In 1951 China invaded Tibet. Then the Chinese began to destroy most of the monasteries and temples. Many monks fled the country. Living outside their country and in poverty created pressure to sell their belongings. In this way singing bowls became slowly known to the public.
Before the Chinese invasion no one had ever heard about these particular sound making bowls, although a singing bowl had been found in an excavation in Tibet, proving they existed some 4000 years ago.
From the spare knowledge we have, we know that the Tibetan lamas used the bowls secretly and for themselves alone, although it seems reasonable that other monks were using them too. The practice of the singing bowls actually came from shamans before Buddhism even was present in Tibet.
Singing bowls profoundly affect and harmonize body and soul. Their sounds allow a deep state of relaxation, and as a result one becomes more aware of one’s inner being and center. Placing and playing singing bowls on the body promotes a deep sound massage of every cell and organ, resulting in a remarkable feeling of well-being.
What do singing bowls consists of? Traditionally they were made of seven metals corresponding to the seven visible planets. Of course it is impossible to find out what you have for sure without destroying your bowl. The singing bowls now made in Northern India and Nepal are typically made with three or five metals, a few of them have been made with all seven metals. No two singing bowls are the same, as they are each hand made. Quality thus varies, and one has to be careful when buying a bowl.