Life Lessons from the Bowl

I’ve been practicing sound therapy for years in conjunction with energy work. I have amassed a pretty good collection of Tibetan and crystal singing bowls, drums and tuning forks during that time. My bowls have taught me many things about energy and few important things about life.


A few years ago, I invested in a lovely little garnet crystal singing bowl. She is small, just 6” across and 8” tall. She is tuned to the note of G, the throat chakra. I was so disappointed when she arrived. She didn’t sing. I tried over and over again, but could not draw a song out of her. I gave up, declaring that I had wasted my money, and put her up on a shelf in my office as a display piece. Recently I moved by bowl collection to my home office. I lamented to my husband, as I prepared to place her back on a shelf, that I am still sad that this bowl came to me with a defect, and wouldn’t sing. “What are you talking about?” he asked me. “I have drawn a song out of this bowl tons of times. You just have to work on her for a while, and be patient.” Curious, I grabbed a striker and began rotating it around and around the bowl. For 60 seconds or more, the only sound I could hear was the leather wrapped striker whisking around the edges of the bowl. Suddenly, a vibration started to emerge, getting louder and louder, eventually filling up my office with a rich, pulsating tone. I couldn’t believe it. All of this time, I had written her off as faulty, when she was far from it. Her song is beautiful, powerful even, when given the patience to really shine. What an incredible metaphor about life. How often do we write people off too quickly? We miss out on so many beautiful songs when we fail to have enough patience for the people around us.

The art of creating Tibetan singing bowls in an ancient practice, passed on from one generation to the next. That practice has nearly vanished now, with a great deal of bowls being hammered by machine. In my opinion, the old way of creating bowls is the best way. In the old way, 7 metals are melted together, poured into rounds, and hand hammered into the shape of the bowl. When the bowl is complete, it is played to learn what note it has become. This is an incredible concept to me. Usually items are manufactured to BE something specific. In the case of Tibetan singing bowls, it is a mystery until the last hammer has rung. They are allowed to BE whatever it is they have become. I have always felt like this is the way we should be raising our children. Rather than force them into our boxes, wouldn’t it be amazing to just embrace whatever it is that they become?


Though the healing energy I have received and passed along from my bowls is incredible, the life lessons I have taken from my bowls is even better. Slow down. Be patient. Be accepting. And of course, everyone, no matter how small they may feel, has a voice, has power and has a song to share.