Feel Better: Get Mindful with a Tibetan Singing Bowl

Close your eyes and listen to stress melt away.

The true roots of Tibetan singing bowls are up for debate—there’s little, if any, evidence that they originated in Tibet. In fact, they are more likely the Westernized offspring of Japanese rin bowls. Misnomer or not, Tibetan bowls are lovely, and have become a staple in many people’s meditation and mindfulness practices. Here’s how to incorporate the soothing sound of this metal instrument into your own life.

Tiny But Tuneful

This mini model includes a dual surface pencil grip mallet. Silent Mind

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Most singing bowls—also called sound bowls—are made from a mixture of bronze, tin, iron and other metals, blended and shaped to create certain tones. Smaller bowls make higher-pitched sounds while larger, heavier bowls make deeper ones. You may want to experiment to find which tone you find most comfortable and relaxing.

Harmonic Resonance

This is a big, heavy model, with a robust tone to match. TM THAMELMART FOR BEAUTIFUL MINDS

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Mallets that come with the bowls typically have two sides—one covered in suede or felt, and one that is just naked wood. You might choose to “ring” the bowl like a bell with the suede-covered end of the mallet to signify the beginning and end of a mindful moment. You can also hold the bowl in the flat of your palm and circle the outside of the bowl with the wood side of the mallet to create a singing sound.

Precious Instrument

Made of quartz, this item is fragile, but the padded bag offers protection. TOPFUND

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For a more modern sound and look, you may want to consider a singing bowl made from crystal. Crystal bowls tend to make clearer, louder sounds that carry longer. You play them the same way as more traditional metal bowls, but the entire mallet should be covered in suede or felt to protect the bowl.