Singing Bowls

Singing Bowls

Singing bowls are a meditation tool commonly associated with Buddhism. Often called Tibetan Singing Bowls, these objects are a form of standing bell and come in several designs. Some are simple bowl-like bells designed to be struck like a gong. Others must be filled with water and have attached handles. The most common type is a metal or crystal bowl that when rubbed along its rim or inner surface by a tool, often a felt-covered wooden stick, will create a clear and continuous ringing noise. Their ability to create ethereal sounds of very specific notes has led to their association with sound healing and other New Age meditation practices.

Materials of Singing Bowls

The original myths of singing bowls state that they were made of an alloy of seven metals associated with heavenly bodies: gold, silver, mercury, copper, iron, tin and lead. However, most traditional bowls are made of a copper/tin alloy used in bell making. Some modern bells are made of crystal, usually reformed quartz. These crystal bowls can be made in any colour and are often given colours associated with one of the seven chakras. They are also made to produce the notes associated with each chakra.

Sizes and Designs of Singing Bowls

Singing bowls come in a wide range of sizes and shapes. Some are handmade and feature a beaten, rustic appearance. Others have a smooth appearance, sometimes with engravings around the rim. Generally, metal singing bowls are capable of being held in one hand and are low and shallow. Crystal singing bowls are quite tall and very steep with almost straight sides. This is because the different materials require different shapes to produce the same sound. Crystal bowls can also be larger. Metal bowls might be four to five inches across, whereas crystal bowls can be six to eight inches.

Singing Bowl Striking Sticks

Different striking sticks can be purchased for singing bowls. Some bowls may work better with specific sticks or produce slightly different sounds. Most sticks are wooden, either with a simple round or lightly carved end or with a felt covering or pad. Some are designed to strike the bowl and others to be rubbed along the rim.