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Tibetan Singing Bowls

Singing bowls (particularly Tibetan Singing Bowls) are traditionally used in Buddhist meditation to support trance induction and prayer. The use of singing bowls in meditation is ancient and goes back centuries. The use of singing bowls during meditation is often during chanting, the bowl being lightly struck at certain points in chanting.

There is as of yet no specific text on exactly how to use a singing bowls in any depth. The reason I see for this is that a singing bowl is meant to aid meditation, a person meditating should feel free to use it in a way that gives the greatest aid in meditation.

Meditation is not always easy as the mind has a tendency to flutter about and be easily distracted. Including a singing bowl in your meditation ritual might help enable your mind to focus more readily and inspire a higher spiritual state. If you use meditation as part of an alternative healing remedy you may just find that a singing bowl is a great aid in healing through meditation. Simply strike the singing bowl at significant points during your meditation, if you use chanting to help induce a trance state find a point in the trance that changes or starts afresh and strike your singing bowl at that point.

Modern Singing Bowls V Antique Singing Bowls

Antique singing bowls are amazing. Traditionally an antique singing bowl was made from Pancholoha which literally means 'five metals' in Sanskrit. The five metals most commonly used where bronze, copper, tin, zinc and iron but can include other metals. Many antique singing bowls include silver, gold, nickel and the most prized sky-iron from meteorites and tektites. The art of making singing bowls in the traditional way is somewhat of a lost art but craftsmen do still make singing bowls in the traditional manner but few contain sky-iron.

The real treat of an antique singing bowl is that in the aging process the tone of the bowl greatly improves to create an incredibly rich and lovely sound. The difference between an antique singing bowl and a modern singing bowl goes beyond the chance to be effected by the aging process. It is thought that singing bowls were not always crafted to be singing bowls aside from medicine bowls, that it became a valuable side effect, where as today a singing bowl is created with its tone in mind.

Modern singing bowls are made from bronze just as the antiques were but the bronze alloy does not contain the gold and silver that the antique singing bowls do. The best example of quality singing bowls come from Nepal however high quality singing bowls are made in Japan and Korea but they are not widely exported.

All in all if you can afford an antique singing bowl then that is the one to go for but a modern singing bowl is still likely to impress with its harmonic sounds. When you are looking at modern singing bowls you want to look at the metals used (several metals mixed is the way to go) in addition to what region of the world it comes from. If you can find a modern singing bowl from Japan get it! As they do not export these singing bowls buying one is going to insure that you have a rare and hard to get singing bowl that will impress you time and again with its harmonics.

Cool Singing Bowl Facts

There are a number of interesting and surprising facts about singing bowls. I find it surprising that originally it is thought that singing bowls were used for food and other normal day to day activities. The reason for this is the strong anti-bacterial properties of copper, as does silver. This means a singing bowl can double up for food storage without worrying that the food will be contaminated.

I find an interesting fact about singing bowls is with their relation to water memory. I don't really understand water memory as water is as old as the planet, if it remembers anything it will have so much to remember, dinosaurs, floods, etc. The thing is that some people claim that one can demonstrate water memory by filling a singing bowl with water, produce sounds with the bowl until the water begins to vibrate. All it to stop and let the water rest, then restart the whole procedure again and the water will pick up the same vibration much faster then the previous attempt.

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Comments 15 comments

lookatmenow profile image

lookatmenow 5 years ago from Canada

can the levitate?


travelespresso profile image

travelespresso 5 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

This is a very special hub KB and has bought back some lovely memories. I met a lady in Cambodia a few years ago and she introduced me to singing bowls.

She found an ancient one (and bought it) on her travels somewhere in Asia and carried it with her. Then, when in Cambodia, she heard about this new temple (in the middle of no-where) and asked them to bless her bowl. It turned out that the bowl had roots at this temple so she gave it to them. This sounds like an ordinary story as I re-tell it but it was very special to her tell it and the way the events unfolded where quite serendipitous.

I seem to remember her telling me that they also need a stick to "make the bowl sing".


kirstenblog profile image

kirstenblog 5 years ago from London UK Author

lookatmenow - If you manage to make one levitate please let me know! It could be the first step to learning how to levitate myself :D

travelespresso - That is an amazing story! It sounds like it was pretty special for you friend and its really lovely that she gave this ancient singing bowl to the temple! Thanks for sharing that, it has me grinning and pleased that I inspired you to share. I just love those serendipitous moments!


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Thank you for this Hub on singing bowls. I am interested in sound and its effects and the singing bowls create a very soothing sound. I have linked this to my Hub on sound, in which I refer to singing bowls as part of ancient practices using sound.

I enjoyed reading further about this interesting subject!


kirstenblog profile image

kirstenblog 5 years ago from London UK Author

Scribenet - I too find singing bowls soothing sound effects intriguing. Thank you for linking this hub to yours! That is quite a high complement! :D


travelespresso profile image

travelespresso 5 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

Thanks KB. My Cambodian friend and I haven't been in contact for several months so it prompted me to email her! I'm constantly amazed by seemingly unconnected events being connected.


kirstenblog profile image

kirstenblog 5 years ago from London UK Author

I love serendipity! Things sometimes work out better then we could image because of the serendipity of finding the right thing at the right time, or being in the right place at the right time. I have found that the more I engage with living the more moments of serendipity line themselves up.


hypnodude profile image

hypnodude 5 years ago from Italy

100 Author score, it's great to see it on the picture of my first friend here. Congratulations, but really deserved. :)


kirstenblog profile image

kirstenblog 5 years ago from London UK Author

hypnodude - Thank You!!!


Time4Travel profile image

Time4Travel 5 years ago from Canada

Neat hub! I've always been fascinated by singing bowls.


kirstenblog profile image

kirstenblog 5 years ago from London UK Author

Time4Travel - I too find them fascinating! It was fun to write about them and glad you enjoyed :D


CollB 5 years ago

This is fascinating. I'll have to try using a singing bowl. Thanks for sharing this info with us.


kirstenblog profile image

kirstenblog 5 years ago from London UK Author

CollB - Glad you found this hub fascinating, thanks for the read!


SMAng 5 years ago

I'll be visiting Nepal and Tibet this September. Would it be best to buy the singing bowl from Nepal or Tibet?


kirstenblog profile image

kirstenblog 5 years ago from London UK Author

SMAng - You might want to keep an eye out for one in both Nepal and Tibet but in your shoes I would probably be looking more to buy in Tibet, hopefully locally made and therefore a proper tibeten singing bowl. Either way you choose, I hope you have a fantastic time! It sounds like a great trip :D

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