This is a hand hammered Tibetan singing bowl.
Our research has told us that these bells originally came to Tibet from India at about 500 BCE. These singing bowls are found in many different sizes. Some are well decorated others very simple such as this one many are tuned to particular notes for specific applications.
This bowl has been on our altar for several years. It has a beautiful and sweet tone. We have used it to begin and end periods of silent meditation. It seems to help create a sanctuary or a kind of vestibule no matter where we are. We strike the bell to mark the beginning of the meditation period and again to mark the end of the meditation.
I love to hear the ring erupt from the brass surface at the beginning of the meditation period. With closed eyes I listen. As the ring diminishes, I consciously follow the sound back into the silence. When the time for the meditation is over we ring the bell to leave our silent meditation behind and enter the world with the sound of silence in our hearts.