Singing Bowls in the Desert

singing bowlsSinging bowls are such a wondrous instrument aren’t they? They’ve been used in Buddhist practices for thousands of years. The science behind these bowls’ sound is being used to heal through sound therapy.  There are also countless beautiful compositions behind performed with a symphony of singing bowls. But primarily, these bowls of the Himalayas are wonderful when used with meditation.

What exactly is a singing bowl?

Perhaps you’ve never heard of singing bowls. Most people haven’t. When I have friends and family over to my home for the first time, they undoubtedly fix their gaze upon my 12 inch antique Tibetan singing bowl resting above my fireplace. They will ask, “What in the world is that?” When I quickly describe I use it with mediation, they respond, “Ohhhhh. Or course.” But even among non-Tibetan Buddhists and secular practitioner of meditation, the singing bowl can often go unnoticed.

A singing bowl is a lot like a bell. You hit with something hard and it chimes for a while. Singing bowls are different in a number of ways though. First, they rest upon their base (as opposed to a bell being hung). Secondly, they don’t have to be made of metal (crystal singing bowls are quite common place nowadays). Also, their more convenient and accessible with meditation than a bell would be (it can simply rest in your lap or the ground in front of you). There are countless other differences between the bowl and the bell of course.

Singing bowls are traditionally made with metal. Copper, tin, and bronze are probably the most common ingredients in a metal singing bowl; very small traces of gold, silver, and lead are sometimes included as well (this dates back to the legendary “7 secret metals” that were used to make them hundreds of years ago). But nowadays crystal singing bowls are becoming quite popular as well (usually made of quartz).

They emit such a beautiful tone, and it can be difficult to find info about them, I thought it necessary to start a blog about these wonderful instruments of meditation. So please, I welcome any comments or emails about good ideas for blog posts about of course singing bowls, but anything related to Buddhism and meditation are fair game! I hope you enjoy it.

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