Fine quality singing bowls from Himalayan Bowls

Chakra Tones and Singing Bowls

Posted in All About Singing Bowls by Himalayan Bowls on October 8th, 2011

“Which chakra is this singing bowl?” is one of the questions I am often asked. What’s a chakra? How does sound relate to a chakra? Why do people talk about chakras in relation to singing bowls?

Chakras are a concept from Hinduism. According to Hindu belief, a spiritual body lives inside a human being’s physical body. The spiritual body is believed to exist alongside our physical body. Chakras are said to be vortices of energy within that etheric spiritual body. Upon death, the spirit body is believed to leave the physical body and enter a new physical body in the process of reincarnation, or rebirth. Chakras are generally associated with 7 areas of the body: the root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye and crown.

Chakra theories and practices have become popular in the west in recent years due to the New Age and Yoga movements. Today chakra meditations, chakra toning, chakra music, chakra art are part of spiritual and yogic practices in the west. Chakra visualizations are part of some yoga and meditation practices.

I have studied chakra meditation from Buddhist and Bon meditation masters. These traditions are quite different from the Hindu belief, as they do not believe in literal chakras of energy inside your body. In these traditions, chakras are not thought of as a literal fact, but as visualization tools for meditation. They are images in our mind and not to be considered as real or as a literal part of our anatomy. In Buddhist and Bon belief, to give the chakras a lot of thought is a mistake. It is considered a form of grasping, or worse, delusion, to believe they are real. They can be part of meditation practice if they are recognized as “skillful means,” techniques to help improve one’s meditation.

How do singing bowls relate to chakras? How does sound relate to chakras? How did all of it start?

In Asia, people sometimes say “the sound clears your chakras,” meaning sound and vibration is helpful to your life. You can feel the vibration of a singing bowl. It feels great and people search for ways to describe the experience. “I can feel it clearing my chakras” is a way of describing the feeling. It means they are feeling something and they like the feeling. Then they interpret their experience through their belief in chakras and spirit bodies. It’s similar to the western expression “It’s good for your soul,” or “it feeds my soul.” It’s not necessarily a literal fact, but people often take the ideas very literally.

When Westerners started selling singing bowls, this nice saying “It’s good for your chakras” was morphed into “chakra tones.” The idea that certain musical tones are good for chakras became a big marketing tool. The chakra tone idea was mainly used to sell singing bowls. The belief in chakra tones is so widespread that almost all singing bowl websites and books talk about it. In fact, I’m one of the few singing bowl sellers that does not make a claim about “chakra tones.” I will go further to say there is no such thing as chakra tones. I do not believe in a reincarnating spirit body, chakras or chakra tones.

The Buddhist idea of non-self is contrary to the idea of literal chakras. Chakras are simply a concept. They can be useful for visualization and may help meditation, but they do not exist as literal part of our anatomy or being.

In my experience and beliefs, concepts can be deluding and distracting. Chakras are a concept, sometimes a very vivid one, invented in the mind. Buddhism teaches freedom from concepts and other impositions of the mind. Due to my own beliefs, I tend to think of concepts like chakras as obstacles.

However, chakras can be useful in meditation practice. The idea can open the door to new spiritual insight. Meditation tools like chakras, symbols and mantras can directly aid spiritual development. However, they are not the end or a goal. They are only steps on the path. They should not be taken literally or seriously. When it comes to chakras and singing bowls, it’s mostly marketing. There really are no chakra tones. Sellers who claim otherwise are using the idea to sell a product. It’s a sales tactic. Period.

The truth is that singing bowls can vibrate you in surprising and unexpected ways. One bowl can vibrate many areas of the body – not just one. Forget chakra tones – the truth is much more complex and interesting.


Great answers! Thank you for this useful site.

Comment by Jess Fife — January 5, 2012 @ 11:02 am

I understand your beliefs and where your coming from. Yet I am confused as to why you would create a CD called “Chakra Meditation”. Can you explain this?

Comment by James Ivy — February 28, 2012 @ 7:44 pm

A Chakra is an object of meditation. It is a concept – the concept of an object which can be visualized. It may be a stepping stone in meditation practice. It can also be an obstacle if one perceives it as “real” or “unreal.” It’s not a real thing or some invisible vortex in our body. It is a tool for meditation and as such invented in our minds. My CD “Chakra Meditation” is likewise a concept and a tool for meditation. The sound is likewise invented in our minds and points to the empty nature of things.

Comment by Himalayan Bowls — February 28, 2012 @ 10:07 pm

Enjoyed your post and your view on chakra’s
regarding the bowls.


Comment by Tim — January 19, 2014 @ 4:41 pm

There are many approaches one may take to recognize the Buddha’s teaching.

I’m also a Buddhist, practicing within the Tibetan tradition.

In Tibetan Buddhist tantric practice, as you probably know, there are countless methods that deal very specifically with the chakras, channels, winds/prana, etc…

All of this is of course not in conflict with the idea of “no self.” They are simply methods, and they have been practiced by countless beings for a very long time, and to great effect, to put it mildly… 😉

So we need not go to extremes and say that there are “no chakras.” Sure, we COULD say that… but then, we can say the same thing about EVERYTHING.

But since form is emptiness and emptiness is form, and without any identity… we need not accept or deny anything, ultimately.

My chakras appear to exist and yet they are an illusion, just like the rest of my body, and just like the rest of the universe.

This site is really wonderful, I do think that I will buy a bowl here in the future.

It would indeed be helpful if you listed the notes that each bowl resonates with most strongly, to make it easier to select the appropriate one for working more closely with a specific chakra in one’s body.

Comment by Mike — February 28, 2014 @ 4:00 pm

Yes – that’s the point I’m trying to make. It’s known as “skillful means.” Chakras are an idea which may be useful. The problem is that people take it as a literal fact. So, I get emails and calls almost every day asking “Which chakra does this bowl vibrate?” Well, the honest answer to that question is “all of them and none of them,” or “which chakra would you like it to vibrate?” The simple fact is that a singing bowl will vibrate whatever area you hold it up to – hold it in front of your heart and you’ll feel it there. Hold it in front of your face and you’ll feel it there. Some will vibrate you more or less, but that’s not so much about the frequency. I don’t see any correlation between musical note and chakras. People get hung up on the belief that it has to be a C, G, F# or other pitch – it’s not true. The musical note isn’t important and I don’t think a belief in chakras is important either. It’s a new age fad as far as I can tell.

Comment by Himalayan Bowls — October 19, 2016 @ 7:20 am

I have visualized chakra colors during certain empowerment/transmissions–And in my practice, integrated chakra balancing on a weekly basis with terrific results. As far as concepts being detrimental to a person’s practice… Buddhism is chock full of concepts!
I love the info regarding the bowls… much appreciated.

Comment by Michelle — August 29, 2016 @ 1:01 pm

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