Also known as Himalayan bowl or cup gong, a singing bowl, is a musical instrument used in Buddhist meditation and are traditionally
played in monasteries by Buddhist monks. Singing meditation bowls were historically made in Tibet, Nepal, India, China, Japan,
and Korea, and.
The singing meditation bowl is made of metal, and may include precious metals such as silver and gold; while other can
have a metallic makeup which includes copper, tin, zinc, lead, iron, and nickel. Commonly used singing meditation bowls are
an alloy of different metals.
Singing meditation bowls are played by hitting, striking, or slowly rubbing or stirring a wooden striker or mallet within
or on the top of the outer surface of the bowl. The bowl produces a continuous harmonic sound when struck correctly. This
sound is said to be relaxing and good for chakra, a form of meditation. The singing meditation bowl has been adopted by various
other forms of meditation and is also used for yoga, healing, sound massage, sound therapy and chakra balancing.
Singing meditation bowls come in different shapes, sizes, designs, colors, carvings and crafting. Some can be found with
various religious themes and symbols like the Tibetan mantra chant of Om Mani padme hum, dragon carvings, mandala
carvings, Buddhist religious symbols, among others. The art of making traditional bowls is now considered a lost art and most
old bowls contain very little or no ornamentation at all.
The bowls are mostly hand made, and fall into two categories: the hand-hammered (beaten) singing bowl, mostly used in Nepal
and India and manufactured in the traditional processes; and the colored, carved and crafted bowl, which are popular for gifts,
decorations, and souvenir items, mostly coming from the Himalayan region.
Today, singing meditation bowls have become very popular, so much so that even people who don’t really meditate display
it for its ornamental value. They can’t really be blamed as this singing meditation bowls come in such fascinating and
exquisite designs. However, for people who use the singing meditation bowl for a much higher purpose, like meditating, see
it as symbolic of human spirituality, representing human spirit as a vessel containing only the limiting nature of who and
what we are.
The outward appearance of a singing meditation bowl represents our constantly changing nature; from one moment to the next
we are never the same even as events and interactions cause deeply influence these changes within us. While some events may
lead to a complete upheaval in our lives, others may just create a subtle ripple that is forgotten as soon as it occurs.
Whether or not we use them for them for meditation, a singing meditation bowl is timeless symbol of human spirituality
and the frailty of the human nature.