How to play then choose a Tibetan singing bowl

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I find many people who purchase our Tibetan singing bowls, come initially out of curiosity having seen or heard Tibetan singing bowls before. Attempts to ‘sing’ the bowl while the bowl rests on the table, while rotating the wand on the inside of a bowl, rather than on the outside are rarely successful.

The first suggestion I offer so those interested may receive the full benefit of the bowl, is to show them by placing a bowl in the open palm of their hand with their fingers outstretched.

Then holding the wand, as if it were a big pencil position the hand over the top and centre of the bowl (imagining a centre line running up through the bowl and up through the wand). It’s around this imaginary centre line that the hand holding the wand will freely rotate.

Now rotating the hand in a clockwise motion with the side of the wand resting on the very outer top edge of the bowl (not touching down the side) moving their hand in a circular clock-wise action, until they begin to hear the bowl sing. It is important to push with an inward pressure as you rotate the wrist creating friction against the bowls top edge, this is what causes the bowl to vibrate then sing (some bowls sound instantly, others need a little time). You may also lightly tap the bowl first before starting to rotate the wrist.

It is also important for the wrist/arms/shoulder to be relaxed while doing this, especially with smaller bowls, as the diameter of the rotation is a lot smaller. As the bowl begins to sing, slow the speed of the rotations down until you sense ‘a pulsing’ sensation from the signing bowl. This pulsing and the resulting harmonics is the optimum frequency when sounding a bowl. Generally the smaller the diameter of a bowl the higher the pitch, while the larger diameter bowls tend to be deeper.

Now which bowl to choose? There is really no way to guide you here, it’s simply an inner connection after sensing the harmonic frequency of a bowl. No two bowls are the same each is unique. You will immediately know which bowl ‘feels right’ and that experience will invariably be unique to you. Hold true to your intuitive here, do not let the rational mind have its influence, when choosing by price or colour or pattern – vibration is the MOST important consideration.

It sometimes takes a while to sing a bowl, be patient the more you practice the easier it becomes. Over a very short period of time the bowl and you become one vibrational frequency, then sounding that bowl will become instantaneous.

At any time in the playing of a bowl, once the mechanics of sounding are mastered, close your eyes. With your eyes closed and the harmonic vibration of the bowl being felt throughout your body, you are in a very focused state of inner stillness and connection, and this creates a deeply meditative peace.

The Tibetan singing bowls we offer are individually chosen for their resonant frequency and ease of singing. Remember the most important consideration, so you receive the maximum benefit when choosing a bowl, is its unique harmonic frequency. It’s a very unique experience between you and a bowl it will become a life time friend – be patient when choosing.

Now if you are looking at the bowls on The Alchemy of Sound website, and are considering purchasing one – how do you know what they sound like, which is the one for you? Now that is easy. Contact me and I will call you. I will sound the different bowls for you over the phone. This works very well, because through the phone you can still feel the harmonic frequency of each bowl.

One other point to be aware of – if the bowl you have chosen is too heavy to hold comfortably while you are sounding it and some are, you can always rest the bowl on your hand, while your hand rests on your knee, or lap.

And don’t be surprised if you begin to look for another bowl after having chosen the first (or should I say it chooses you). One of the most beautiful experiences is to progressively play (tap or sing) a group of bowls, one after another – the rising soundscape of harmonics is a most potent sound healing and calming experience.

Wellbeing through light and sound…