Monday, May 13, 2013

A Bowl of Blessings

I don't consider myself a religious person in the usual sense, meaning mainly that I don't go to church. I do, however, call myself Spiritual.
When I lived in California, I had friends of many faiths and was thus introduced to ideas that were quite new to this naive girl from the Midwest. That is when I learned about Prayer Bowls. I heard about them at Yoga and then again when I was learning to meditate. My therapist had one, several of my friends also owned them.
I learned that Singing Prayer Bowls are used by Tibetan Buddhists during meditation. They are also used in other ways - for Yoga, mental health practices, healing. Some people just collect them. I thought the whole thing was kind of woo woo at first, that being the word I used to describe all the new things I was learning on the west coast, 'new age' you might say.

I was instantly smitten with the sound. The bowls emit such amazing sound with a tone and depth of vibration unlike anything I had every heard before. I was soon obsessed and wanted to own one myself. I searched high and low in California, Arizona and New Mexico before I found the 'right' bowl. It was small yet sturdy, and beautifully made. I had no idea if it was the 'real deal' or if I was being sold some bill of goods, you know what I mean? All I know is I loved the sound of the bowl and I found it comforting. Back in those days, I used it for meditation and also in the studio, pretty much part of my daily routine.
We moved back to the Midwest about 10 years ago and my bowl found its resting place on the altar in a neglected corner of my studio, accumulating dust along with other previously cherished items.
Life somehow got in the way of my ritual and it made me sad when I noticed my pitiful little altar this week. My meditation has continued through the years, but sadly, my use of the Singing Prayer Bowl has fallen by the wayside.

When I picked up the bowl, I realized it was filled with a collection of who knows what, mainly small items I must have wanted to save. I quickly dumped the objects on my table and used the wood mallet to strike the bowl's edge. The familiar sound grounded me so instantly that I had to catch my breath. I sat quietly as the reverberation faded.
I picked up the small items I had dumped from inside the bowl. There were some from a swap I did back in the day; each person had written a prayer and then stitched it into a tiny package. Secret prayers, sent into the world, I wonder what my prayer might have been? I found a miniature mandala book, a few metal tags with engraved words and a rattle.
Sounds and Symbols of a life that has become a bit dusty.
I cleaned each item, put them back in the bowl and placed it prominently on my table next to the miniature glass bowl that holds my wedding ring. And I thought about life, past, present and future.  The dust glitters in the sunlight.
And I am blessed.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful words about ritual and how it brings us peace and balance and how so often we forget...and go on about our days. Time to clean up my little alter too. thanks for the reminder. xox