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What Are Meditation Bells?

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  • Written By: T. Carrier
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2016
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A meditation bell is one of several varieties of meditation equipment used in the relaxation technique. It goes by several alternate names, including rin gong, singing bowl, and mindfulness bell. In early Tibetan practices, meditation bells existed primarily as a means for priests to keep meditating individuals awake. Modern practices, however, find the bells useful as a means of actually producing a meditative state. The objects come in many designs and sizes.

Meditation is a state of attempted spiritual and emotional peace that was popularized in Asia. Some also attribute healing powers to the practice. Certain breathing techniques, a clearing of the mind, and stillness are some of the components that comprise meditation. The mellow and calming sounds of meditation bells are believed to induce these states of being.

Since practitioners often used bells as a meditation timer — or to begin and end a period of meditation — in the past, this constitutes the primary purpose of today’s manufactured meditation bells. Contemporary bells are designed in a more user-friendly and convenient fashion. The devices are believed to serve two purposed in meditation practices: facilitating an inner spiritual balance and removing negative energy from the body. Early practitioners also used the bells for a more practical purpose: to avoid falling asleep.

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Meditation bells emit a sustained sound when they are struck. The exact nature of this sound often depends on the metal composition of the bell and the device’s size. A large bell will more likely create a deep and long sound, whereas a small bell’s sounds are shorter and lighter. In addition, a particular type of metal used for making bells, li, will usually create higher quality sounds.

Bells are available in various forms. One popular type consists of a hollowed bowl made from various materials such as gold or other metals. A specially crafted stick called a striker is used to strike the bell and produce a sound, and this device may sometimes also be rubbed against the bowl to produce a sound.

Other varieties have the familiar elongated bottom and hollow center of a traditional bell. Typical Buddhist design, on the other hand, consists of two somewhat flat metal pieces joined together. Different design patterns and colors are also used for the bells, which can make them a popular household decorative piece.

In addition to meditation and decoration, meditation bells are occasionally used for other purposes as well. Some individuals find the bells are affective as an accompaniment for singing or chanting. Manufacturers have even taken advantage of the calming sounds by installing meditation bells in products ranging from alarm clocks to doorbells.

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bluedolphin
Post 3

@SarahGen-- The same goes for singing bowls. They're not all good quality and it is necessary to try one before buying it.

I actually bought my Buddhist singing bowl from a Tibetan seller at a farmer's market. Markets in urban areas may sell these types of items, so I urge you to search there.

I also use my singing bowl for meditation and relaxation. But I must say that it's also very popular among my guests. When my friends come over, they take notice of the singing bowl right away and want to try it.

literally45
Post 2

I guess meditation bells are different from the bells that Hindus frequently use during worship. Those bells are just small hand-held bells that are used during pooja prayers. I've read that the purpose is to call upon the deity.

SarahGen
Post 1

I use Tibetan meditation bells at the beginning and end of meditation. I really love them. They don't only prepare me for the mindset required for meditation, the sound they produce is very calming and beneficial.

Unfortunately, not all meditation bells produce a beautiful chime. Sometimes it's necessary to try several different types to find the right one. Since there are no stores near me that sell meditation bells, I usually buy mine online. Moreover, most meditation bells come from Asia, so there is a greater selection online. I try to select my meditation bells by reading reviews. There have been a few times when I was disappointed but thankfully, I have found two bells that I absolutely adore and use daily.

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