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Tibetan singing bowls: There is a veil of mystery surrounding the origins and uses of Tibetan singing bowls, also known as metal singing bowls, and Himalayan singing bowls.

Many say they are composed of seven precious metal alloys, that they are from Tibet, and that they have been used by monks for centuries for sound healing.

A deeper look shows that metal singing bowls of antiquity are made of various metal alloys, most likely dependent on what was on hand in the locality where it was made. Not a special combination of seven precious metals. tibetan singing bowls

Another myth is that all singing bowls are from Tibet. Singing metal bowls have been discovered through all of the countries in the Himalayan mountain region. The monks of these regions seem less than interested in divulging their use, and when questioned, often refer to them as bowls for eating from.

What is known for sure is that in the seventies several healing practioners started using the metal singing bowls during energy healing sessions. That practice has now spread and become an extremely popular method for sound healing.


There are many methods for using a metal bowl and we will share our favorites with you. An easy way to get to know your new bowl is to use the striker and gong it three times before and after any meditations or rituals.

The vibrations of the bowl will focus the participants and raise their vibration. Another technique is to have a person laying on their back. Place the bowl on their stomach and gong the bowl while it is on them. This powerful technique will help to release stagnant energy and blockages within the body. It knocked our socks off the first time we did it.

With practice you can also make the bowl sing. Take the striker and gong the bowl once, then rub the striker mallet firmly around the outside edge of the bowl. Circle the outside edge repeatedly. It can take a little time to develop an audible singing sound. This technique requires practice, but is worth the effort.

In our experience we've come to believe metal singing bowls have an earthy, grounding energy to them. Play around with their energies, knowing that one of their specialities is to bring a person back into balance with earth energies. They are especially beneficial for people who tend to be ungrounded, spacy, scattered in their thinking, or nervous and jittery.

They can help a person develop harmony between themselves and the planet we live on, providing balance, calmness under pressure, solid thinking, and feelings of being protected.

If you practice for an extended time, and still have trouble playing the tibetan singing bowls, try playing a quartz crystal singing bowl. They are much easier to play and are good practice before stepping up to their metal counterparts.


tibetan metal singing bowl

Another myth is that all singing bowls are from Tibet. Singing metal bowls have been discovered through all of the countries in the Himalayan mountain region. The monks of these regions seem less than interested in divulging their use, and when questioned, often refer to them as bowls for eating from.

Coming from a sound healing background, with fifteen quartz crystal singing bowls in our collection, we knew how it important it was to select the "right bowl" when we decided it was time to add a Tibetan singing bowl to our collection. We made the rounds to all of our local metaphysical shops and tested out the bowls they had in stock. For the most part, it was a dismal experience. Dismal is a strong word, and we don't want to throw it around, but what we found for sale on the average market were practically unplayable.

It was then that we began researching Tibetan singing bowls and discovered that most of the bowls available in metaphysical stores and new age stores are brand new "reproductions" of metal singing bowls. Many of them are made in China, and not much emphasis has been made to make most of them functional singing bowls.

At the time, we were selling metaphysical goods online, and we were getting ready to attend a wholesale New Age trade show. We were certain we'd find a good singing bowl there. Alas, the booths of wholesale products were of the same quality that we found in the new age shops.

The main problem was that it was very difficult to actually get a sustained sound out of them. They could be tapped on the side and a ringing tone would emit from them, but it would fade away quickly. Also, they were hard (in some cases almost impossible) to play by running the mallet around the outside edge. This method is the one that allows the pure tone of the singing bowl to build and crescendo, creating overtones and a long, sustaining sound.

We left the trade show that day without a metal singing bowl, like we had hoped for. Then we got serious, purchased several books on metal singing bowls, and began researching online. What we discovered was that the new bowls on the market looked just like a metal singing bowl, but they are not up to par. No one knows for sure how the bowls were originally made, but emphasis appears to have been placed on the thickness of the rim and the overall shape of the bowl. These two factors determine whether a bowl is playable or not.

We learned that "antique metal singing bowls", or ones made before the Chinese occupation of Tibet, are the real deal. They carry tones and overtones for minutes after they have last been played, and their energies transport the listeners to higher realms of energy.

We began our search in earnest, but it still took us several years before the right singing bowl entered our lives. It was found in a metaphysical shop in a fleamarket in Florida. It was an antique singing bowl that someone had held in their collection for years. Now it was on consignment waiting for someone to buy it. We snatched it up as quick as we could.

Your search doesn't have to be as intensive as ours. There are quite a few reputable companies online that have the sound of the singing bowl available as sound-clip before you purchase your bowl. Our one big tip if you are considering the purchase of a metal singing bowl:

It's best to spend a little extra and get one from pre-occupation times (pre-Chinese occupation of Tibet). They are considered antique singing bowls. They typically have a full sound when struck or stirred and are easier to get started than the new replica bowls flooding most new age stores today.

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If you're on a budget the best place we've found to get a tibetan singing bowl is on ebay. Check out some of the auctions that are going on right now.

For an in depth look at metal singing bowls consider the books, Singing Bowls by Eva Rudy Jansen and Singing Bowl Exercises for Personal Harmony by Anneke Huyser.


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