Singing Bowls

Singing Bowls are standing bells that originated in Asia as early as 560 BC. When their ring is gently stroked with a mallet, it vibrates, producing sounds which invoke a deep state of relaxation, naturally assisting one in entering into meditation. You can tangibly feel the vibrations in the air from it. These extraordinary bowls are frequently used in meditation, deep relaxation, stress reduction, yoga, music therapy, sound healing, performances and for personal enjoyment.



Singing bowls originated in Tibet, and have traveled across the Himalayas, through valleys, and along ancient trade routes. As their popularity spread throughout Asia, they slowly made their way into the Western countries. There aren’t many historic writings about singing bowls, as most were destroyed by the communist Chinese military. This is one of the reason singings bowls have remained mysterious and fascinating. They are thought to go back in the Himalayas as far as the 10th-12th century AD.

Today, singing bowls are kept in many monastries, and are usually used to start and end meditation sessions.


Singing bowls are played by striking their rims with a padded mallet. The mallet makes the rim vibrate, which produces a continuous relaxing sound. The sound varies according to the material of the bowl, the mallet and the size of the bowl too. One can actually change the pitch of the sound by changing the angle of the striker along with the speed and pressure variation.

You can also put some water in it before playing it. The vibrations of the bowl will make it ripple and jump. The water also gives a deeper sound.


Mallets and Ring/Cushions

A mallet is a piece of long cylindrical, mostly wodden, piece used to play singing bowls. Mallets come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and weights. Most mallets have their one end padded with a softer material, usually leather, felt, yarn, etc. The mallets can be used for striking the bowl as well as stroking the rim of the bowl.

Most singing bowls also come with a cushion or a ring. The singing bowl is mounted on them, so that the bowl does not sit directly on a flat surface and the sound isn't deadened by whatever surface it sits on. The cushions and rings are made of soft materials, which allows the bowl to vibrate better, producing better and longer sounds. The cushions also provide additional protection from hard surfaces and keeps the bowl in place. They also help set an ambiance to the surrounding, as it is much more pleasing to the eyes and ears when the bowl rests on a rich fabric item.


Caring for your Singing Bowl

Singing bowls are beautiful instruments, and one would naturally commit to keeping it that way. Many things can happen when you continuosly use them, that may degrade their looks, quality and sound. It is very important to take good care of your singing bowl.

Dust and dirt can build up quickly in your bowl. Use a soft cloth to wipe it after every use. You can also use white vinegar to remove fingerprints. Do not put any liquid in it, and even if you do, don’t leave it overtime. You may put water in it so see it’s effects, but be sure to remove it after use, and wipe it dry. It’s best to keep your bowl dry.                

From a superstitious perspective, it is advisable to keep your singing bowls upright. When not in use, singing bowls can also be used as a decorative center of attraction. Keep it upright and mount it on a cushion or ring to prevent it from getting scratched. When storing multiple bowls, it’s best to use cardboard boxes and cloth bags to protect the finish of the bowls. If you have to stack them, make sure to not get them stuck.


Machine made vs Hand made

While ancient singing bowls were made exclusively using hand and tools, nowadays, we can find machine made singing bowls too. However, hand made singing bowls are also available, as they tend to be considered more authentic. While hand-made bowls are a bit inconsistent in their circumference, they do seem to be much lighter and produce deeper and longer sounds. Machine made bowls are much more smoother, so they look better as a decorative piece.

Hand made singing bowls are made using traditional tools by hand. They tend to be considered more authentic, lighter and produce deeper and longer sounds.

Machine made Singing Bowls are made using modern machinery. They usually look better and are smoother than hand made singing bowls. They also look better as a decorative piece.


Choosing a Singing Bowl

Choosing a singing bowl is a matter of listening to the sound. There is no hard and fast rule to choose the “best” singing bowl, you do it by listening to the sound of each bowl, and choose the one you prefer. It is highly recommended to close your eyes and focus solely on your auditory senses. Don’t just hear the sound, feel it. Then you can easily choose the one that suits you best.