Welcome to Best Singing Bowls!
Best Singing Bowls specializes in providing great sounding antique Himalayan and Tibetan singing bowls at fair prices to customers worldwide. Thirty years of experience, an eye for fine detail and a very special ear for harmonious sound go into the wide range of choices you see here. Whether an inexpensive special or rare ceremonial object, all the singing bowls for sale are hand selected during my buying trips to the Himalayas. Carefully crafted singing bowl sets are assembled from our huge inventory for their unique harmonies. We also have the widest selection of mallets and ringing implements for truly bringing out the full range of sound You will also find exclusive accessories such as embroidered cover cloths and woolen mats hand made by the Tibetan community in Kathmandu.
Genuine Antiques and Exceptional Sound
There is a quality to old handmade singing bowls that simply can’t be replicated in shiny, new machine made brass. This website is focused entirely on antiques dating from the 15th to the early 20th century. It isn’t enough to be an antique to qualify as one of the best. Great sound is vital! We go to extraordinary lengths to make sure each and every singing bowl for sale meets our standards for exceptional sound. Some of the magic you will hear as you play the sound clips is due to the attention paid to harmony, balance, complexity and sonic coherence. All the antique singing bowls for sale have uncommon depth as they all were chosen out of the many thousands, even tens of thousands, that flow out of the Himalayas every year. Best Singing Bowls puts a tremendous amount of effort into the procurement process so that we can offer the widest range of Himalayan bowls and excellent value.
Find Your Singing Bowl
We pride ourselves on providing the most comprehensive information and the best tools for for finding exactly what you are looking for. Our powerful filtering gives you the ability limit and expand your choices. The COMPARE feature lets you select up to a dozen bowls that you may interested in and then them in whatever sequence you wish. This is a great way to hear subtle differences and ring groups together.
Each Tibetan singing bowl for sale has two sound clips. The first let you hear a simple long strike with a mallet while a second features the rim being played with a ringing stick or wooden wand. Recordings are unenhanced and natural. This way you can clearly hear the pure healing tones for sale. Instead of just one photo there is a gallery with different views and close-ups. You can narrow your choices by selecting ranges of size and price or notes, octaves and types. You are provided exact weight and measurements. The first tone you hear is labeled by its exact frequency in Hz and overtones are described by the note and octave. I try to capture the essence in a well written description. The goal is to make sure everyone who purchases their own or receives one of our items as a gift is happy with it. People send the nicest email so I know I’m getting it right at least some of the time!
Sound Healing Sets
If you look up above at the menu bar you will see a sound healing section. Singing bowls are a wonderful gateway through which many people connect the worlds of sound and physical and psychological well being. Over the years we have assembled many singing bowl sets, some of which have gone into the hands of sound healers. Best Singing Bowls has incredible resources for assembling sets. In addition to the hundreds listed on the website we maintain a very deep and well organized inventory. It has taken us years and many buying trips to build our back stock to the point where we have every note covered for each type of bowl. If you are looking for a specific style, size or note that you don’t see listed, chances are we have it in backstock. This inventory, combined with our expert sound matching experience gained gives us the ability to assemble (dare I say) really awesome singing bowl sets. In addition to sound healing sets we fulfill requests for chakra bowls and meditation sets. If you click “make your own set” or tap the orange button to the right you’ll be brought to a page which talks about the process and even has a questionnaire that will help you through the assembly process. Of course you can call or email as well. Putting together a set can be a lot of fun!
Learn Before You Buy
You would be surprised how often questions like “how to use a singing bowl” or “how to play a singing bowl” are asked. The about menu has answers to all kinds of questions, even “how to make a singing bowl“. Hint: it’s not easy, I’ve tried. For those interested in how to use a meditation bowl or how to use a singing bowl for healing you’ll find references throughout the website. There is a page on singing bowl therapy with a link to a researcher using Tibetan bowl healing for post traumatic stress. Going back to basics, because we carry such an extensive selection of mallets we have a lot to say about how to make a singing bowl sing.
Singing bowls are, for most of us, a peaceful pastime. While full of sound, this website is designed to give the visitor a quiet experience. You won’t get videos running automatically, audio playing just because you stumbled into a sound trap or things popping up at you for no good reason. Even the slide shows are set to run as slowly as possible.
In keeping with the new capacities of our ever changing technology we have upgraded this website to be both mobile friendly and large screen ready. Technological improvements have also allowed us to offer even more visitor tools and fast response times. Under the hood this website has a powerful database and an incredible amount of customization, all with the goal of providing visitors a great experience.
Decades of Passion for Singing Bowls and Things Tibetan
My passion for collecting began over 30 years ago, way before they were popular or well known in the West. Decades of ringing have embedded their sounds deeply inside of me. The bowls helped ignite my interest in Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism. By good fortune, the San Francisco public library has a spectacular collection of rare 19th and early 20th century books about Tibet in their special order stacks. I slowly worked my way through more than a hundred books from deep explorations to dry history to some absurd pulp supposedly non-fiction written by adventurers who tried to break into the roof of the world.
The articles and information on this site reflects my own unique perspective and synthesis. My many paths of study are all a part of my approach to what are sometimes called “prayer bowls”. These range from the Buddhist retreats and the profound teachings I’ve been fortunate to receive to the meditation instructions I’ve not been terribly successful at integrating. On a very different level, my journeys into the scientific and statistical sides of sound and frequencies help ground my understanding of the bowls in consensus reality. I continue to grow in my understanding as this journey unfolds. Then there is the pure experience of ringing tens of thousands of singing bowls each year. There is nothing like that to drive home subtle lessons about these magical objects.
There is a part of me that longs to reach back and touch the people and time from which these amazing sounding bowls of many metals arose. One of the best ways to get a feel for that place and time is through photographs taken by the few Westerners who were able to travel there in the early part of the last century and experience the unique Tibetan culture. One of my hobbies, then, is looking at those old photos. It is not a big universe, maybe a couple of thousand in all with the biggest collections in the United Kingdom and India. I’ve been given permission to display a number of rare old photos of a Buddhist Tibet that is no more, and there is a section of this website devoted to them.
Fascinating Journeys and Meetings with Remarkable Men
It is one thing to go to the library and quite another to journey to the Himalayas. I have traveled throughout the region including many places in historical Tibet. My first journeys, long before the birth of this website, were part of an inner voyage. They were in their own ways pilgrimages that took me to out of the way locales, especially in Tibet. Some of the places I ended up in were meditation caves with their generally friendly guardians, hot springs with snakes slithering up the stone walls and temporary mountaintop gatherings led by local rinpoches. Decades ago you could still feel the embers from old Tibet, even meet with an occasional Geshe who had earned his degree before the great scattering – considered “living treasures” by their community.
Then there are the commercial journeys focused on finding great old singing bowls. That is a whole story in itself, tracking down the trails by which antiques travel from a dusty back shelf to the market. Over the course of time I’ve had some amazing conversations with experts, enthusiasts and common people about the history of singing bowls. I have spoken with collectors who go out into the countryside on long searches. These men, and they are always men, speak many languages and know the local customs. Maybe surprisingly it is rare they are Buddhist practitioners. They don’t, as a rule speak English so I’m reliant on translators which introduces some fuzziness to the information. There is a lot of mystery here to be unwrapped.
Naturally, I have my own somewhat unique or even quirky take on these amazing objects and how they have made their way into the 21st century. This website is entirely devoted to genuine antiques because, well, I think there is something very special about holding something solid from the past. Of course there is also the smooth feel of old metal and the spectacular sound. Make no mistake, there is a finite quantity of really nice sounding antiques out there with fewer old brass bowls available each successive year.
When I was a kid American coins were still made from real silver and copper. Not only that but in the days before credit cards coins were used so much more heavily than today. All the time you’d get coins in change so worn that you couldn’t even read the date on them. I bring this up because there are some surprising parallels between today’s flow out of the Himalayas and what happened half a century ago in the USA to the common metallic objects you just might find in your pocket. It is an interesting story.
More to Come
I can’t tell you how many ideas I have about singing bowls and how much more information about sound, healing and history I’d like to share. Some of my best promptings and sources have come from customers. It seems every month somebody comes along to stretch my mind. Well some people write a book, I’m writing a website. I will be expanding my writings on how to use and how to play your Tibetan singing bowl with insight about the interaction of sound, meditation and prayer. I even have old photos with new publishing permissions waiting to be added to the Tibet section. In addition to static content I also know it would be very helpful if I made a short series of informative videos and especially playing techniques. All I can say is life s busy and I’d love to get to these projects and someday I will – so bookmark this site and come back every once in a while to see what is new.
The Complete Experience
To make your shopping experience complete, you’ll find a wide selection of accessories, including mallets, strikers, mats, and cover cloths. That, too, comes from my deep dive into sound – a wealth of very specific tools for accentuating the best in sound. If you’ve never experienced the precision and versatility of orchestral quality mallets, you’re in for a treat. They are easier to use and you can you’ll get so much more out of your Himalayan bowls. We also have custom mallets and strikers made by Nepalese craftsmen to our specifications as well as Frank Perry’s hand turned wands from the south of England. We carefully pack our orders using recycled materials and handmade Nepali Lokta bark paper. Whether you are looking for a beautiful sound, special meditation bowls, sound healing or a museum quality collector’s piece – Best Singing Bowls has one for you.
—Ryan Sarnataro – founder and enthusiast