A meditation bowl is a round metal bowl that resonates with different sounds and tones when hit by a stick, rod or pole. Meditation bowls are commonly used in meditation and yoga practices as a tool to help decrease brainwave patterns into a deeper state of trance and relaxation. Sometimes, a meditation bowl will be played throughout a meditation practice, with different lengths of different notes being played, to help deepen a state of relaxation. Often a meditation bowl, or what is commonly called a singing bowl, will be used to signal the beginning and end of a meditation practice.
There are various sizes of meditation bowls, yet they are used mainly for the same purpose in the practice of meditation. Usually, a meditation bowl is struck on the inside with a metal rod or pole to produce a note or tone. This will often indicate the beginning of a meditation practice, signaling the need for each individual to be silent and calm. Often, the person using the rod or pole will move it along the lip of the bowl, creating a longer tone and deeper note.
It isn't unusual for someone leading a group meditation to strike a singing bowl throughout the practice, as the tones are said to help relax the mind and place it into a deeper state of trance. Many meditators say that these long, deep tones aid in decreasing the rate of brainwave patterns, which is essential for obtaining a deep state of trance or meditation. Sometimes, different meditation bowls are used throughout the practice, to create ambient background music suitable for relaxation and meditation.
Meditation recordings often use a meditation bowl to deepen the effect meditation has on the mind and body. These recordings might also use binaural tones, as well, which are computer-generated tones embedded within the music from the meditation bowls to help synchronize brain waves to a lower state. These two brainwave influences are said to decrease the time needed to induce a state of trance essential for obtaining a certain meditation state. Although some science has suggested that meditation bowls can be helpful in inducing relaxation and even light states of healing, more research is needed to the exact cause and effect these tones have on the mind and body.