Monks from Nepal and Tibet and the people who live in and around that central Himalayan country are all about looking within and living mindfully.
They reach a state of inner peace and equanimity through meditation practices and living simply.
One of the best ways to get into this esoteric space where time stops and another reality appears is to use a singing bowl.
Singing bowls from India date back more than 5,000 years. According to ancient texts, singing bowls came from India to Tibet when the tantric master Padmasambhava brought one to Tibet in the 8th century.
Benefits of singing bowls
Singing bowls produce a tone that seems to vibrate through a person’s body, and an immediate feeling of calm develops.
People relax when they move a wooden mallet around a hand-painted metal bowl. Some people say the tones of singing bowls open the gateway to Nirvana or that ultimate peace that everyone seeks.
People in Asia, Europe, and North and South America use them to meditate at home and during worship. Some folks even take a small singing bowl with them when they party with friends.
In Nepal, singing bowls are a cherished meditation tool, so they are in temples, monasteries, Buddhists altars, meditation halls and in homes of all sizes.
It took people in the West years to discover the healing and stress-reducing effects of singing bowls.
The rich blend of harmonic bowl tones take people to a place of peace and relaxation, and once they are in that state, the hectic world and personal issues seem to melt into the tones. Nothing is left but tranquility and inner awareness.
There are many names for this state of complete well-being, but the best way to describe the feeling is a deep sense of being centered and safe.
They create a range of sounds that are believed to restore the normal vibratory frequencies of any part of the body, mind, and soul that is out-of-harmony or even diseased.
The perfect resonance of the bowls synchronizes brain waves to induce deep meditative and peaceful states, clarity of mind, and intuition.
The color of the bowl, the craftsmanship, and energy within a personal bowl gives people who suffer from depression, body aches, and pains, and stress an alternative to the modern medical treatments.
People around the world know how this powerful tool heals using sound vibrations. The practice of healing through sound is an ancient practice that dates back thousands of years in India and in Nepal.
A Tibetan singing bowl is a unique, personal possession, so finding the right bowl is worth the effort to do a little research on this amazing meditation tool.
We took the liberty of doing some research for you. Read on, and discover the magic within singing bowls, and how you can find a bowl that best fits with your mindfulness goals.
How Do You Choose The Best Tibetan Singing Bowls?
The best way to choose one of these amazing bowls is to listen to the tone of several singing bowls before you decide to buy one in a store or online.
Once you get used to the nature of the tones (once you feel a certain resonance with a particular tone), you immediately feel a body and mind reaction.
That reaction can be small, or it can be an inner jolt that is hard to ignore.
When that feeling appears, you have your personal singing bowl. The next step is to learn how to use it, so you can relax or meditate no matter what is happening in your life.
How To You Use A Singing Bowl For Meditation
The best way to use a new bowl is to follow a few important steps and practice them a few times before you jump all in and wait for the inner peace train to arrive.
Here are seven steps that will help bring you to a place where the monks and the Buddhists hang out on a regular basis.
1. Loosen Your Grip On The Bowl. Hold the bowl in the palm of your hand, but don’t clutch it or squeeze it. Just hold it lightly.
Clutching the bowl tightly may be a sign you are clutching other things in your life like a career, relationship or a personal goal, too tightly.
2. Be Consistent. When you pick up the wooden mallet or baton, hold it like you hold your pen or pencil. That means put it between your thumb and first two fingers.
Once the mallet is in place, circle the bowl’s rim while applying firm as well as even pressure. If you vary the pressure or the speed of the circling process, the bowl won’t produce a tone.
3. Find A Teacher If You Need Help. Technique is everything when it comes to producing singing bowl tones.
There are plenty of instructional videos online that can help you master the technique. Here's one that shows you some of the basics.
4. Be Patient. Circling a bowl with a baton for the first time probably won’t produce any type of sound. You might have to circle to bowl ten times or more to produce a sound, according to the singing bowl masters.
Producing a sound is a lesson in patience for almost all singing bowl users. The sweet sound of the bowl may come after two or three circles, but it could be 20 or more circles before the tone hits your auditory system.
5. Enjoy The Circling As Much As The Results. Circling the rim of the bowl can create the stress you want to get rid of if you let your failure to get a tone bother you.
You know the feeling. Your shoulders tense up and your mind begins to doubt the legitimacy of your tone-producing goal. The best thing to do is to center yourself by paying attention to your breathing while your mallet is circling the bowl over and over again.
The sound of the tone is just one part of the singing bowl experience. Circling the bowl time after time is also a mindfulness practice if you accept and allow it to be part of the process.
6. There Are Different Ways To Produce A Bowl Tone. You can jump-start the process of producing a tone by tapping the side of the bowl.
Singing bowls have seven metals in their composition. The iron, zinc, tin, lead, silver, gold and mercury produce a gong sound when you tap on the side of your bowl.
And when you circle the rim after producing the gong, the tone may appear faster. That tone may be more pronounced, and it could last longer.
7. Remove Your Rings. A wedding ring or another type of ring could hinder your commitment to make the bowl sing.
The best way to produce a sound is to hold the bowl in a ring-free hand or take off your rings before you start to become one with a singing bowl.
Getting into your personal groove using a singing bowl takes time, but the adventure is worth it. Relax and enjoy this adventure just like the people living in India did more than 5,000 years ago.
This personal adventure is worth the effort and the minor investment in the perfect bowl.
8 of The Best Tibetan Singing Bowls for Mindfulness Practices
Here are our picks for the best singing bowls for mindfulness practices.
1. Silent Mind ~ Antique Design Tibetan Singing Bowl Set ~ Great For Mindfulness Meditation, Relaxation, Stress & Anxiety Relief, Chakra Healing, Yoga, Zen ~ Perfect Spiritual Gift
Silent Mind Singing Bowls fit perfectly in your hand. But the sound is still as sharp and soothing as any bowl in this size on the market.
That’s why this bowl is Amazon’s #1 bestseller. The Silent Mind Bowl is perfect for people who like to carry a vibrant bowl on the road with them.
This bowl is great for people who want to tune into a place where positive energy abounds.
- This bowl has a new hand-sewn, non-dampening pillow, and a leather pencil-grip striker
- The bowl goes through a hand inspection system
- It’s the perfect bowl when you are alone and want to meditate
- 30-Day money back guarantee
- You may need to practice to get it to sing
- Some reviewers say it sounds dull
- Some reviewers think the bowl is too small for the price
This little bowl is Amazon’s Top Choice in the small singing bowl category because it has a long-lasting tone that keeps you in that special place longer.
The seven metals in the bowl are copper, tin, iron, lead, zinc, silver and gold.
- Great for meditation and relaxation
- Comes with wooden striker
- Has 7 metals in its composition
- It only weighs a pound
- Quality varies from bowl to bowl
- Sound issues, according to some customers
- An inferior striker, according to some customers
3. Dharma Store Nepalese Hand Hammered B Crown Chakra Tibetan Meditation Yoga Singing Bowl Set – With Traditional Design Tibetan Buddhist Prayer Flag – Handmade in Nepal
This handsome Nepal bowl has seven metals in its composition. It is perfect for meditation as well as relaxation and healing stress disorders.
The bowl also helps people with various body pains as well as people who are suffering from depression. The bowl comes with a prayer flag, and that is only one reason why this bowl is Amazon’s Choice in this singing bowl category.
- Helps heal pain, stress, and depression
- The bowl has a hand-sewn pillow and striker
- Tibetan Buddhist prayer flag included
- Sound quality is an issue for some customers
- Can tarnish easily
- Missing striker in some orders
4. Large 5 inch Tibetan Singing Bowl Set- Buddhist Symbols Printed- 5″ Singing Bowl With Wooden Mallet & Cushion For Prayer/Meditation/Yoga/Chakra Healing/Mindfulness/Decoration (Black)
This large Himalayan singing bowl set includes a wooden mallet, a cushion, and the bowl.
The harmonic sound of this bowl produces a peaceful, calming sound that resonates through the body.
The bowl is 5 inches wide and 3 inches deep, so holding it is an option, but some people like to put it in a special place to pray, meditate or just relax. Amazon calls this bowl the best large bowl.
- Three piece singing bowl set
- Made in the foothills of the Himalayas by local craftsmen
- It’s sized to fit in your hand
- Reduces stress and promotes healing
- Design of the bowl print can vary
- May tarnish faster than expected
- Weighs over two pounds
This little bowl is Amazon’s best little bowl pick this year.
The bowl comes with a striker and a cushion, and it is one of the bowls that comes from the foothills of the Himalayas.
Nepalese artisans make these bowls to promote emotional healing. The artisans call the bowl energy medicine because the sound of the bowl vibrates with the energy points in the body.
- The bowl comes with a striker and a cushion
- Handmade in Nepal
- Great for energy work
- Small enough to fit in your hand
- No wrapping on the wooden handle
- Size may vary
- Quality can vary according to some reviewers
6. Mudra Crafts Tibetan Sound Healing Meditation Yoga Singing Bowl, Wood Prayer Beads with a Mandala Charm (3.75 Inches, Black)
This Yoga singing bowl has seven metals from the region around Nepal in its composition.
Amazon calls this bowl the best color and size option in the singing bowl category.
This bowl and prayer beads are hand-picked and inspected so the quality of the bowl doesn’t vary as much as other bowls.
- Has seven metals in its composition
- Comes from the Himalayan region of Nepal
- Helps balance the body energy
- Each bowl is hand-inspected
- May tarnish but no complaints
- Quality may vary due to handcrafting
- Weak vibration, according to one customer
7. 5″ Handmade Tibetan Singing Bowl Set – Brass Singing Bowl for Meditation, Canting, Yoga – Great as A Home Decoration – Made in Nepal
The singing bowls from Nepal have a certain tone to them that makes meditation flow easier.
This Nepal bowl has a 100 percent money back guarantee and the brass bowl is quite a conversation starter. This complete set brass bowl and sound ball will provide years of calming energy.
The wood mallet and cushion are also handmade.
- The bowl is all brass
- Made in Nepal
- It’s a complete set; bowl, mallet, and cushion
- Bowls may tarnish
- One the high end of the singing bowl price point.
Based on the number of positive reviews and purchases, we believe the Silent Mind Singing Bowl is the best all-around option.
However, read the reviews of each of these bowls to see which one stands out the most to you. Many of the reviewers will include videos of the bowls as they are being used, so you can listen to the quality and tone of the sounds they produce.
A Tibetan Singing Bowl can enhance your daily mindfulness and meditation practices and may even help heal your physical and emotional issues.
It's an essential tool for anyone focused on living with more presence, peace, and inner harmony.