Tibetan singing bowls can play a powerful role in a meditation or mindfulness practice, and they are often used in healing and calming rituals. The best Tibetan singing bowl produces clear, resonant sound that lasts for a long time, continuing to vibrate in the air long after being played or struck.
We are going to examine the uses and benefits of these incredible singing bowls, evaluate how to use them, and look at some of the best ones available today. Tibetan singing bowls can add a lot to a meditation practice, so it’s good to know more about them.
Tibetan singing bowls are objects imbued with many myths and legends, so some of the features of these bowls depend specifically on your expectations and beliefs.
For example, many bowls are painted, etched, or inscribed with words and symbols designed to enhance a meditation practice and impart wisdom or luck. For some, this is an important feature in a singing bowl, while for others it is simply decorative.
Quick Answer:The best Tibetan singing bowl is the Silent Mind Tibetan Singing Bowl. When looking for an ideal singing bowl, you want to make sure of the bowl size, and whether it comes with a cushion and mallet. The Silent Mind singing bowl meets all these criteria because it is a decent size and also comes with a cushion and mallet.
Editor Pick Best Tibetan Singing Bowls
Silent Mind Tibetan Singing Bowl: Best Tibetan Singing Bowl
This singing bowl is 4 inches, so it’s a decent size. The hand-hammered surface and antique-inspired design are intended to produce the clearest and best sound possible, and it’s sold as a musical instrument as well as a meditation aid.
It has a simple mallet and cushion and is easy to play and designed for beginners. The Silent Mind Tibetan Singing Bowl isn’t as elaborately decorated as some, but it produces beautiful sound and is a great choice for those with little experience with singing bowls.
Ohm Store Tibetan Singing Bowl Set: Best Tibetan Singing Bowl for Travel
This Ohm Store Tibetan singing bowl is very small, at just 3.5 inches, but produces big, clear, resonant sound that is surprising for the sound.
Also, it sings at D, the frequency of the sacral chakra, which is important to help travelers remain flexible and open to experience, forming new and deeper connections with the world around them, and maintaining a sense of well-being. This set includes a cushion and a wooden mallet and is small enough to travel anywhere.
DharmaObjects Singing Bowl: Best Tibetan Singing Bowl for Giving as a Gift
The singing bowl set from DharmaObjects is already packaged as a gift, making it easy to give to yourself as well as others. This extraordinary 5 inch singing bowl is traditionally made and hand hammered.
The set includes the singing bowl, a suede cushion, and a 2-in-1 wooden mallet. It also has a 100% money-back guarantee.
Singing bowls are beautiful objects even for those who don’t meditate, and this one is attractive, easy to play, and produces lovely sounds, making it a welcome gift for all kinds of occasions, large and small.
Detailed Buying Guide
While it may seem intuitive that a smaller bowl produces a higher sound, that isn’t always true. Tone has as much to do with the thickness of the bowl as with the size. Today we are looking at small bowls that can fit in the hand. The hand is an excellent surface for a singing bowl, as it absorbs enough vibration to prevent rattling or buzzing but allows the sides and rim to sing freely.
The role of a cushion is to prevent the bowl from moving when struck, and from vibrating or buzzing on a hard surface when it rings or sings. Ring-shaped (or donut-shaped) cushions are preferred for providing stability without impeding any sound from the bowl. However, square cushions and felt pads will do the same thing, provided that the cushion isn’t too deep and doesn’t touch the sides of the bowl.
The mallet is used two ways: to strike (or “awaken”) the bowl, and also to circle the rim and produce the distinctive singing sound the bowls are prized for. Mallets are traditionally made of wood, which produces a nice clear sound when striking. However, when singing, wood can make an unpleasant sound rubbing against the rim of the bowl, so many mallets have a second end that is covered with suede or felt.
The wooden end of the mallet will produce a higher overtone, while the fabric end will produce the lower (or fundamental) tone.
How Do You Make a Bowl Sing?
The most common challenge for those who are first using a Tibetan singing bowl is that it is difficult to get it to sing. Often this is described as a defect of the bowl, when in fact it’s just flawed technique.
To begin, it is helpful to first strike the bowl to begin its vibration. Then run your mallet around the outside of the rim in a smooth, even motion. You need to press the mallet against the bowl, not simply skim it.
You will hear the frequency deepen and change. Continue to circle the bowl with the mallet to prolong the sound. The length of time that a bowl rings or sings after you remove the mallet is a sign of good craftsmanship.
A wooden mallet is preferred, because over time the wood will get a slight worn groove at the place where it meets and rubs on the rim of the bowl. This groove is a sign of your own consistent practice as you master the body mechanics, but also over time helps guide and reinforce the proper positioning.
However, a wooden mallet can also slide and rub against the rim, making an unpleasant sound while you are still learning. And a wooden mallet can also leave a patina of dirt on the rim of the bowl; some people like this patina, as it indicates age and use, while some prefer to clean it off periodically.
While you are playing with your bowl and learning to make it sing, experiment with tipping it towards and away from you, to hear how the sound changes. Hold it near your mouth and make shapes with your mouth, hearing how the sounds alter as the inside of your mouth resonates with the bowl. Many people make this part of their meditation and healing practice.
What is a Tibetan Singing Bowl Used For?
Traditionally, singing bowls are used in a variety of religious and spiritual practices throughout the far east, and are deeply tied to Buddhist traditions.
In the West, while many people use Tibetan singing bowls simply as attractive sounds or chimes to note the time or gather the attention of a group of people, they are most strongly associated with the practice of meditation.
To use a singing bowl to begin and guide your meditation
Set the bowl on a cushion or pad on a stable surface near you. Strike the bowl once. Concentrate on the sound as it diminishes, letting yourself focus on the sound until you can’t hear it any more.
At that point, you are released from the external world. If you like, you can chime it once more at the end of your session to bring your awareness back to the present.
To use a singing bowl to deepen your relaxation
This activity takes a little practice, so that you can engage in it without splitting your attention. In your meditation posture, hold a small singing bowl in your hand, either resting just on your fingertips or in the open palm.
With your other hand, strike the bowl with the mallet once, and then run the mallet around the rim of the bowl to make it sing. Use your whole arm in this motion, not just the wrist. Try to produce a single, even tone from the bowl, and allow the vibration to penetrate your body and your thoughts.
Using singing bowls in meditation allows your brain to more quickly reach the theta brainwave state, which eases stress and promotes healing and creativity. Over time, a Tibetan singing bowl can help “train” your mind to more quickly and easily access this state.
Adding a singing bowl to a meditation practice has been shown to lower blood pressure and heart rate more effectively than meditation alone.
Tibetan Singing Bowl Tuning and Frequencies
The truth is, Tibetan singing bowls don’t produce a single, pure note; they resonate at multiple frequencies at once, producing multi-layered intervals. Larger, deeper bowls will produce more harmonics.
These complex sound structures are often used to balance the chakras. The sound waves produced by the bowl form sine waves that resonate in the body, opening and balancing the chakras. The tuning for each chakra is as follows:
• Root chakra: C
• Sacral chakra: D
• Solar plexus chakra: E
• Heart chakra: F
• Throat chakra: G
• Third Eye chakra: A
• Crown chakra: B
Every bowl has a tendency to naturally resonate at a slightly different note, affected by the size and shape of the bowl, the material it is made of, the thickness of the metal, and inconsistencies or impurities in the manufacture.
How to Find out What Frequency Your Bowl Is Tuned To
Many manufacturers are aware of this aspect of Tibetan singing bowls, and deliberately tune them as they are made.
However, if you don’t know what tune your bowl is singing at, the easiest way to find out is to download a musical instrument tuning app for your phone. There are a number of apps designed for tuning guitars and the like that will help you determine the dominant note of your bowl.
Can You Tune a Tibetan Singing Bowl?
The tune of a bowl is determined by its manufacture and can only be changed by removing the amount of metal in the bowl, as with sandpaper. You can temporarily change the sound of a bowl by adding water (only use distilled water, and never leave water in the bowl), but most people do not try to alter a bowl to sound the way they prefer.
Instead, the best practice is to listen to the bowl as it is, allowing its frequency to resonate in your body, and choosing the bowl that literally “speaks” to you. When people want to activate different chakras, they use the bowl that speaks to that need.
10 Best Tibetan Singing Bowl Reviews
1. Silent Mind Antique Design Tibetan Singing Bowl Set
This 4-inch singing bowl set from Silent Mind is based on antique Tibetan designs. It comes with a beautiful hand-sewn non-dampening pillow, and an easy-play leather pencil grip striker. The bowl itself is made of bronze with decorative overlay. Each singing bowl set from Silent Mind is hand selected, inspected, and checked for sound quality before shipping. It produces a rich, calming “song” and is easy to play.
While these bowls are not tuned during manufacture, they are often tuned to F, the heart chakra.
The Silent Mind Tibetan Antique Design Singing Bowl Set is an excellent choice for almost everyone. The beautiful designs, well-designed striker, attractive cushion, and clear, resonant sound make these singing bowls a good choice for beginners and experienced practitioners alike.
2. Ohm Store Tibetan Meditation Yoga Singing Bowl Set
The Ohm Store singing bowls are made by Nepalese artisans in the foothills of the Himalayas. This 3.5 inch singing bowl is hand-hammered in the traditional style. It comes with a wooden striker and a hand-sewn cushion. It produces rich, resonant sound from the palm of your hand.
This bowl chimes at approximately 183.5 Hz, or G flat. It sings at about 552 Hz, or D flat.
This singing bowl is small, and yet it produces a much richer, louder sound than one would expect for the size. It's a great option for anywhere that space is a challenge, such as when traveling, in a camper, RV, dorm room, or shared office space. It's a beautiful, classic little singing bowl.
3. DharmaObjects Tibetan Meditation Om Mani Padme Hum Peace Singing Bowl with Mallet
The Tibetan singing bowl from DharmaObjects comes in a range of sizes, from small to extra-large, and 8 different colors. The set comes with a 2-in-1 mallet with suede, and a hand-sewn donut shape cushion. Cushion colors may vary and aren’t necessarily matched to the bowl color. These singing bowls are hand etched and painted with “Om Mani Padme Hum” on the face, “Double Dorji” on the inside for wisdom and wealth, and a third eye at the bottom to remove obstacles. Each bowl is hand selected and inspected for quality
The large size bowl is approximately 5 inches in diameter and 3 inches deep. It can sustain a “song” for 20-30 seconds, and different sizes of bowls will produce different frequencies. It has a 100% money back guarantee.
The DharmaObjects Tibetan Meditation Om Mani Padme Hum singing bowl is a good choice for beginners, or for those who want a decorative item without using it often. Even in the product photos it's possible to see defects in the paint and unevenness around the rim. While some specific bowls produce excellent sound and have a good sustain, it seems that the product is inconsistent in manufacture and may easily break or damage
4. Tibetan Singing Bowl Set by Dharma Store
The Tibetan singing bowl from Dharma Store is just under 4 inches in diameter. The bowl is available in a choice of 8 colors. It comes with a beautiful hand sewn pillow, a wooden striker, and included Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags. The Dharma Store singing bowl is made from seven auspicious metals and is painted with auspicious symbols for health and happiness.
It “sings” at approximately F sharp and comes with a 30 day money back guarantee.
The Dharma Store Tibetan singing bowl set is really attractive and would be a good choice for those who will use the bowl infrequently or use it more for chiming with the mallet than for singing. Imperfections around the rim can impede good resonance in the bowl, and it's inconsistently manufactured.
5. Tibetan Singing Bowl Set by YAK THERAPY
This 4.5 inch singing bowl is made in the traditional manner in a Nepalese singing bowl house. It is made of seven pure metals, including copper, iron, tin, lead, zinc, silver, and gold, using authentic Tibetan techniques. The gold finish is hammered by hand. The set includes a genuine silk cushion, a wooden and leather mallet, a genuine silk drawstring bag for storage and protection, and comes in a handmade gift box crafted of Lokta paper.
The frequency of this bowl a perfect C, aligned with your sacral chakra, and it produces long-lasting sounds.
Because this set has the beautiful silk bag AND the handmade Lokta paper box, it seems like an incredibly thoughtful and welcome gift for those who want to learn to play a singing bowl and enhance their meditation practice. Of course, you could always give it to yourself too.
6. Maha Bodhi Tibetan Singing Bowl Set
The Maha Bodhi Tibetan singing bowl comes in either 3 inch or 5 inch sizes. The bowl is hand crafted and hand painted in Nepal and made of high-quality brass. The set includes the bowl, a silk cushion, a wooden and suede mallet, and a handmade Lokta paper gift box. It is painted with the Buddhist mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” which calls for wisdom, compassion, equanimity, and bliss in your activities. It is fairly traded.
Maha Bodhi says that this bowl sings in C, but also says it is tuned to the throat chakra, which should be G. It is likely that the different sizes of bowls are producing different frequencies, which would account for the inconsistency in the product description.
The Tibetan singing bowl set from Maha Bodhi is beautiful, handmade, fairly traded, and comes ready to give as a gift. The company provides excellent customer service, and the bowls are wonderfully decorated. These would make a fantastic gift, or a luxurious way to add a singing bowl into your own meditation practice.
7. thamelmart Exquisite 4 Inch Tibetan Singing Bowl
The thamelmart Tibetan singing bowl is 4 inches, and is hand made in Nepal. It is etched by hand with 8 Tibetan Buddhist lucky symbols, with Double Dorji inside for wisdom and wealth, and the third eye on the bottom for removal of obstacles.
This item is sold by multiple sellers on Amazon, which leads to some confusion regarding what exactly is included in the set. The text claims that a cushion is included, although there is no cushion in the product images, but some buyers have received a cushion. Some buyers have also received Tibetan prayer flags. It is unfortunate that there is some confusion about what exactly is included in this set.
Due to the proliferation of sellers answering questions and amending offers, and the defective products that have been received, it is difficult to recommend thamelmart Tibetan singing bowl at this time. Perhaps there will be greater clarity and better communication in the future.
8. Being Zen Premium 5" Tibetan Singing Bowl Set
The beautiful brass singing bowl from Being Zen is 5 inches and engraved with “Om Mani Padme Hum.” It is imported from Nepal and is a striking accessory for meditation or home décor. It comes with a handcrafted wooden and fabric striker and a stitched cushion, packaged in an attractive gift box. BeingZen backs this singing bowl with a 30 day money back guarantee.
This singing bowl is tuned to B, for the crown chakra.
This beautiful bowl is solid brass and extremely well made by artisans in Nepal. The harmonious decoration, resonant singing, and wonderful tuning make this an altogether exceptional Tibetan singing bowl.
9. DharmaObjects ~ Tibetan OM MANI Singing Bowl Set
The DharmaObjects Tibetan singing bowls come with OM or OM MANI symbols, and in a choice of seven colors. These bowls are 4 inches, and hand selected and inspected for sound quality prior to shipping. The set includes a wooden rosewood mallet, a brocade cushion, and a brocade carry bag, although the cushion and bag may not match each other. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
These bowls are tuned to the F note for the heart chakra.
This is a good looking Tibetan singing bowl set from DharmaObjects that would be an attractive accessory, and a great gift. The quality is a bit inconsistent, which may affect how some of the bowls sing.
10. ShalinIndia 5 Inches Bell Metal Tibetan Buddhist Singing Bowl
This is a good looking Tibetan singing bowl set from DharmaObjects that would be an attractive accessory, and a great gift. The quality is a bit inconsistent, which may affect how some of the bowls sing.
1. Does the metal in the bowl matter?
The legend of the 7 metals in a Tibetan singing bowl is a pleasing one, because it corresponds to the 7 planets of the solar system that were known at the time, and the 7 chakras of the body. Today, Tibetan singing bowls often include those metals in order to live up to the myth.
However, it is more likely that testing of these ancient bowls revealed all these different metals due to imperfections in the early manufacturing process, not due to a religious significance.
The best sounding bells are made of alloys, usually including copper, zinc, and tin, and early bells were made of bronze or brass. In fact, an alloy of copper and tin is so common and useful for its acoustic properties that it is called “bell metal.”
In truth, the material of the bowl doesn’t matter as much as how you connect with the sound and how it affects you.
2. How do I use Tibetan singing bowls as part of my practice with my chakras?
Most people who incorporate Tibetan singing bowls into their chakra meditation collect 7 bowls that are tuned with the corresponding chakra.
During meditation, the action of drawing a circle around the bell to make it sing corresponds to the wheel of energy in the body, and the sound of the bell vibrates in tune with the waves of that chakra’s energy, releasing greater flow.
The meditation progresses with a bowl for each chakra, and then all 7 bowls are chimed at the end of the practice.
3. How do I use a Tibetan singing bowl for healing?
Generally speaking, when using a Tibetan singing bowl for physical healing, the bowl is placed on the affected body part and the recipient relaxes while another person makes the bowl sing, vibrating energy deep into the body.
For general ailments, a large bowl is often placed on the chest or soles of the feet. The recipient needs to relax and allow the sound to penetrate deeply. This practice is not usually done alone, and not usually done on oneself, but is practiced by someone with experience.
The best Tibetan singing bowl in our opinion has to be the Silent Mind Tibetan Singing Bowl. This brass singing bowl is a generous 4 inches, beautifully decorated with meditative designs, and produces an incredibly rich, resonant sound.
It is handmade, comes with a wood striker, an attractively embroidered cushion, and packaged in an attractive box. The bowl creates a peaceful and relaxing sound when played or tapped around the rim.
The best part is you only need about 15 minutes to get the hang of it which makes this the perfect singing bowl for beginners.
Allen Wei is someone who believes in living his best life, focusing on balance, happiness, and relaxation. He fosters a positive lifestyle in terms of his body, mind, and environment, and he is a huge proponent of learning to be balanced via relaxation techniques integrated into our busy lives.