Tibetan singing bowls are also called healing bowls.
They are made from an alloy of five different metals, ours are made in Nepal. It is said that the finest bowls came from Mustang in western Nepal where another element was added, mercury.
You can see our singing bowls here.
We mostly encounter Tibetan singing bowls in meditation sessions where, at the beginning and end of meditation, the bowl is struck with a wooden mallet to emit a clear resonant tone. If you direct your attention on the diminishing tone as it slowly fades you may be surprised how long it takes to completely disappear - and how faint a sound you can continue to hear.
There are two ways to create the sound. For meditation you'll strike the bowl with the wooden mallet but you can also stroke the mallet in a circular motion round the rim of the bowl to produce a ringing note that increases in intensity. Sometimes in the gallery we'll have someone who can't resist stroking the different bowls, looking for one with a pitch that resonates for them. A few days ago a customer and myself used the two largest bowls in the shop to create a powerful resonant sound for several minutes. I remember it now, my spine still tingles as I write this blog.
In Tibet, they were traditionally also used as Healing bowls, a more accurate name, because the sounds restore the natural frequencies of the body repairing the out-of-harmony parts. They have a pleasing, calming effect and are said to reduced anxiety and blood pressure, promoting stillness, clarity and sense of wellbeing.
A skilful practitioner can use them to balance the chakras, or energy centres of the body. Very sophisticated bowls may sell for thousands of pounds. We don't just hear the frequencies, we feel them with our body. I've had experience of that myself in a specialist Healing Bowl shop in Patan where I was astonished at the strength of the vibration I felt in one specific chakra.
The owner filled a large bowl with water and stroked the edge of the bowl with the mallet to make the water dance with the vibrations.
The BBC had a fascinating program about singing bowls a few years ago which is worth watching for a scientific look at the properties of the bowls and the insights gained from filming the wave patterns of vibrating bowls. Unfortunately the slow motion film no longer seems to work but the article is still good to read. Tibetan singing bowls give up their chaotic secrets.
You can buy our singing bowls here.