Woman in yoga wear surrounded by singing bowls
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Why Singing Bowls are Your New Go-To Meditation Tool

If you haven’t been using a singing bowl for meditation, now would probably be a good time to start.

Singing bowls, also called Tibetan singing bowls, are becoming an increasingly popular tool for meditation and mindfulness practices. They’re easy to use, require no special knowledge or skills, have incredible healing effects, and can deeply enhance your mindfulness and meditation practice.

What is a singing bowl?

As the name suggests, a singing bowl is a type of bowl that produces a beautiful, resonating sound, almost like a bell. Handmade singing bowls are crafted from materials such as copper, brass, bronze, and sometimes even silver and gold. Decorations typically include beautiful designs that range from simple geometric patterns to ornate engravings.

History

Some people believe that the first singing bowls originated in Asia, specifically in Tibet and Nepal. Others believe that they may have originated in China or even Egypt. Regardless of their origins, we know that these bowls have been used for centuries by many cultures for various types of meditation, sound healing, and even spiritual practices.

Modern use

Today, singing bowls are used almost the same as they were centuries ago. They are often used as meditation tools, and people use them during yoga, massage therapy sessions, and other healing practices such as sound therapy and guided meditations. Singing bowls are often played in pairs or groups of three or more and can be used to create a beautiful symphony of harmonious tones.

Now that we know a little bit more about singing bowls let’s take a look at some of the reasons why they make such an excellent meditation tool!

Woman sitting cross-legged with several singing bowls around her.

Who can use singing bowls?

Good news – singing bowls are for everyone! That’s right, even you.

Anyone can use singing bowls regardless of their religion, beliefs, or spiritual practices. They can be used by experienced meditators or those who have never tried meditation before. All you need is an open mind and a willingness to experience something new.

How can singing bowls help with meditation?

So, we already know that singing bowls are beautiful tools for meditation, but how exactly do they help, and what do they actually do for you? Let’s take a look at some of the ways that using singing bowls can improve your meditation.

Create a calm atmosphere

Singing bowls help to create a calm atmosphere, which is important when meditating. The relaxing and soothing sound of the bowl can uplift your mood and create a sense of calm. This is perfect for entering a meditative state, as it allows you to concentrate on the present moment without being distracted by outside worries.

Improve your focus and concentration

The calming sound of a singing bowl played can also help you pay more attention to the task at hand and reduce outside distractions. When you’re meditating, this can be extremely helpful as it allows you to develop focused attention and let go of any negative thoughts and emotions that may be preventing you from achieving deeper relaxation.

Relieve stress and anxiety

Another great benefit of singing bowl meditation is that they have amazing stress-relieving and anxiety-reducing effects. The sound of the bowl can help to reduce stress, release any physical or mental tension that you may be holding onto, and allow you to feel more relaxed and at ease, making it easier to focus on your meditation practice.

Additional health benefits 

Sound good? Well, that’s just the start. Singing bowl meditations also has a number of additional health benefits, including:

  • Lower blood pressure: Research has shown that singing bowls have the ability to lower blood pressure. This is because they create a calming effect on our body and mind. The vibration of these bowls can be felt as they are played, stimulating nerves in our skin that send a message to our brain telling us to relax.
  • Pain relief: The sound of a singing bowl can also be used to treat pain. It’s believed that the vibrations created by these bowls can stimulate certain nerves in our body, which creates a feeling of relaxation and reduces any discomfort that you may be experiencing.
  • Better sleep: Singing bowls have the incredible capacity to change our brain waves to theta and delta, which are the states of brain activity we experience during deep relaxation and sleep. This is why singing bowls are often used as a meditation aid by people who suffer from insomnia or other sleep disorders. 
  • Improved mood: The vibrations of singing bowls can also help us to improve our mood. This is because they send signals to our brain to release feel-good chemicals like serotonin and dopamine, which make us feel relaxed and happy.
Crystal singing bowls

Possible side effects of singing bowls

Now, here’s the part of this article where I have to warn you about the potential downsides of singing bowls. While most people who use them report positive experiences, there are some possible side effects from using these instruments so it’s important to use caution when experimenting with them.

While there aren’t many negative side effects, you should still use caution when playing a singing bowl. A headache is the most commonly reported side effect of using a singing bowl. This is most likely because the bowls can be quite loud and some people are sensitive to higher-frequency sounds.

Be sure to listen to your body and only use the singing bowl if it feels right for you. Stop immediately and seek medical attention if you experience any pain or discomfort when playing.

How to choose a singing bowl

Hopefully, by now, you’re convinced that singing bowls are an excellent addition to your meditation practice. But with so many different types and sizes of singing bowls available, how do you choose the perfect one for you? Here are our top tips for choosing the right singing bowl:

Consider your budget

Singing bowls can range from just a few dollars to several hundred, depending on the size and quality. If you’re new to meditation and want to try out a singing bowl before committing to buying one, look for local shops or online retailers that offer free trials. You can also find inexpensive starter sets at some stores, which include a larger bowl and mallet as well as several smaller ones.

Size

Singing bowls come in all different sizes. The size of the bowl you choose will depend on how you plan to use it. If you’re just starting out with meditation, try a small bowl that can be held in one hand. Larger bowls are typically used during healing sessions and to create a soothing sound environment while meditating.

Materials

The material used to make your singing bowl will determine its sound quality and durability. Choosing the right metal for your needs is important because it will impact the sound and longevity of your bowl. Brass is a popular choice because it’s durable and produces a warm, rich tone. Copper bowls are softer and easier on the ears but can lose their tone over time. A popular choice these days are crystal singing bowls, which are made of quartz and produce a clear, crisp sound.

Weight

Lastly, the weight will influence the sound quality as well: heavier materials create deeper notes while lighter ones provide higher pitches when struck. It all depends on what you’re looking for, but most people prefer a medium-weight bowl that produces a full range of tones.

There are so many factors to consider when choosing a singing bowl, but the most important advice we can give you is to choose a bowl that resonates with you.

Woman sitting with singing bowls

3 methods for playing singing bowls

There are a few different ways to play the singing bowls and each has its own effect. Here are the three most common methods:  

Striking method

The most common way to play a singing bowl is by striking it with a mallet.   

To do so, hold the bowl in your non-dominant hand, and strike the bowl once at its edge or rim. Listen as the tones rise and fall. Allow the sound and vibrations to fully dissipate before striking again. This will allow you to focus on the sound and feel the impact of your strike. 

You might also try tapping one bowl with another or two bowls together to combine different frequencies and create new sounds. 

Rimming method

Another common, but a slightly more advanced way to play your singing bowl is by rimming it with your mallet.

Once again, hold your bowl in your non-dominant hand. Strike your bowl on its edge, but this time, circle the rim with your mallet in a clockwise motion. As you do so, listen for the tone and its harmonics. The sound will be somewhat different than when you strike the bowl straight on, but it may still have some of the same qualities.

The rimming method takes time to master and can be somewhat challenging, but it’s worth the effort. The technique can add a new dimension to your bowl playing and give you more control over the sound.

Water method

Our final (and the most fun) way to play the singing bowl is the water method. 

To use this technique, fill your singing bowl about halfway with water. Then, you can either strike or rim the singing bowl like before. As you do so, listen for the sound that comes out of it. The tone may be different than when you’re striking the bowl dry, but there are some similarities as well.

The water will move around inside the bowl, and you’ll see different patterns depending on which technique you use. This is a fun way to experiment with singing bowls and see how they work in action.

The takeaway

Singing bowls are a beautiful way to enhance your meditation practice. Not only are they incredibly calming and relaxing, but they offer many health and wellness benefits as well. And with so many different sizes, materials, and weights to choose from, there’s sure to be a perfect bowl out there for you. Take your time to find the one that suits your needs—you won’t be disappointed!

If you’ve ever tried a singing bowl, we want to hear about your experience! Share your story in the comments section below, or reach out to us on social media. We love hearing from you!

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