What are the dimensions, weight and material of the set?
The diameter of this singing bowl is 3.5 inches across the top, and the height of the bowl is 2.1 inches. The cushion is made of pure wool, and is hand-sewn in Nepal. The striker is wood.
Is this lead free?
Yes! This singing bowl is made of brass. There is no lead.
What key does this bowl sing in?
The nature of a bowl that is hand-hammered for a very friendly price, is that it is not expertly tuned to a specific frequency. Each bowl is inspected by hand and the hammering process is complete, and is tested for purity of sound quality. You can hear a sample of our bowl being struck on this product listing, and can also watch videos (and listen to them) of some of our customers playing the bowls.
The bowl will also play different notes depending on where you strike the bowl,and whether you are playing the “around the rim technique.”
The limitation to making bowls expertly tuned is based on time. It takes significant more time to create one expertly tuned, in the hands of a master artisan.
Our team in Nepal is hard at work on a project of being able to make expertly tuned bowls at scale, so please stay tuned for this!
Is this bowl machine made?
“Machine-made” bowl is actually a misnomer. None of our singing bowls are created in a machine. For the brass bowls, which include the Original Ohm, The Buddha bowl, and The Truth and Ohm bowl, brass is super-heated beyond its melting point. One at a time, they are poured into an iron forge (not unlike a waffle maker) to give the bowl it’s distinct shape. The bowl is then removed and allowed to cool. A “machine” is used to create the distinctive rings around the rim of the bowl, to engrave, as well as to shine the bowl. The end process of hand hammering the bowl is done one-at-a-time, and is by hand.
Where are the bowls made?
These bowls are made in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Are these bowls fair-trade?
Fair trade is a program that various agencies offer, and it is a pay-to-play certification. The question that we ask ourselves is “How can we invest in communities, create jobs and be more than certain that our entire team in Nepal is being paid a fair wage for their money. After lengthy conversations with our team managers in Nepal over the last 4 years, the way that we can provide all of these things is to create regular, continuous and reliable work opportunities to keep artisans employed in these traditional trades. It is a self-selecting process. If our teams are not making competitive wages in great working conditions, they often will have to leave their families to travel to other countries for different styles of work. Paying our workers the best wages is the only way for us.
Our mission is to help preserve ancient crafts that are threatened to go away because of globalization. Globalization is threatening to eliminate traditional artisan work without investment in the community, the product and the artisans who know these crafts.
Each craft is specific to a given region, with certain regions focusing on etching and engraving, others working on the creation of smoke-based-ink, and others on the tuning and hammering of these bowls. Each bowl is truly an amalgamation of different crafts, passing through many expert hands to get to yours.
How Do I Clean And Maintain By Bowl
First, do not use artificial cleansers and scrubs that you’ve got around the house! These can be damaging to the delicate sound potential your bowl carries.
How Do I Play My Singing Bowl?
If you are thinking about purchasing your first singing bowl, or starting a practice with a bowl you already own, congratulations!
Following is a quick synopsis of how to immediately begin to enjoy your singing bowl. Please note as well that the singing bowl (like any instrument, or yoga, or any meditation practice) is a practice - as you allow yourself to become acquainted with your bowl over the first week of practice, and pay special attention as you are playing, you will become in tune with your bowl.
Do not feel discouraged if you don’t play the bowl instantly and perfectly (though many users report that this does happen!)
We’d all like to call your attention to something that us, and our customers, have experienced in regards to the temperatures your bowl is exposed to.
Temperature extremes (hot and cold) can affect the way the bowl sounds. This is to be expected, as this will change the composition of the metals temporarily.
If your bowl has been subjected to temperature change, please allow it to return to a normal, room temperature and the sound quality should be back to normal.
What is your return policy?
We offer a lifetime satisfaction guarantee on every single product we sell. Our aim is that with some gentle maintenance of your bowl, it should last a lifetime -- and we stand behind this idea.
Just like you, we are consumers. And we have experienced the feeling of “being burned’ by receiving a product that we didn’t enjoy, and then getting stuck with it. We will never let you “feel stuck” with something that does not exceed your expectations.
Is a singing bowl right for me?
Maybe you’ve been to a friend’s house and they’ve pulled out their bowl. Or you’ve heard a recording of one and thought “maybe I’d like one.” And maybe you’ve even been to a sound bath performed by a master practitioner and decided you’d like to have one of these objects in your home.
In our 5 years of experience bringing singing bowls to the western world from Nepal, we have had the distinct pleasure of seeing all types of people use our bowls, and in all sorts of ways.
Here are a handful of quick examples from people, just like you, of how they’ve used their bowls (okay, maybe more like 4 handfuls)
What is a singing bowl master’s opinion on “inviting the bell?”
Thich Nhat Hanh is a storied monk, writer and teacher and here is what he has to say about the respectful process of “inviting the bell” to sing:
I’m going to tell you how to invite a bell to sound, with a small instrument like this, made of wood. The tranquility in us, the peace in us, we have to call them. There’s tranquility and calmness and peace and joy in us, but we have to call them so that they can manifest themselves. This tranquility, that love, that joy, that stability, sometimes we call them Buddhahood, or the nature of Buddha in us.
The Buddha is someone who is very calm, very tranquil. The Buddha is somebody who has joy, compassion and calmness, and the Buddha is not somebody made of materials like wood or gold. When we invite the bell, it’s one of the means to call the joy in us, the tranquility in us, so that we can awaken the Buddha in us. There is a baby Buddha in each of us, and we have to be aware of it. In a practice center like Plum Village, when we invite the bell to sound, we have a chance to touch the Buddha in us, we have a chance to call the nature of Buddha in us, so it can manifest itself.
If we do it correctly, peace will be there in our hearts, and we will immediately become calm water, and we will reflect reality as it is. If we are not calm, the image we reflect will be a distorted image, and when the image is distorted by our minds, the image is not the reality, and it causes lots of suffering. So we have to call tranquility, to invite it to manifest itself.
When I invite the bell to sound, it is because the bell is considered as a friend, someone who helps us to come back to ourselves, become calm. That is why, when I start inviting the bell to sound, I have to pay respect to the bell like this (Thay bows), exactly as we do to our friend. We pay our respect and love to our friend, so I pay respect to the bell: I join my palms, I make a lotus flower or a tulip, and I offer this flower to my bell, to my friend. Then I take my bell and put it on the palm of my hand, lift it to the level of my eyes, and look at it, and I breathe. We have to practice to do it.
When I hold the bell in my hand, like this, I start breathing in and breathing out. Breathing in, I calm myself, and breathing out I smile. My hand becomes a flower, like a lotus, and the bell becomes a diamond, a jewel in the heart of the lotus. Have you heard the mantra “Om mani padme hum?” It is in Sanskrit, and it means, “Oh, the jewel in the lotus flower!”
When you breathe like that, very deeply in mindfulness, with calmness, you become the lotus flower, because there is mindfulness in you that gleams like a jewel. It is a practice, it is not a prayer. Look at my hand, it looks like a lotus flower with five petals, and in its heart there is a jewel. I breathe in with that image, and then I become a lotus flower with a jewel in me. There’s a short poem that you should learn by heart, if you want to invite the bell to sound:
Body, speech and mind in perfect oneness,
I send my heart along with the sound of this bell.
May all the hearers awaken from forgetfulness,
And transcend the path of anxiety and sorrow.
Will every two bowls look and sound the same, even if they are the same model?
While every bowl of the same type will generally sound very close to the resonance, and look very similar, each of a hand-hammered bowl that you choose to watch over will be unique in it’s own way.
Since each of these bowls are made by the hands of numerous artisans, they will each take on their own characteristics and personality.
Beyond just the process of making them, temperature, light and other factors will influence how they sound and how they look.
We believe this is a representation of us, as humans, and is why we are so passionate about sourcing items made by hand to the world. Their uniqueness can teach us about ourselves.
While the bowls are made by the same people, working in a rhythmic fashion, each bowl will exert its uniqueness through slightly different shapes and markings.