Solar-Powered Prayer Wheels

A new addition to our product line is the Solar-Powered Prayer Wheel. We currently carry two models of this lovely prayer wheel. The Solar Prayer Wheel is a great way to increase the times that you, in effect, are saying the mantra. In Tibetan Buddhism, prayer wheels were invented so that people could 'say' the prayer without actually needing to be able to read or recite the prayer. The idea behind mantras, is that the power is in the repetition, and so when you recite mantras in Buddhism you say the mantra over and over again. Each rotation of a prayer wheel is the same as saying the mantra one time. There are variations within prayer wheels, most prayer wheels have the mantra written on the outside of the prayer wheel, but some prayer wheels also have a mantra wrapped up on the inside of the prayer wheel. The solar-powered prayer wheels are all what is called standing prayer wheels, the other main types of prayer wheels are hand-held prayer wheels and wall-mounted prayer wheels. Solar Prayer Wheels work from the sunlight, and so they will work in any well-lit room, it doesn't have to be outside.

This prayer wheel is 5 inches tall. The Buddhist mantra, om mani padme hung, is written around the outside of the mani wheel. This prayer wheel is solar-powered, and will spin automatically from the power of the sun. This prayer wheel comes in a padded red carrying case.
Solar-Powered Prayer Wheel 
This prayer wheel is 4.5 inches tall. There are gemstones around the outside of the prayer wheel and the Buddhist mantra, om mani padme hum is around the outside of this wheel as well. This prayer wheel comes in a red box.
Solar-Powered Prayer Wheel 
Either of these solar powered prayer wheels will be great additions to your Buddhist collection. The mantra around the outside of both prayer wheels is om mani padme hum (om mani padme hung) and this mantra is associated with Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. 

Singing Bowl Sets from Mandala Trading

We just listed a new section of singing bowls on Mandala Trading. This section offers a variety of singing bowl sets. There are two main types of singing bowl sets- singing bowl gift sets and groups of singing bowls together in sets of seven, one for each musical note. Our gift sets are popular to give to friends and loved ones who are starting to learn about singing bowls. The singing bowls in many of our gift sets are starter bowls, small bowls for those who want to learn more about singing bowls, without spending a lot of money and then finding that you don't enjoy playing the bowls. Here are some of our gift sets below...

 Heart Chakra Singing Bowl Set

This gift set has a small, 3.25" singing bowl, a striker, a pad for the singing bowl, a lokta paper box, and a rainbow wrist mala. This gift set style comes in a variety of colors (with more on the way) including pink, yellow, and black. This is a great little set to give as a gift. ($29.99)

Hand-Hammered Singing Bowl Gift SetOm Leather Box 
This gift set includes a hand-hammered singing bowl (6 inches wide) and a striker inside a custom-made leather box. We had this box made exclusively for our customers. The dimensions of the box are 7.75 inches wide and 5 inches tall. ($119) This set is lovely if you know someone who has a smaller bowl and would like to move up a bit. The six inch hand-hammered singing bowls produce really nice tones.

Singing Bowl Gift Set 
This set includes seven singing bowls and a leather striker. The singing bowls fit inside each other for easy storage, and there is a chakra image painted in the bottom of each bowl. This set is great if you want a variety of singing bowl tones. ($348)

What are Tibetan Singing Bowls Used For?

Traditional Uses for Tibetan Singing Bowls

This question is a big one, and one we get asked almost every day. How do people use Tibetan singing bowls?  Traditionally, there is only one way people used Tibetan singing bowls, and that was for meditation and ceremonial purposes. Monks used Tibetan singing bowls during their ceremonies, to start the ceremony, to end the ceremony, and sometimes to meditation and chant during the ceremony. Although the exact date when singing bowls were started is probably unknown, it is clear that singing bowls have been in use in Tibet for a very long time. (Though that is true, if someone tells you they want to sell you an old Tibetan singing bowl, please don't buy that bowl- while it is not certain that the bowl is not old, it is also not certain that the bowl IS old.)

Singing Bowls in Meditation

Now that singing bowls are becoming more well-known and popular, not to mention more affordable, everyone can use a singing bowl for their meditation practice. When you use a singing bowl for meditation, you can have someone else play the bowl while you meditate to the sound, but perhaps it is more of a whole body meditation when you play the singing bowl yourself. This is because, in addition to hearing the sound of the singing bowl, you can also feel the vibration of the singing bowl when you play it. Then the singing bowl becomes a whole body meditation. Many people come into our store and want to know whether they have to have a singing bowl cushion. Although the singing bowl cushion is a great tool musically for gonging the singing bowl or when you play more than one singing bowl at a time, it is not needed for meditation, because it is really best if you hold the bowl for meditation.

It is a less traditional use of a singing bowl, but one that is becoming more and more popular, to play a singing bowl for chakra cleansing. Doing so is a complicated practice, and if you are a novice to singing bowls and chakra cleansing, it is probably best just to pick a bowl you like and go from there. But if you want to use your singing bowl for chakra cleansing, we do have a section of singing bowls where the note and chakra is marked on the bowl so you can get the exact note you need to play for your chakra cleansing. However, it's not prudent to look at the chakra chart and think to yourself, I want to be more spiritual, and then go for the crown chakra to help with that. The process is more complicated than that, and you can't really self-diagnose the chakras.

Singing Bowls to Make Beautiful Music

The singing bowl makes beautiful music, and more and more musicians are using singing bowls. It's also a chance for musicians to have additional venues to play, as the singing bowl and live music in yoga classes becomes more popular. To play a singing bowl as a musician you can buy a variety of singing bowls in different sizes and with different notes, and play them all together. Hearing someone who is really great at playing the singing bowls is a lovely experience.

Singing Bowls in Yoga Classes, or for Healing Sessions

Practitioners are using singing bowls more and more in yoga classes and healing sessions. For yoga classes, the singing bowl can be used at the first of the class to get the class started, or during savasana at the end of class. I have also seen yoga teachers use the singing bowl at the end of a class by gonging the singing bowl. This can help the students come out of savasana or meditation. In a restorative yoga class, the singing bowl may be used during the entire class. Singing bowls are also used during massages, reiki sessions, and other healing sessions.

So you can see, the uses for singing bowls abound, and so there is no one right answer for the question, what are singing bowls used for?

Chakra Singing Bowls, Now More! And Site Redesign

Our Chakra Singing Bowls Category features a particular grade of singing bowls, our premium singing bowls. Each bowl in this section has been hand-selected for the quality of that bowl. In this category, we include both cast singing bowls and hand-hammered singing bowls. We call the bowls in this section Chakra bowls, because each singing bowl pictured is the exact singing bowl you will receive. Also, each singing bowl has the note written on it. This helps you choose the right singing bowl for you. Particularly if you are looking for a note to complete your set, or you need a particular note for chakra cleansing, these bowls are great.

Featured Bowls

This singing bowl has a carving of a Buddha on the inside of the bowl. The om mani padme hum mantra is written in brackets around the outside of the bowl. This singing bowl is 5.5 inches wide. This singing bowl is a C note, which relates to the root chakra, located at the base of the spine. Anything to do with being grounded, centered, and close to the earth, relates to the C note.

 In addition to the Chakra singing bowls, we also have many other styles of singing bowls. If you would like a hand-hammered singing bowl, a bowl that was made by beating it into form with a hammer, then we have one of those in every size. Although lots of people like to start with their singing bowl journey by purchasing a very small singing bowl, it is worth the money to purchase a larger bowl. At least a five inch singing bowl is the way to go if you are looking for the really deep, resonant tones from a singing bowl (and most people are). In my opinion, the greatest sounding bowl that is still not too big is a seven inch bowl. A seven inch singing bowl will be beautifully resonant, but it's still not too big to transport. Of course, the nine and ten inch singing bowls will be resonant as well, but it's important to consider how you want to use your singing bowl. Many of our customers want to use a singing bowl in their homes for their own practice. In this case, the size of the singing bowl in terms of transportation is not such a big deal. However, if you want to use the singing bowl outside of your home and would like to travel with your singing bowl- then a nine inch bowl is probably too large for that purpose. It is always fascinating to learn the different ways in which people use singing bowls. They can be used for healing sessions, including reiki, massage, acupuncture, etc. Singing bowls are also used at the beginning or end of a yoga class, or throughout the entire class, they are especially nice when used in restorative yoga. We even have many people who want to use Tibetan singing bowls for religions other than Buddhism or Hinduism.

Here is my favorite singing bowl...

In further news, we just did a site re-design and we really like it! Let us know what you think.

Malas, Prayer Beads, Thangkas, Oh My!

We have almost finished putting everything on the website. Of course, we have tons of products and we will continue to add new products to our website. We carry over 100 Buddhist malas and an amazing line of Tibetan jewelry- and that will take time to put on the site. For now, here are some examples of items in various categories and an explanation of how to navigate our website.

Mala Beads

We offer a variety of Buddhist prayer beads handmade from a wide range of materials, including shell, coral, turquoise and other gemstones, seed beads like bodhi seeds and lotus seeds, etc. One of my favorite malas in this section is our Medicine Mala, this mala is made from yak bone, coral, turquoise, and the three healing metals. This is an exquisite and popular mala because of its healing properties. The three healing metals are copper, brass, and silver. These three metals are thought to have healing properties when combined.

Yak Bone Medicine Mala

Each category where you will find the item you are looking for is on the left side of the page. If you can't figure out which category the item you are interested in buying is in- use our search bar. Our search bar is great and will quickly find the product you need. A lot of different types of products have been added into our Ritual Items section. This is a great place to go if you are looking for some of the more unusual Buddhist items. One of my favorite items in this category is new to us. It is the Buddhist khata- or Buddhist scarf. This item has been used for many years in Tibet during Buddhist ceremonies, or to pay homage to an important teacher.
Buddhist Scarf, Buddhist Khata
Tibetan Buddhist Thangka Paintings are images of Buddhas or Mandalas, traditionally mounted on brocade. There is a brocade border around the outside of each of our thangkas. Our thangkas are each 34 inches long and 20 inches wide. We have been selling these thangkas for years, and there are always certain Buddhist deities that people favor over others. One of our most popular deities is the Green Tara. We carry a few different styles of the Green Tara, and here is one.
Green Tara Thangka
 It is important to us that we are able to carry a unique product line for our customers. If there is an item you are looking for and are unable to find on our site, just let us know and we will be happy to see if we can get it in stock for you. 

Buddha Head Bracelet, Singing Bowl Gift Set, Dragon Lantern

Here is a taste of some of the great items we will soon feature at Mandala Trading!

Buddha Head Bracelet

This bracelet shows a Buddha head on the front, with coral, turquoise, and lapis lazuli gemstones around the crown of the Buddha's head. This bracelet will stretch to fit any wrist. This bracelet is made from white metal and it was handmade in Nepal.

Tibetan Buddhist Singing Bowl and Cushion Gift Set

This Tibetan singing bowl gift set was handmade in Nepal. The cushion is 3 inches tall and 6 inches wide and the singing bowl is 5 inches wide. The singing bowl has the Tibetan Buddhist om mani padme hum mantra written around the outside, and there are designs painted on the inside as well. This    set includes a striker.

Dragon Lokta Paper Lantern

This lantern is 10 inches long and 7 inches wide. There are four sides to this lantern and there is a dragon on each side. This lantern was handmade in Nepal from lokta paper. Lokta paper comes from the daphne plant, which is a shrub that grows easily in Nepal's environment. The great thing about the daphne shrub that makes it environmentally sustainable is that it actually helps the growth of the daphne shrub when it is harvested.

Om Symbol Lapis Lazuli, Coral, and Brass Ring

This ring is made from brass. The Tibetan Buddhist om symbol is on the front of this ring. This ring was handmade in Nepal. The inlay is made from coral and lapis lazuli. This ring will be available in sizes from 7-9.

Ganesha Elephant Statue

This Ganesha Buddha statue was handmade in Nepal from silver plate and brass. Ganesha is the remover of obtstacles and a popular deity in Buddhism and Hinduism. This statue is 7 inches tall.

This is just a few of the products coming soon to Mandala Trading!

Tingshas, Prayer Beads, Prayer Flags

At Mandala Trading, we have been busy preparing for the launch of our Mandala Trading online store. We are putting products on the site and should be able to launch within the week. In the meantime, if you live in Austin you can come check us out in person! Our retail and wholesale showroom is open for business and our business hours are M-F from 11-6 and Saturdays from 12-6. Our full line of products, including a complete selection of Tibetan singing bowls, tingshas, prayer beads, prayer flags, and so much more will be online soon, so keep checking back!