My “Tibetan” Singing Bowl

I was in a serious rut this weekend. If you ask my family and friends, they’ll tell you the only activity I had energy for was my “Tibetan singing bowl.” I placed the object in quotes because of what I recently discovered. The brief information I came cross created some doubt of the origins I believed to be true. As I mentioned, I was in a rut, and the previously planned MuseumMonday required lots of research, and quite frankly, I just didn’t have the energy. However, I did have the energy to do a quick google search on the history of the so-called Tibetan bowl. I wanted to know more about the object that got me off my sofa. After I googled “history of Tibetan bowls,” the first line that appears is, “The Tibetan bowl is not Tibetan.” If you guys have been following me, then you know I was hooked. Now, of course, I tried my best to fact-check and cross-reference every little statement I came across, but the rut took over. However, what I do list below is the most accurate and logical to me.

So, I after mustered up some energy; this is what I discovered:

  • Ancient Tibetan Bowls may be a racist mythologization conjured up by the Western world. There is no hard solid evidence connecting these instruments to Tibetan culture. I came across a few articles supporting both sides of the story, but none provided substantial evidence that can be verified.
  • The bowls’ popularity and their reputation for healing through vibrations sprung in the early 1990s. There is an increase of published books around this time. They focused on the healing properties of these bowls. 
  • Calling these instruments Tibetan bowls may be offensive. Some find the term racist and stereotypical. I found a blog that gives a first-hand account of those thoughts. 

Despite the controversies and mystical origins, singing bowls still have excellent benefits. I ALWAYS feel relaxed after using my bowl. For the best results, I suggest using it after work or in the morning before starting your day. By using it before starting my day, I’m setting the tone for how my day will go. Using it after work cleanses my mind from the hectic day and resets my balance.

If you’re holding the bowl correctly, you can feel the vibrations from the hymn throughout your body. I have yet to try, but I’ve read that adding water will mimic the sound of raindrops. I will continue to use my singing bowl, but as the saying goes, “when you know better, you do better.” I will no longer refer to my “Tibetan bowl” as such. It is simply my singing bowl.

I encourage you to do more research on these mystical instruments. Please, let me know what you find.

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