Partaking in singing bowl meditation can both enhance the meditation experience while also bringing potential health benefits in the process. Regardless of whether you use a Tibetan or crystal singing bowl, both have been found to further strengthen one’s ability to meditate. Based on the reason for meditating will cause the need for the type and size of a singing bowl to vary.
It’s probably best if you have a foundational root in meditation before jumping into using a sound bowl while doing so. You may even want to try a professional sound bath with meditation to determine if it’s even possible for you to meditate while performing another task.
How to Meditate With a Singing Bowl
To meditate with a singing bowl, you’re going to do essentially the same thing you always do when meditating. Forcing your brain to not think about anything other than the flow of your breath.
Now, meditation can also be used as a form of reflection or even as a divination tool in the form of I Ching. How you meditate is ultimately up to you. The use of a singing bowl in meditation can also be done by putting yourself through a sound bath with the singing bowl and then meditating afterward.
1. Find a Secluded and Relaxing Area
If you’re new to meditation in general, it’s always best to find a secluded and relaxing area. Ideally, free from as many distractions as possible. This ensures you can truly focus on clearing your mind from rambling thoughts and give your mind a break.
Now, this isn’t to say that you’re going to immediately learn how to meditate as if you’ve been doing it for the last decade. Meditation is a skill that takes time to really hone in and truly accomplishes. In fact, even those who have spent years practicing meditation will still find it a little hard from time to time to truly not think about anything going on in life.
2. Pick Your Type of Meditation
There’s a wide variety of meditation techniques and specialties out there. The most common one in Western societies is Focused-Attention meditation. This meditation type ranges anywhere from focusing on your breath, an object, a mantra, or even a single thought visualization.
There’s also divination-based meditation known as I Ching. This traditional Eastern style of meditation utilizes yarrow sticks and coins to determine what the future holds and helps give some direction to the querent’s questions. Reciting “I Am”, is a form of divination-based meditation as well.
Then, you have mindfulness meditation, which involves monitoring the outside world along with your consciousness and accepting it for what it is. Rather than rationalizing every thought, it’s a matter of accepting the thought and not reacting to it.
While there are plenty of specialized versions of each of these meditation types, generally, these are the groups that they’ll belong to. How you decide to meditate and what style or technique you choose to follow will be up to you.
3. Determine Whether You Play the Singing Bowl Before or During
To fully receive the benefits of singing bowl meditation, it’s best to play the singing bowl right before you meditate or during the meditation itself. While it’s not necessarily a bad thing to play the singing bowl after a meditation session, there are not nearly as many benefits.
There are benefits to both methods, but playing the singing bowl during a meditation session does take a lot more practice to do than performing it beforehand. So we recommend starting with playing the singing bowl 5 to 15 minutes before a meditation first and then slowly making use of the sound bowl as you get used to it.
4. Start Meditation First and Fall Into Your Meditative State
Once you’re all set up, start with meditation first and find your “Zen” before you start playing the singing bowl. By starting this way, you’re guaranteeing that you’ll at least meditate and benefit from the session.
5. Play the Singing Bowl (If Decided to Play During)
If you’ve decided to use the singing bowl while you’re meditating, give it around a minute or two before you start using it. Once in your meditative state, ring the bowl once to see if you’re able to maintain your state.
It’s relatively difficult to perform a task almost subconsciously if you’re not even used to doing it consciously yet. So it might be best to try using the bowl for a few days beforehand and getting used to simply playing it with your eyes closed before attempting to meditate with it.
6. Write Down Whether Singing Bowl Meditation Was Successful or Not
To determine whether you’re singing bowl session was successful or not, take the average session duration of your meditation session and see how much of that you were able to actually meditate.
Of course, any meditation is considered a success, but if it falls under the average by more than 10% to 15%, then it might mean you require more practice before truly considering it a success. Writing it down will help track your progress.
When Should You Use a Singing Bowl to Meditate?
While there are benefits to using a singing bowl while meditating, this does not necessarily mean you should always use it. If you’re experiencing ear pain, headaches, or extreme lack of focus, it might not help to use the sound bowl before or during a meditation session.
The singing bowl may only make these issues worse, making it that much more difficult to meditate. If you’re meditating five times a week, aim to use a singing bowl for around two to three of those sessions.
Is Singing Bowl Meditation Better If You Play the Bowl or Someone Else?
It’s better to start off with someone playing the singing bowl before a meditation session and then gradually work your way into using the sound bowl yourself. The main reason to start with someone else playing is the fact that it’s easier to adjust to simply hearing the sound at first.
Once you’ve adjusted to the sound of a singing bowl while meditating, then you can move into attempting singing bowl meditation on your own. Just be sure to start with a sound bath before meditating first as well as attempting to play the sound bowl with your eyes closed.
Does Every Type of Meditation Benefit from Singing Bowls?
Not every type of meditation will benefit from using a singing bowl during meditation. But it’s not likely to cause any problems with any type of meditation if it’s always done beforehand. This isn’t to say that there are benefits from always using it, but there are certainly little to no negatives.
The type of meditation to benefit the least from playing the singing bowl during meditation would be mindfulness meditation. As these types of meditation sessions focus on what’s happening around you and accepting them. This could plague the entire meditation session with nothing but the sound of a singing bowl.
What do meditation singing bowls do?
Meditation singing bowls specifically help us with relaxing by potentially producing alpha and theta brain waves. When you’re relaxed, it makes it easier to calm the mind and focus on our meditation session at hand. If you’re experiencing the singing bowl while you’re meditating, it also attributes to the ambiance of the room.
Do singing bowls actually work?
While there are signs showing the potential benefits of sound baths before meditation, that’s not necessarily true for everything people claim. The best attribute of a singing bowl is that they’re often low-cost options for producing a lovely sound, centerpiece, and negative energy cleanser.
When it comes to cleansing negative energies, it’s best to pair the singing bowl with specific incense for cleansing. Whereas you can use incense for meditation to further enhance the meditation process.
Does it matter what type of singing bowl you use?
If you’re meditating for religious or cultural reasons, it’s best to stick with Tibetan (which is made of metal) singing bowls, as they tend to resonate better with those experiences. Crystal singing bowls are a better option if you’re looking to cleanse negative energies, meditate for spiritual or personal reasons, or need a boost when it comes to tuning into your emotions.