For Christmas this year, a friend gifted me an unlikely source of relaxation: a Tibetan singing bowl. Listening to the many tones of the bowl — which comes with its own little stand and whacking stick — is a meditative method for shutting up the voices in your head, on the internet, and throughout the cosmos. A moment of zen, as it were.
A couple years ago, I started taking mindfulness meditation classes, where I learned about sound meditation, in which you get your John Cage on, simply listening to every sound, big and small, beautiful and ugly, for a set period of time. If other thoughts pop in — which they will — you don’t beat yourself up about them. You just notice them, observe them, and get back to listening. If sound meditation is my favorite type of meditation, I guess you could say the bowls are my favorite song. (You can read more about the history of the singing bowl, sometimes called a standing bell, here, as a starting point.) I learned that the way of the bowl isn’t just about listening, but healing. For more relaxation, you can put the vibrating bowl on various parts of your body. It’s *literally* good vibrations.
Also, the bowl is fun. You can make a quiet boonngg or loud BOOOOOONNNNGGGGG or a REALLY loud BOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGG. If you ever wanted to get so centered and meditative that you wake all the neighbors, this is your path to obnoxious enlightenment. And even if you only get three seconds of peace and clarity at a time, that’s more peace and clarity than you have now, right? Right. —Mark Peters
Get it from Amazon for $44.40, or a similar version from Amazon for $22.88.