Many people have heard of singing bowls and maybe even held one. But not many have in-depth knowledge about these healing bowls. Singing bowls are popularly used and found in south and east Asian countries such as Nepal, China, Thailand, and Japan. They are used for meditation and sound therapy. The soothing sound of these bowls provides clarity of mind and various other health benefits. In this blog, we will give a short introduction to singing bowls, and some facts that may interest you.
A short introduction to singing bowls:
A singing bowl usually comes with a stout, wooden stick. When the stick strikes the bowl or rubs around the bowl in circular motions, a deep and rich-toned sound comes from it. The sound and vibrations work as a kind of music therapy for people.
Today, many businesses revolve around sound therapy and healing through music in Nepal or Tibet and all over the world. The ‘healers’ believe that the music from the bowls releases pressure from various spiritual focal centres (chakras) in our bodies. It cleanses our souls and relieves stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. It also helps regulate the menstrual cycle. The practitioners usually have many students and visitors come to them to get away from their materialistic and busy lives for a day of calm and serenity.
10 singing bowl facts:
- Ambiguous origin
Unlike popular beliefs, the origin of singing bowls can be traced back to Nepal and not Tibet. There used to be a lot of trade and exchanges between Nepal and Tibet to boost diplomatic relations. Araniko travelled to Tibet with 80 other Nepali artisans to promote Nepali culture and art. They took with them a lot of knowledge of metals.
A metallic bowl or bata in Nepali was used as a rice bowl or Janai bata. These bowls are made from seven metals: copper, tin, zinc, lead, iron, silver, and gold. It is said that eating from such bowls provides minerals to the body, especially for pregnant women. Many Bhrikuti must have taken one of these to eat healthy during her pregnancy. Salil Subedi, an author who has written two books on singing bowls and sound therapy, believes the name might have evolved as Tibetan singing bowls when Tibetan refugees started selling them to earn a living.
- Singing bowls in sound therapy
There are many theories and studies about why singing bowls are considered therapeutic. All of these usually suggest that:
- The bowls produce vibrations that affect the mind and the body.
- The sound of the bowls creates brain waves that induce deep relaxation in people.
- They may give the same benefits as listening to soothing and meditative music.
- The metals used to fabricate these signing bowls differ from religion to religion and vary for different purposes. However, the singing bowls originally created by Buddhists are traditionally hand-made from seven metals: copper, tin, zinc, lead, iron, silver, and gold. The sound and vibrations made by these bowls depend largely on the size of the bowl and the proportion of their ingredient metals.
- Playing a singing bowl yourself, you can feel the weight of the bowl. When you strike it with the mallet, you can feel the vibrations radiate through your body. Although listening to the sound of a singing bowl is just as satisfying, playing it yourself offers more benefits and goodness.
- Chakra healing:
Singing bowls are used in balancing and opening your chakras. The chakras are energy centres in your body. These seven major energy centres of chakras are Root chakra, Sacral chakra, Solar plexus chakra, Heart Chakra, Throat Chakra, Third eye chakra, and Crown chakra. They control centres for the flow of energy in the body and all incoming energy into the body. They link your physical body to the subtle ambient energy fields and impact emotional, mental, and spiritual activities. When they are in balance, you are in good health and harmony. You experience fulfilment and contentment. When your chakras are out of balance or blocked, you experience emotional distress and friction in the flow of life.
Each chakra vibrates to a specific frequency. The chakras respond to their resonant frequencies; which is known as harmonic resonance. Sound therapy using singing bowls can align each chakra to its resonant frequency. It causes the chakras to vibrate at the same frequency as the wave. Your chakras are then said to be balanced and unblocked.
- A singing bowl more powerful than the others?
A full moon singing bowl looks like an ordinary singing bowl but is more powerful than you may imagine.
Full moon singing bowls are handmade on the full moon night each month. Making singing bowls under direct moonlight on the full moon night is said to enhance the spiritual powers of the singing bowls, making them more beneficial.
- Machine-made bowls
Machine-made singing bowls are metal bowls processed by a machine or any sort of modern equipment. They are made in the same way as handmade singing bowls; the composing metals are smelted and purified prior to being cast, reheated, and made into form. The difference is that these singing bowls are mass-made with machines and little to no human skills are required.
- Handmade bowls
Handmade singing bowls need more work, effort, and time to create than machine-made singing bowls. Artisans collect all resources, manually form the proportions, and purify them for processing. They smelt the metal themselves and cast it. To bring the final form, the composite material is hammered down and sculpted into place. This takes a lot of time and patience. As a result, handmade singing bowls are a little more expensive in comparison to machine-made singing bowls.
- To identify handmade singing bowls from machine-made, look for little dents and indentations on the surface of the bowls. These are the results of hammering and sculpting the metal. Also, handmade singing bowls are different in shape and size and don’t look identical unlike the ones made by machines.
- Did you know that there are many ways to experiment with a singing bowl?
You can strike the bowl or rim it with the mallet. You can play the bowl with the padded side of the mallet as well as the wooden side. The padded side will produce a softer, milder sound and the wooden side creates sharp, strong sound and vibrations. You can even experiment by placing water on the singing bowl and playing.
There are no set rules for playing the bowl; it depends upon you and what you find easier.
Now that you know a thing or two about singing bowls, consider buying one for yourself. At Himalayan Merchandise, we offer singing bowls handmade by talented artisans in Nepal. Support their business and ours. We take orders and deliver internationally.