. Nepali mallets work best for medium bowls, such as Jambati or Thadobati singing bowls. However, suede mallets and musser small fluffy yarn mallets can also be used.

        Large Sized Singing Bowls 

        Large sized singing bowls work best with mallets with flexible, wooden handles, like rattan. Larger, thicker mallets, such as the Fat Boy mentioned earlier, should be used with large sized singing bowls. Using a larger mallet with a large singing bowl should bring out higher octave fundamental tones. Musser small fluffy yarn mallets can be used with large sized singing bowls, though Musser large mallets are best. Large bowls also require mallets with heavy heads that are not too hard nor too soft. It is recommended that the head be padded or made from felt. Big mallets will bring out powerful sounds from larged sized singing bowls.

        Different Methods For Using Your Singing Bowl Mallet

        Different tones can be produced by different mallets as well as by different techniques of playing a singing bowl. The striking method is most often used by beginners and to signal the passage of time or changing of activities in yoga, classrooms, monasteries and temples. To use this method, simply hit the bowl in the correct place to hear a loud, lasting tone.

        The rimming method is slightly more complicated but can be picked up with ease and practice. Rimming involves circling the bowl with your mallet or other tool. Think of it like stirring a pot of soup. Lastly, the “wah-wah”, the most advanced of these methods, allows users to create sound and feel vibrations within their mouth.

        Striking 

        A wool padded mallet can be used for striking. In order to use the wool padded mallet for striking, the user must strike the singing bowl on its mid-exterior wall or its interior upper wall. Striking a singing bowl with a wool padded mallet will create a rich fundamental tone.

        A suede mallet can be used for striking, however, the strike will not be as soft as a strike with a wool padded mallet.

        A gong mallet can be used for striking when working with a large, tall singing bowl. It is suggested that gong mallets be used with bowls that rest on a cushion or on the body.

        Rimming 

        A wool padded mallet can be used for rimming. In order to use the wool padded mallet for rimming, the user must place the mallet in their dominant hand, grasping the center of the mallet. The wooden part of the mallet should face the bowl while the wool-covered part should face upwards. Rub the mallet against the outside edge of the lip of the bowl. After making four to five revolutions, the female overtone should build. Once the female overtone is present and clear, reduce your speed in order to create a more even voice. 

        As previously stated, suede mallets are most commonly used as rimming tools. When used for rimming, suede mallets create a female overtone faster as well as create less friction noise than wooden tools. Additionally, suede mallets can be used to isolate the fundamental. In order to do so, the bowl’s outer wall must be rubbed with the suede end of the mallet with lighter pressure and a faster speed. This method requires a deeper level of awareness, breath, and concentration which might be more difficult for beginners.

        Xcelite mallets can be used to rim singing bowls, though they do require extra practice.

        Wah-Wah

        The wah-wah method is the most advanced of the methods listed here and is relatively rare to create. A singing bowl with hand wah-wah capabilities is needed to perform this method. Often, a “sweet spot” needs to be found through trial and error. With this method, the technique is far more important than the mallet type. Any covered mallet, whether it's felt, wool or suede will work with this method. After striking the bowl with the covered end of the mallet, raise the singing bowl to your mouth, purse your lips and vocalize the sound ‘wah.’ You will be able to feel the vibration in your mouth.

        Conclusion

        With many types of singing bowls and almost as many types of mallets, selecting the right mallet can be difficult. Hopefully, this guide has given you the information and tips needed to make an appropriate selection. If you find that a mallet isn’t working, use it as an opportunity to experience several different mallets. It can be enjoyable to play with your singing bowl and discover the mallet that makes the best sound with your singing bowl. Be patient with the process and yourself as it does take time to play the bowl with ease.

        Check out our other blog post for a few tips on how to break in a new mallet. First, play the bowl for about five minutes. As you use your mallet, the material will begin to develop ‘micro-grooves.’ These grooves help grip the rim of the bowl better. Over time, the grooves will help improve the sound of the singing bowl.

        We invite you to get your own Tibetan singing bowl or crystal singing bowl today! Good luck and happy playing!

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        Singing Bowls: Complete Guide (Updated 2020)

        Singing Bowls: Complete Guide (Updated 2020)

        Welcome to the complete guide to singing bowls and their history! In this post, we explain what singing bowls are, their history, how they are made, and what kinds of materials are used to make them. We also explain how cultures have used singing bowls for centuries for spiritual and medicinal purposes. Let's dive in!

        In this article we discuss the following:

        • Singing Bowls: An Introduction 
        • What is a Singing Bowl? 
        • Where Did Singing Bowls Originate? 
        • Singing Bowls and Their Hidden Value
        • Singing Bowls and the Himalayas 
        • Other Regions Where Singing Bowls are Found
        • How do Singing Bowls Work?
        • How Singing Bowls Migrated Into Western Culture 
        • Singing Bowls and Yoga
        • Cultural Appropriation and Singing Bowls
        • What Materials are Used in Singing Bowls?
        • The Singing Bowl Terminology You Need to Know
        • How Are Singing Bowls Made?
        • How Different Cultures Have Used Singing Bowls

        Singing Bowls: An Introduction

        For many centuries, music and sound have been used as tools to promote healing and meditation. One of the first instruments created by mankind to be used for this purpose are called singing bowls. These mystical metal bowls, when struck, can create contemplative and heavenly sounds, which resonate as if the universe is manifesting itself upon one’s soul.

        What is a Singing Bowl?

        singing bowl is a type of idiophone, which is a musical instrument that when struck, shaken or scraped, produces sound through vibration. Singing bowls come in a single, inverted bell form, but come in different sizes, ranging from a few centimeters to a meter in diameter. The smaller ones produce more delicate sounds, while the larger bowls produce deeper, full-bodied sounds. To produce a sound, singing bowls are often struck on their rim or side using a mallet. Each method produces very distinctive sounds.

        These bowls are often used in religious and spiritual settings, invoking meditation and relaxation. They can also be used in healing and for treating various illnesses through sound therapy. The sounds singing bowls produce create a kind of energy medicine that is said to fix the broken frequencies of the body, mind and soul. Playing these bowls creates a centering effect, which causes the left and right sides of the human brain to synchronize with one another. Thus, various activities such as yoga and other forms of meditative practices sometimes employ singing bowls, as they have the miraculous ability to bring the listener to peace and calmness.

        Singing bowls go by various names throughout the world. While they go by many different names, the unifying concept is that singing bowls are often associated with Tibet or Buddhism, create an incredible immersive sound and can have astonishing healing effects. Depending on where you are in the world, your singing bowl may be referred to as a "Tibetan singing bowl", "meditation bowl", "sound bowl", "Tibetan bowl", "Himalayan singing bowl", Tibetan healing bowl", "sound bowl", "Tibetan sound bowl", "Buddhist singing bowl", "Tibetan bell", "prayer bowl", or simply "healing bowl". For more information, see our comprehensive blog post on the different terminology for singing bowls.

        Where Did Singing Bowls Originate?

        Singing bowls have a mysterious past and not much is known about their origins. Their history began at a time long before the dawn of modern civilization, with the result that written information about them is almost close to non-existent. The first singing bowls were said to be made in Mesopotamia over 5,000 years ago. As such, singing bowls are believed to be one of the most ancient artisan crafts in human history. Although folklore about the artisans behind singing bowls existed in the later centuries, knowledge of that folklore unfortunately died along with the singing bowls’ succeeding owners.

        The very first singing bowls were said to be made of pure copper and produced for both medicinal and musical purposes. They were produced primarily inside the homes of the artisans. Knowledge about the metalwork was passed on from generation to generation, although eventually this knowledge chain was broken. Some time later, singing bowls began to be made of brass, which is a combination of various earth metals, including copper. Some anecdotal references say that 2,000-year old brass singing bowls appeared in a Chinese region called Tibet at the dawn of the last century.

        The singing bowls’ Tibetan origins added to their historical ambiguity. Although singing bowls could be found inside monasteries and homes, it was said that monks were not allowed to discuss anything about these bowls. As a matter of fact, the monks’ sacred text, called the Tibetan Buddhist Canon, also contained no information about the bowls. Anecdotal references say that Tibetan lamas and monks used these bowls for secret, sacred rituals. It is even said that these rituals were so spiritual in nature that it gave the monks the ability to astral project and travel into other realms and dimensions.

        During the Chinese invasion of Tibet in the middle of the 19th century, the indigenous people, known as the lamas and monks, were forced to flee, taking all of their valued possessions with them, including their singing bowls. In order to survive the crisis, the lamas and monks were forced to sell their singing bowls and other items of significant value. This circumstance led to singing bowls spreading around the world, as well as causing the esoteric knowledge about them to disappear. Today, singing bowls’ mystical sounds can now be heard in many different places such as healing centers, yoga studios, classrooms, temples, and much more. But one thing remains – singing bowls are still as powerful of a spiritual, medicinal and musical tool as they were thousands of years ago.

        The Hidden Value of Singing Bowls

        A lot of the ancient singing bowls that were preserved from the East tend to look and feel very different relative to the bowls we’ve become accustomed to today. The early bowls were extremely thick and heavy; so much so that playing them was actually impractical for the average person. 

        Historians have pondered the reason for this, and have concluded that the most obvious explanation would be that of storehouse value. Back then, the only thing that had real value or ‘currency’ were the different types of metals. A lot of trading took place using coins, and it was often the weight of the metal making up the coin that determined its value — not the coin itself.

        It makes sense then that the makers of the singing bowls opted to make a lot of them significantly heavier than necessary, as it gave the bowls more market value. In ancient times, each village would have a designated metal handler who would happily accept weighted singing bowls as payment for land and other items of value. 

        It is also believed that the more affluent villagers would gift others heavy singing bowls as wedding gifts. This could be seen as a sort of lump sum to start a newly wedded couple off on more stable financial ground. 

        Some will question the validity of this speculation, especially when we consider how we use singing bowls today. We need to keep in mind that back then it was only the monks who were seen as qualified to use singing bowls in rituals and ceremonies. For everyone else, singing bowls were simply collectors items to have in the home, and were usually used for storing grains and water. Some households even used singing bowls to eat out of. 

        If you wanted to reap the vibrational benefits of the bowls, you had to visit with the monks. The monks were very secretive about the chants and prayers that went into their singing bowl practices; many of them never spoke of these prayers with anyone in the outside world — not even after the invasion. 

        Singing Bowls and the Himalayas

        There is historical evidence to support the notion that the ancient people of Tibet were not the only ones who carried this kind of metal work in their civilizations. Singing bowl artifacts have also been traced back to villages within the Himalayan region, namely Nepal and India. 

        It’s likely that these Himalayan people adopted the same bowl making knowledge from the people in the Middle East, as singing bowls had originated in this region with the Ancient Mesopotamians. After all, it is believed that this is how the Tibetan people gained their own knowledge of the practice almost 2000 years later. 

        It is believed that the Himalayan tradition of singing bowls is also where the monks first adopted their very secretive chants and prayers that became impenetrable by the public. During these times, singing bowls were actually made with a combination of what they called the “seven sacred metals”: gold, silver, copper, tin, iron, lead and mercury. 

        Modern science shows that most bowls made from this range of metals actually can’t sing very well. This explains why the Himalayan people eventually began making more simple bowls out of 80% copper and 20% tin. 

        There are manufacturing secrets and spiritual practices from these times that we will likely never fully understand. Singing bowls that have been preserved from the Ancient Himalaya region are today considered artifacts and are held in museums around the world. It is the Tibetan singing bowls that are still in production and the reason why we have easy access to purchasing one for our own uses. 

        Other Regions Where Singing Bowls are Found

        Given their origin in the Himalayan regions, the natural migration of the bowls occurred through Tibet, Nepal, Buthan and down into India and other parts of the Middle East. 

        Asia is a vast, expansive land, and it comes as no surprise that not all regions adopted the practice of singing bowls even after thousands of years. Only a few of the countries closer to the Thai Gulf and Malaysian peninsula show a history of singing bowls, as most were far more affiliated with the traditional gong. 

        Japanese Singing Bowls

        Once in Tibet, the singing bowl gradually made its way even further East and eventually reached Japan. 

        In Japan, singing bowls are called “Rin” and they are found in almost every temple for use in prayer or worship. These particular bowls are most commonly made from high quality bronze, offering a musical range that is somewhat unmatched. 

        The average household in Japan will have a singing bowl of its own for the family to use. They call these “Butsudan”, and the set up typically features a singing bowl presented on a cushion that is atop a wooden stand, alongside a separate stand that holds the wooden mallet in horizontal position. 

        Afghan Singing Bowls

        We often forget just how central Afghanistan is to both the Himalayan region and Southeast Asia. 

        Today, Afghanistan is a predominantly Islamic community, but, prior to the arrival of Islam, this nation actually practiced a variety of different religions, Hinduism and Buddhism among them. 

        It then makes sense that Afghan singing bowls became quite a booming industry, especially since this country has such a knack for metalwork. You may be familiar with the silversmiths that make the traditional Kuchi jewelry now available around the world. 

        Chinese Singing Bowls

        China is like a continent of its own when you consider just how big and diverse the land and culture is. In the West, we like to make the mistake of referring to ‘Chinese cuisine’ as a catch-all for all cuisine from that country, when there actually isn’t just one cuisine in China. In fact, China has 8 unique cuisines, which gives you a sense of just how diverse the culture is. That being said, Chinese singing bowls are but one of few objects that saw widespread popularity across the nation, cuisines and their differences aside. 

        A lot of the singing bowls that we purchase in the West are made in and distributed from China. Chinese singing bowls typically don’t feature mallets wrapped in leather; they are usually made with just plain wood. 

        The cushion that accompanies the bowl can be used as an indicator as to whether the bowl is of Chinese origin or not. Chinese singing bowls often feature circular cushions made from red satin that are embroidered with Chinese symbolism. 

        How Do Singing Bowls Work?

        The intention behind the work of singing bowls may be spiritually fueled, but there is an important physical component that also comes into play. 

        Singing bowls work because of sound waves that are emitted when the bowl itself is struck with a  mallet. These vibrations are so significant and organized that they have the ability to shift different elements, like water, into creative patterns. 

        Today we have the technology that allows us to film a water-filled singing bowl up close, and then slow down the footage on a computer to reveal what is happening with each bump of the mallet. What has been revealed is the delicate way in which the vibrations from the bowl lift and manipulate the water, causing actual droplets to dance across the surface in a choreographed way. 

        Since humans are made up of a large amount of water, it comes as no surprise that a singing bowl could potentially have a significant effect on the vibrations of one’s body. Some practitioners believe that if we can make our own vibrations harmonize with those of a singing bowl, then the opportunities for balance and healing become endless. 

        Attuning the vibrations of the body to the vibration of a singing bowl can bring about relief of stress, lowering of blood pressure, feelings of relaxation, and healing of imbalances within one’s system.

        For more information, read our article on the science behind singing bowls

        How to Successfully Play a Singing Bowl

        Playing a singing bowl feels difficult to everyone on their first try. Those with more experience will be able to play their bowl for lengthy periods of time without a break in sound, but those who are unfamiliar with the practice may find it more challenging. 

        To play a singing bowl, one needs to rest the bowl in the palm of their hand whilst the hand is being flexed so that the palm is as flat as possible. You do not want your fingers to be involved in the holding of the bowl at all. 

        With the other hand you’ll pick up your mallet and, with the head facing to the floor, give the bowl a solid tap so that the initial sound emerges. Immediately after the tap, begin maneuvering the mallet around the circumference of the bowl while keeping it firmly pressed against the edge. 

        Continue to go around and around, using your entire arm as opposed to just your wrist. The frequency of the vibration will build with the movement, and, if done properly, the sound will continue to resonate for some time after you part the mallet from the bowl itself. 

        If you are a beginner when it comes to singing bowls, see our complete guide on how to play a singing bowl.  

        How Singing Bowls Migrated Into Western Culture

        Historians have a number of ‘best guess’ scenarios which attempt to trace the migration of singing bowls into the Western world. Evidently, this migration can be seen as a slow, gradual trickle of events, as opposed to one definitive moment. 

        If you visit Europe today, you’ll be able to explore a number of museums that were once private residences of affluent individuals. Paris in particular has a range of private museums that showcase the personal collections of art-loving citizens who had the means to travel far and wide during the 19th century. 

        These individuals had a passion for foreign lands, and would spend months traveling to faraway countries throughout Africa and the East. Upon returning home, they would bring back whatever native artifacts, artworks and furniture that they picked up along the way, over time transforming their homes into informal showrooms for their prized possessions. 

        A number of singing bowls would have made their way into Europe and the West in the suitcases of these individuals. Smaller trinkets of all kinds were among the easiest artifacts to bring home, as they could be easily concealed and wouldn’t require shipping of their own. 

        This accounts for a lot of the singing bowls that moved from the East into the West, but definitely not all of them. 

        What we do know is there was a point in time where singing bowls seemed to be infiltrating more and more Western spaces at a rapid pace. Suddenly, singing bowls were being used by holistic healers and reiki masters, and even making the occasional appearance in yoga classes. 

        As we moved into the 20th century, Westerners began making the journey into the East far more frequently. Up until this point, yoga and Eastern medicine had been perceived as a somewhat unreachable space, reserved for those with an “in” to the industry. You either had to read books to learn about it, or you had to know someone who had made the trek at least once in their lives, and hope that they would pass on their knowledge to you. 

        When yoga didn’t turn out to be a passing fad, more and more individuals began saving their pennies with intent to visit the East and attend a training program of their own. They would go over to regions like India and Indonesia, become certified in the practice, and bring their newfound skills back to their home countries. 

        While exploring the East from a healing or teaching perspective, it’s inevitable that one would encounter a fair share of singing bowls along the way. They are intrinsic to the culture and the traditions of that region. 

        Many who visited these lands would end up investing in a singing bowl of their own, as a keepsake to take home and perhaps incorporate into their newfound medicinal or yogic practices. As trends go, if one has one then so must the rest! Singing bowls were suddenly hot items and were being sought after by every ‘spiritually inclined’ person their side of the hemisphere. 

        Their compact size made them easy to travel with, too. So, those making the journey into India, China and Indonesia could cram a few of them into their suitcase and bring them home to gift to friends and family. 

        Eventually, the internet offered up e-commerce websites which made the journey to the East almost unnecessary. Online shopping and worldwide delivery of goods has bridged the gap between both sides of the planet, allowing for goods such as singing bowls to be shipped far and wide. 

        This is of interest to singing bowl manufacturers in the East, as they make a lot more money selling their products to a global market than they do waiting for buyers to arrive in person. Some argue that the sanctity of these bowls has been lost since being made so widely accessible, but if good energy and improved vibrations are the goal, one can’t help but feel that the Ancient Himalayans would probably support the spread. 

        Singing Bowls and Yoga

        As more of yoga’s positive effects on the human body are brought to light, the fine line between energy and yoga becomes ever more subtle. 

        As mentioned above, many yoga practitioners make the journey to the East at some point in their career in order to attain the sought after teaching accreditation. It’s appealing for yogis to receive their training in the lands where yoga actually originated. Most yoga practitioners will also uncover traditional rituals along the way, sound bowls amongst them. 

        When it comes to Kundalini yoga, major focus is given to sound healing. Typically, practitioners will use a traditional gong throughout a Kundalini class, as was customary throughout centuries of this practice. The use of a gong during yoga can be traced back thousands of years to Northern India, the same region where sound bowls first emerged in the Himalayas. 

        Yoga guided by singing bowls is becoming more and more of a sought after niche in Western studios. A singing bowl offers yoga teachers a simpler alternative to a gong, and helps  attain the same level of sound when played properly. However, some teachers are hesitant to bring in a sound bowl. A singing bowl requires more effort than a gong, and not all classes have an extra pair of hands at the ready to play the bowl at the suitable moments. 

        This is why there has been such a rise in popularity for recordings of singing bowls on the internet. The recordings offer up to a few hours of consistent, repetitive singing bowl sounds that make for wonderful background music for yoga and even during meditation. Singing bowls are known for their ability to help facilitate one’s transition into a state of deep meditation.  

        For more information, see your blog post on the use of singing bowls in sound baths and sound therapy.

        Cultural Appropriation and Singing Bowls

        One of the biggest discussions surrounding the history of singing bowls seems to be the question of cultural appropriation. This most recent decade has drawn a lot of attention to the ways in which people of the West seem to pick and choose traditions they like best from cultures in the East, while still subjecting the people from said lands to prejudice and internalized racism. 

        The discussion explores the notion of whether or not Western culture should be allowed to make use of objects and symbols from Eastern tradition, or if it is essentially inappropriate. 

        Some common items that have become examples in this discussion include kimonos, bindis, and Tibetan singing bowls. Should people who are not of Tibetan heritage be allowed to profit from singing bowl sales in the West? Is mass production of these bowls taking away from the ancient heritage in question? 

        In truth, it will always be more preferable for one to purchase objects such as singing bowls and kimonos whilst visiting the lands of origin in person. It’s a way of supporting local businesses and honoring the heritage of the object in question. It also means that you’ll likely have connected to the culture on a level unattainable by dwelling in the Western world, so you’ll walk away with a certain respect and understanding of the people in question. This moves one into a place of cultural appreciation, as opposed to cultural appropriation. 

        However, it needs to be considered that not everyone can afford to take a trip to the East every time they want to incorporate oriental objects and symbols into their everyday life. The best option most people have to connect to these cultures is exposure via the simple but expensive platform known as the World Wide Web. 

        And so the question lingers: is it appropriate for anyone with internet to have access to such culturally rich objects that date back thousands of years? We think it is — but on important conditions!

        In particular, if you’re going to sew an element of another culture into your everyday life, you need to take the time to know everything there is to know about said element. What we mean is this: treat the object in question with curiosity, respect and value. 

        We have no doubt that the ancient makers of singing bowls would have applauded the spread in interest of sound healing. Sound healing is not something that can be isolated to a single culture; it is a universal right for all who walk the Earth. 

        That being said, sound healing and its associated vibrations only work in our favor if we understand them, and respect their laws. Owning a singing bowl is an embodiment of this notion; one is encouraged to take the time to read articles just like this one in order to properly learn the unique history attached to each bowl. 

        Once people are able to see how many potential benefits can come from using a singing bowl in everyday life, they tend to develop newfound respect and gratitude toward the culture that brought these objects into the world. Cultural appreciation is one way of uniting people for the better, even over vast oceans. 

        When is it Inappropriate to Display a Singing Bowl?

        Believe it or not, there are everyday instances in Western society where singing bowls should maybe not have been optioned for aesthetic decor. 

        Not everyone who owns a singing bowl has the intention of using it for sound healing; there are some people who simply just like how they look. In one’s private space, this is absolutely fine; so too is it acceptable in a yoga studio, or any sanctuary where sound/energy healing is taking place. 

        Institutions that tend to get it wrong are those within the hospitality industries. There have been instances where Westerners have opened Asian themed bars and restaurants to cater to the ever-expanding market, and have incorporated Tibetan singing bowls into the establishments as decor. 

        It becomes inappropriate to showcase a singing bowl as decor within a Thai-themed establishment, as Thailand holds no cultural history relevant to this object. Similarly, a restaurant centered around Chinese food would have no business having their waitrons wear kimonos while on shift; the object simply doesn’t have any relevance to the culture in question. 

        Using a singing bowl in the wrong context shows ignorance and disrespect to the history of the object, and to the cultures in question. 

        What Materials are Used in Singing Bowls?

        One of the unique qualities of antique singing bowls is the peculiarity of their composition. Local Tibetan legends say that one of the primary metals used in making singing bowls in the past was meteorite iron.

        Meteorites found in Tibet were said to have come through an atmosphere with very low oxygen levels. These meteorites were usually found in the uppermost parts of the Himalayas. Having come from a location closer to the heavens, these meteorites were considered to be of sacred origins, and thus were highly regarded by the Tibetans. Moreover, the low oxygen composition of these meteorites may explain the healing powers of singing bowls, according to the beliefs of some practitioners.

        Historically, singing bowls made in the succeeding centuries were believed to have been crafted by combining several types of metals, anywhere between five to nine, and sometimes even twelve. The most common composition was of seven metals. These metals were consecrated with each metal believed to represent a heavenly body or a planet: Gold (Sun), Silver (Moon), Mercury (Mercury), Copper (Venus), Iron (Mars), Tin (Jupiter) and Lead (Saturn). These metals were smelted and purified prior to being cast, reheated and hammered into form. Old singing bowls were believed to have been imbued with wishes, usually through singing chants or mantras.

        Although there were also small traces of other metals, old singing bowls were crafted predominantly with copper and tin, which, when combined, form a type of bronze called “bell metal”. Combining these two metals produces a harder yet elastic enough metal that, when struck, creates better reverberation. This type of metal has been used for ages in creating bells. In India, this type of metal was historically used to create cookware and eating utensils as it is believed to possess potent antibacterial and antiviral properties.

        The manufacturing of more modern singing bowls typically involves only five metals at most, and oftentimes only two. Due to cost, gold and silver are typically no longer used, but the new singing bowls are still of excellent quality.

        Singing Bowl Terminology You Need to Know

        If you’re in the market for a singing bowl of your own, then there is some terminology that you’ll need to be aware of. Understanding the different words people use to refer to singing bowls will help you better navigate the market and finally invest in a bowl that is best suited to your interests. 

        Brass Singing Bowls

        The people of the Ancient Himalayas may have had the means to craft bowls out of the seven sacred metals, but the Ancient Tibetans simply didn’t share in that luxury. 

        Initially, the Ancient Tibetans fashioned their singing bowls out of a combination of copper and tin. This method was proven to produce bowls with optimum singing ability, offering the most pleasant and consistent notes. 

        As global interest in these bowls continued to grow, the industry needed to instead start making use of metals that were more accessible and affordable. The Tibetans found brass to be an abundant and suitable alternative to copper and tin; brass is a relatively inexpensive metal to extract from the Earth on a mass scale. 

        Brass is an alloy metal, and is therefore also very easy to manipulate once heated. One of the most appealing features of brass singing bowls is the even, soft, golden tone that the metal emits. Aesthetically speaking, brass singing bowls are some of the best looking pieces to have up for display. 

        There remains widespread debate surrounding the integrity of using brass to make traditional Tibetan singing bowls. Some individuals refer to them as "fake singing bowls”, while others are quite happy with this more affordable alternative to the elite copper versions. 

        Brass singing bowls are also great for anyone who wants to use water in their bowl as a means of manipulating sounds. For more information, check out our guide to using water with your singing bowl.

        Crystal Singing Bowl

        It comes as no surprise that the spiritual communities of the West took it upon themselves to find new and improved ways of manufacturing these ancient devices. Crystal singing bowls emerged onto the scene sometime during the last decade, and they offer an alternative way of creating sound vibrations relative to what is achievable with metal bowls. 

        Generally, a crystal singing bowl is made from 99.8% crystal compounds, which is simply another way of saying pure crystals extracted from the Earth’s crust. No, not all crystals are pure. In fact, a lot of the crystal jewels sold online are mostly glass that is dyed to simply look like different crystals, so it is very important to make sure you are dealing with a reputable seller.

        Crystal singing bowls can be made from a variety of different crystals, and it’s usually always the ones that are deemed most abundant to the Earth and therefore inexpensive to use in big quantities, namely rose quartz, clear quartz or amethyst. 

        Unlike regular metal singing bowls, crystal bowls are believed to be more deeply linked to physical healing of the body, since each cell within the human structure has its own geometric crystalline component. It is believed that the sound emitted from a crystal singing bowl can stimulate and balance the electromagnetic field of the individual receiving the healing. 

        That being said, quartz crystals are particularly interesting as they contain 99.8% silicone quartz. Almost every cell in our body contains silica, which is believed to cause a direct magnetization to the electrons of the quartz crystal itself. It is believed that the oscillation of the sounds that emerge from a quartz singing bowl therefore affect the cells in our brains in a positive way, while also allowing for altered states of consciousness in the right environment. 

        The different musical notes that come from sound bowls can also be directly linked to each of the body’s seven chakras. Crystals have long been known for their healing and protective properties, so it seems only logical that fashioning them into vibrational healing devices would be a highly beneficial practice. 

        For a full breakdown of crystal singing bowls, check out our comprehensive guide on the subject.

        Tibetan Singing Bowl Set

        If your intention is to invest in a metal-made singing bowl, then we recommend looking into what is known as a Tibetan singing bowl set. 

        These sets contain your metal singing bowl, a sturdy cushion for display and playing purposes, and a traditional leather-wrapped mallet usually made out of wood. For a great set, check out the selection offered by Shanti Bowl.

        When it comes to owning a singing bowl, all you really need is the bowl itself and the mallet. The cushion is not a necessity and you’ll be able to both play and display your bowl just fine without it. They do, however, make for very pleasing additions to any display of a singing bowl, especially on a curated shelf in one’s home. 

        Tibetan singing bowl sets occasionally contain more than one size of mallet. Different sized mallets mean you’ll be able to experiment with different notes and volumes when playing your metal bowl. 

        These sets also make for fantastic gifts for anyone remotely interested in energy or ancient healing traditions. They are timeless and bring a sense of ancientness to any space they are placed in. 

        Tibetan Bell

        The phrase ‘Tibetan bell’ found its way into the modern market mostly because certain individuals couldn’t figure out how to properly play the thing! If you don’t know how to play a bowl, these devices will appear to be nothing more than a device that needs to be tapped repeatedly to produce sound: i.e. a bell. 

        Tibetan singing bowls are essentially just inverted bells. The player has to learn to balance the singing bowl in the palm of their hand, and play until they are able to achieve a solid ringing sound that doesn’t fade out or require a second tap. 

        Chakra Singing Bowls

        All ancient scriptures concerning energy make reference to seven major energy centers within the human frame. They are the crown, third eye, throat, heart, solar plexus, sacral and root chakras.

        It is widely believed that these seven energy centers are responsible for the balance, or imbalance, or each human being in question. The disruption of one chakra can cause tangible imbalances to manifest in one’s exterior world. 

        Since chakras are energy, they are also believed to be vibration. Chakras can be directly manipulated by using vibrational devices such as a singing bowl. Each chakra has an octave that it vibrates at, and these octaves can be matched by simply tuning into the correct sound of your singing bowl. 

        Clear quartz crystal chakra bowls are popular since clear quartz contains the full spectrum of light, much like a rainbow. Each color within this spectrum correlates directly to a colored chakra within the human energy body. 

        These are the notes you’ll need to match to direct vibrational healing to each of the specific chakras:

        Fake Singing Bowls

        Finally, fake singing bowls need to be on all of our radars, especially in the fast pace of today’s manufacturing industries. 

        Truth be told, it is very difficult to identify a fake singing bowl from a real one. This is not a regulated industry, and many businesses opt to take advantage of the massive demand by selling knock offs to make a quick buck.

        Fortunately, when it comes to metal-based singing bowls, there are actually no such things as distinctly “fake” versions; there are simply quality made bowls, and cheaply made bowls. 

        Cheap or “fake” singing bowls will be able to make sounds just as quality bowls can, but they won’t sound as pleasing or consistent with the accepted spectrum of musical notes. The use of brass as a main-metal when producing singing bowls makes it almost impossible to regulate the sound spectrum of one brass bowl from another. Copper was the original metal used in the production of singing bowls, and it offers a far more accurate sound spectrum. 

        Crystal singing bowls are where the real issues arise. These are much easier to fake, as there is a massive black market for mock crystals that pose as authentic Earth minerals. These replicas are made from glass and can be strategically dyed to look like just about every crystal in existence. 

        When it comes to avoiding scams like this, it’s always best to purchase your crystal singing bowl from a reputable source. Since this is a relatively new style of singing bowl, there are not many manufacturers taking the chance with fake crystals as of yet, but make sure to do your research and deal with a reputable seller. For a great selection of authentic and high-quality crystal singing bowls, check out the crystal bowls offered by Shanti Bowl.

        How are Singing Bowls Made?

        There are two known methods of creating singing bowls. Hammering was, and still is, a common method used today, wherein a flat sheet of metal is hammered by at least three individuals over a bowl pattern or form until it takes on the same shape. The edges are then bent over and hammered further until smooth, while the inside is often machine-polished. Traditionalists prefer singing bowls that have been hammered and can easily distinguish them by checking the hammer marks.

        The other method involves pouring a molten metal into a mold, which forms the first of two parts of the modern singing bowl. The other part is called the neck, which is formed and welded together with the bowl, before being polished. This method creates a more confined shape, which produces longer lasting vibrations and sound when struck. The tonal quality is also significantly improved. This type of bowl is usually embellished by acid etching or enameling. 

        There are many singing bowls on the market today. They often differ by the sound they produce, which can be attributed to their design and shape, thickness, smoothness, and the combination of metals used. In general, the best singing bowls are those that resonate most with whoever is playing them.

        How Different Cultures Have Used Singing Bowls

        Regardless of their truest origin, singing bowls have been used for a variety of purposes throughout the course of history – meditation, alternative healing, religion, music and even as a currency. Today, they have become a popular tool for sound healers, music therapists and yoga practitioners in different parts of the world.

        Spirituality and Meditative Uses

        With its calming and meditative sound, singing bowls were often used in Himalayan monasteries and homes to indicate the start or end of a meditation period. It was also said that singing bowls were played during an entire session to help the mind focus and obtain a state of pure relaxation. It is believed that whenever a singing bowl is played the mantras and good wishes imbued within it while it was made are released to flow freely into the universe. Hindus and Buddhists have also traditionally used singing bowls in their rituals to aid in their spiritual focus, harmony and inner peace.

        Medicinal and Alternative Healing Uses

        Hindus believe that the world began with a sound, and thus sound plays a very important role in our bodies and in the universe as a whole. Sound as an alternative healing method has been practiced in many cultures for many centuries. It is believed that the delicate and unique sound of singing bowls can deeply affect our bodies, and can beneficially affect the body’s physical and psychological state. Our bodies contain several energy centers, or chakras, running from head to toe. These energy centers are believed to correspond to specific tones which the singing bowls can naturally produce.

        Alternative healing practitioners typically use several smaller bowls with flatter bottoms, and place them on top of these energy centers. The resonance and vibration of singing bowls when placed on top of these energy centers are believed to penetrate more deeply than bigger and heavier bowls which are typically placed above or beside the body. In the traditional Tibetan healing practice, singing bowls are also believed to increase the efficacy of various medicinal herbs. Additionally, when used as an alternative healing method, singing bowls are said to alleviate the negative effects of chemotherapy and radiation in cancer patients, although there are no scientific studies to support this conclusion yet. However, reports say that singing bowls helped patients develop a sense of peace and well-being, and also reduced pain.

        Physical Relaxation Uses

        Sound massage using singing bowls is a great natural way to restore harmony to the body. Its soothing properties can naturally bring peace and focus the mind. The vibration and sound produced by singing bowls creates a type of energy that works with the body in many ways and which can engender several positive results, such as a deep sense of tranquility and reduced psychological and emotional stress.

        Singing bowls used in sound massages are typically engineered for long periods of use and focus more on the vibration than the sound produced. Vibrational sound therapy allows the body to become at peace both at an inner and outer level. Singing bowls of different weights and sizes are usually placed directly on top of the body while being struck. They can also be placed surrounding the body.

        The body is composed of approximately 50 to 65 percent water. Water synergizes with vibrational patterns and connects and transports important elements within the body. Vibrational sound massages can help these positive elements flow freely within the body. In most cases, this kind of therapy is said to alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue, and other similar conditions.

        Historical Uses

        At one time, handmade singing bowls were used as common kitchen, storage and eating items. Although this use may no longer be applicable in the present day, it is worth noting that singing bowls were also used as a kind of currency in the past when coins and other precious objects were the only kind of legal tender available. Traditionally, singing bowls were valued based on their thickness, weight, and purported metal composition. Typically, the heavier the singing bowl was, the higher value it would have. Moreover, singing bowls were often given as wedding gifts or as a dowry.

        Conclusion

        Singing bowls have been used for centuries to promote healing and meditation in various contexts. We invite you to get your own Tibetan singing bowl or crystal singing bowl and experience some of the amazing benefits!

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