Meditation didn’t always come easy for me. Now that I’ve been practicing it for many years, I’m much better at resisting thoughts and moving into a trance state. But in the beginning, my mind was similar to a Nascar racetrack, with thoughts zooming all around. Thanks to a friend and a little bit of luck, I was introduced to the ancient practice of using Tibetian singing bowls.
Right away, I saw the benefits of using these healing basins–not just with focus but with many other parts of my spiritual practice. It helped put my emotions in check, strengthen my chakras, and even improved my physical health.
For this reason, I’ve decided to share my personal experience and some of the best bowls out there. So, get your wallets ready. Hopefully, you’ll be playing your own bowls soon.
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What are Singing Bowls?
There are literally thousands of websites dedicated to the background of the Tibetian singing bowl. Its existence goes back to at least 560 B.C., which is the time when Buddha Shakyamuni walked the earth.
In 8 A.D., the practice of using the bowls was brought from India to Tibet. These instruments used sound to clear the mind, body, and soul. As they say, the rest is history.
But what exactly are singing bowls, and what do they do?
In its simplest form, a singing bowl is a metal basin. It’s also an instrument (inverted bell) that, when tapped with a leather-covered mallet, can do two things.
It creates sounds that restore the normal vibratory frequencies of our body and mind. At our core, our bodies are just cells — each one vibrating at a natural frequency in our personal energy fields. Our wellness depends on how ‘well’ these cells are vibrating. When imbalances occur, we are at dis-ease.
Sound bowls are said to bring these out-of-harmony parts back to baseline. I think of singing bowls as ‘fine-tuning’ devices that can get our bodies back at the right station. When all is at a natural state, all is well.
We’ll cover more about the benefits later in the article, but for now, here a few ‘must-know’ facts:
- Singing bowls are actually bells that create sounds through vibrations;
- They are also known as Himalayan bowls or sound bowls;
- People use them during meditation, for stress relief, and to heal the body;
- Studies have shown them to reduce pain intensity and blood pressure;
- Using singing bowls as part of your daily/weekly routine promotes overall well-being.
The Best Singing Bowls
For most people, price is a factor when purchasing anything, including singing bowls. For this reason, I’ve split my faves into four categories: those listed for 40 USD and under, bowls priced 80 dollars and under, those whose price tag is above 80 bucks, and singing bowl sets.
Of course, price isn’t the only thing you’ll want to look at when picking the right sound bowl for you. You wouldn’t want to buy something so cheaply made that it doesn’t have any benefit. To help you avoid that waste, I’ve taken the time to review ‘the best of the best.’ This way, there’s no guess-work for you.
Singing Bowls under USD 40
Are you frugal when it comes to spending? No worries, these two options will give you peace of mind and improved meditation–on a budget.
Best Singing Bowl for BeginnerSEE ON AMAZON
Hand-crafted and of high-quality, I’m not sure there is a better deal on the internet when it comes to price. Coming in at under 25 USD, this singing bowl is the perfect starter piece. Because it is created at the foot of the Himalayan mountains by artisans, there is a mystic feel with this one.
One of the reviewers stated that it “produces a strong vibration and warm tone to help center and enrich your life.” I found this to be true, and when I’ve used it during meditation, it quickly took me to the theta state.
Blue Tibetan Singing BowlSEE ON AMAZON
Even cheaper than the bowl listed above, the beauty is a steal at 20 bucks. It comes with three pieces, and its blue design makes it look as expensive as some of the pricer bowls.
Its creator, Silent Mind, has many different types of bowls, but this one is one of my favorites for a couple of reasons. Price, of course, and then the fact that it comes with a hand-sewn pillow and solid mortar. The sound from this one is really phenomenal as well.
SINGING BOWLS between USD 40-80
If you’re looking to invest a little more money in your instrument, I’ve listed some mid-range suggestions below. Of course, it’s not all about the dollar, so I have also put together some of my thoughts.
Bronze Mantra Design BowlSEE ON AMAZON
I call this one the bronze beauty because, to me, it’s the most beautifully crafted bowl on the market. The gold-design over the bronze finish makes this 4-inch bowl one for the books.
It comes with a pencil-grip feature that makes it easier to play than some other instruments and also brings out both high and low tones. If you want a bowl for yoga, I recommend this one in particular since the reviews from yoga practitioners were five stars.
Quartz Crystal Singing BowlSEE ON AMAZON
With a suede striker and a unique look, this Quartz crystal bowl is definitely a high-quality piece. Not only does the sound from this Himalayan singing bowl promote relaxation and deeper meditation, but it also assists with intuitive messages being sent from your higher self.
The mesmerizing tones also promote healing, so if you’re looking for a bowl for this purpose, look no further.
Singing Bowls above USD 80
Just like some people prefer diamonds to cubic zirconia, you might be considering buying a sound bowl with a heftier price tag than the ones I’ve reviewed so far.
Although I usually like a bargain, when it comes to something so powerful and beneficial, purchasing a solid instrument versus a disposable one isn’t a bad idea.
Pure Bronze Meditation Sound BowlSEE ON AMAZON
Another bronze piece, this sound bowl is pricy because it’s a cut above the rest. At 6.5 inches, it is also a bit larger and is said to create an ambiance for emotional calming & healing.
One thing I like about this bowl is that the sound resonates for at least a minute. This is a lot longer than some of the cheaper bowls and might make a difference to you in the long run.
This is especially true if you’re using it for meditation purposes. Also, the seller offers a lifetime, money-back guarantee. So, if you’re not happy, there’s no risk involved.
Hand Hammered Tibetan Singing BowlSEE ON AMAZON
Considered “the master” of all sound bowls, this 10-inch piece is a combination of seven metals: copper, silver, iron, tin, lead, gold, and zinc. Its unique tone really sets it apart from the rest and makes it worth the price. This is due to the thicker walls, which help the sound resonate longer.
It’s recommended for both meditation and sound bath purposes, but I also think its the perfect gift for anyone who is into spirituality, yoga, or even mindfulness.
Orange Crystal Singing BowlSEE ON AMAZON
The second of four crystal pieces that I’m recommending, this one is my favorite because of one thing: it’s color. I know that’s not the reason you’re buying a singing bowl, but why can’t it be harmonizing and beautiful too? The red is really to die for and so is the case that it comes with.
Because it’s tuned to perfect pitch, it is sure to get your cells into alignment. One reviewer talked about how off-balance her sacral chakra was and how this crystal singing bowl was just what was needed for her to be perfectly aligned. Like her, almost all of the reviewers for this crystal piece were pleased with their purchases.
Best Singing Bowl Sets
Sometimes one just isn’t enough. If you want several different bowls, buying them individually can get pricy. Instead, you could just buy one of these two sets. Both are exceptional.
Set of 3 Crystal Singing BowlsSEE ON AMAZON
Although I prefer metal over the crystal bowls, there is something spectacular about this set. For one, each bowl is tuned to a different frequency. What does this mean? You’ll be able to fine-tune all of your cells and chakras by using each one of the instruments.
Also, I find that I like a deeper sound sometimes. If you own more than one bowl, you’ll be able to play to your mood. If all else fails, you could give one to a friend as a gift like some of the reviewers have done.
Quartz Crystal Singing Bowls SetSEE ON AMAZON
I have people ask me this question all of the time: If you had to recommend just one sound bowl/set, which one would you choose. I always send this link, and after they get over the sticker shock, they usually purchase.
Why? Because these seven bowls are each perfectly aligned to each one of your chakras. Although my upper chakras usually stay ‘right,’ I seem to have a problem keeping my lower ones (root, sacral) in check.
Although there are a few different ways to realign your energy, a quick sound bath is one of the easiest. Within minutes of using the bell, I feel brand new.
What Materials are being used in the Singing Bowls?
Traditionally, Tibetian singing bowls are made from an alloy (a mixture of metals). Usually, five to nine different types of metals were used during production. Sometimes, a dozen!
In the past, meteorite iron from the Himalayan mountains was used, and these bowls were considered sacred since the material originated from close to the heavens.
Most new bowls are often made from metal, but not the costly kind like gold or silver. Sometimes, other materials, such as ceramic and crystal, are used. All of these bowls work the same. It really is just personal preference when it comes to choosing an instrument.
Benefits of Singing Bowls
I could write a whole article (or two) devoted solely to the benefits of using singing bowls. But since I think they’re really something best experienced in a hands-on way, I decided to also focus on reviews.
Still, I think it’s important to mention just a few of the many benefits that can occur through this ancient practice. If nothing else, so it can be an encouragement for you to buy your own.
1. Sounding Bowls are super relaxing
I mentioned above that singing bowls can help you take your meditation practice to a whole new level. This is true because the vibration is said to ‘cleanse’ out of harmony cells and bring your body back to its natural state. Many people refer to this practice as a ‘sound bath.’
Although it has been popular in the East for many years, people in the west are starting to take up the practice as well. The result? Less stress and anxiety.
2. They improve mood and mental health
Most of the benefits of singing bowl use revolve around emotional health in one way or another.
People with depression, mood disorders, and those going through emotionally difficult situations often see improvement after taking on this practice.The energy shift can be life-changing and happens quickly. Sometimes within 5-10 minutes.
3. Singing Bowls aid in healing
I usually get the side-eye from people when I tell them that singing bowls can heal the body. I think that, for the most part, that comes from people not having a deep understanding of the body and how it works. Ikigai has a great explanation for this and says that when every part of the body is on the same vibrational wave, things go well.
However: if one part of the body isn’t working optimally or feeling good, it would mean the vibration is out of tune, so to speak. We call it having ‘dis-ease.’ When a body is healthy, every cell, every organ, is creating a harmonious resonance with the entire being.
4. Sounding Bowls introduce the idea of vibrational medicine
Vibrational medicine is based on the idea that all illness or disease is characterized by a blockage in the channels on some level, whether it be the arteries, veins, nerves, chakras and so on.
Using singing bowls is a kind of ‘therapy’ that can help realign the body and make things right again. I know this might seem a little far-fetched, but it could explain why people of the East live much longer lives than those in the west.
How to use the Singing Bowls
There’s no wrong way to play your singing bowl; however, following ‘tried and true’ practices will assure that you get to the frequency you desire.
Hold the Singing Bowl
First, hold the singing bowl in the palm of the hand opposite of the one you write with. If you have a very small bowl, you can hold it with your fingertips.
Grasp the Mallet
With the other hand, grasp the mallet about midway down. Make sure that your palm and fingers are pointing downward.
When you feel comfortable, tap the mallet against the side of the bowl gently. This is your warm-up.
Rub the Mallet around the Rim of your Singing Bowl
Then, with even pressure, rub the mallet clockwise around the outside edge of the rim of your Tibetian singing bowl. Keep your arm straight up and continue to rub as if you were stirring a big pot of soup. Don’t use your wrist but your entire arm. Friction will begin to produce a sound.
Try out more advanced techniques
Once you get ‘good’ at playing your bowl, you can research and try out more advanced techniques. Just like with any instrument, practice makes perfect.
Dangers of Singing Bowls
As with every type of therapy, there are things to be cautious with when using singing bowls or taking part in a sound bath. For the most part, the only real issue is when one has certain disorders or conditions that could be worsened by the use of sounding bowls.
For example, if you have epilepsy or a deep brain stimulation device inserted, sound bowls shouldn’t be used. Those with pacemakers or serious heart issues can take part in a sound bath, but shouldn’t place a singing bowl on their body.
If you’re using a Tibetian singing bowl to assist with uses related to depression, anxiety, or PTSD, you might want to enlist the help of a teacher or sound guru before jumping in. At the end of the day, if you have any concerns, talk to a doctor about the pros and cons of using vibrational healing techniques.
I hope that I’ve answered all of your questions about singing bowls and that you’re ready to add one to your Amazon cart today. If you need advice on how to use your bell once you’ve received it or want to share your experience, I’d love to hear from you.
I’m always shopping for bowls to add to my collection, so make your recommendations in the comments. Here’s to good vibrations!