Image result for tibetian singing bowls photos

Stepping into the musty shop on a busy street in Kathmandu, I was looking for souvenirs.  I found some – but I also came away with 7 life lessons.

I was in Nepal to facilitate a workshop for The Asia Foundation, and other than a planned mountain flight to see Mt. Everest, this afternoon was my one opportunity for shopping and sightseeing.  The souvenir shop, not far from my hotel, sold items like luxurious pashmina shawls, beautiful Thangka paintings, colorful handmade paper.  What caught my eye, though, were the rows of Tibetan singing bowls.

I didn’t know much about singing bowls, but had seen and heard them used in the US in church services and in yoga classes as a call to meditation.  I remembered their beautiful and calming sound. I immediately decided that, if I could find an affordable one, this would be the perfect memento of my very first trip to Nepal.

When the storekeeper saw that I was serious about buying one, he offered to show me how to make the bowl “sing.” I gladly took him up on the offer.  Although I made the storekeeper – let’s call him my “Zen master” – cringe in the process, I am grateful for the 7 lessons I learned about singing bowls.  I think they also apply to life in general.

1. Loosen Your Grip

First, my teacher demonstrated how to hold the bowl lightly in the palm of one’s hand.  If you clutch it tightly, it won’t sing.

Is there something in my life – career, personal life, relationships, goals – that I am clutching too tightly, and in so doing, preventing the very results I seek?

2. Be Consistent

My teacher instructed me to hold the wooden baton as I would a writing instrument, between my thumb and first two fingers, and circle the rim of the bowl, applying firm and even pressure.  I found that varying the speed or pressure did not yield good results.

In what areas of my life am I inconsistent? How might greater consistency help me, and others in my life?

3. Find a Good Teacher

An eager student, I dutifully followed my teacher’s instructions.  As I circled the bowl’s perimeter with the baton, I thought I was doing pretty well.  I soon noticed, however, that my “Zen master” was cringing.  So much for his equilibrium and inner peace. For him, a master in meditation, watching me in action was probably the equivalent of hearing fingernails on a chalkboard.  He gently and patiently corrected my technique, until I was on the right track.

Who can teach me what I need to learn? Who possesses the knowledge I seek, but also – perhaps more importantly – the patience required to help me learn?

Image result for tibetian singing bowls photos

4. Be Patient

After all that instruction and correction, I figured I’d be producing the melodic pitch at any moment.  I figured wrong. I kept circling the bowl with the baton, but produced no sound.  What was I doing wrong?  Why wasn’t it working?  My teacher reassured me that my technique was fine, I just had to be patient. “You will circle the bowl ten times, maybe more, before you hear any sound,” he explained. In the case of this newbie, it was closer to 20 times – but I did eventually hear a sweet tone emanating from the bowl.

Are there areas in my life – career, personal life, relationships, goals – where I am frustrated by the lack of results? Am I ready to give up too quickly?  Should I persevere, and if so, how?

5. Relish the Ride as Much as the Results

I was so intent on doing it “right,” my brows were knit in concentration, my shoulders were tense.  “Breathe,” my teacher reminded me simply.  Oh yeah, this is supposed to be meditative.  The gains are not in merely making the bowl sing.  If anything, the sound is merely a signal that I am fully engaged in the process.

In what areas of my life am I focused more on achieving the results than enjoying the journey? How can I relish the ride a bit more?

6. There Are Multiple Paths to Take — Find the One that Works for You

I also learned that to jump-start the sound, you can tap the side of the bowl, which produces a lovely gong sound, and then circle the rim of the bowl with the baton to prolong and heighten the sound.  I was gratified to find that even in this meditative activity, there are multiple paths to a common destination.

In what areas of my life am I assuming that there is only one way to do things? How might exploring an alternate path be more productive, more freeing, or more effective?

7. Balance Your Commitments

As I held the singing bowl in my left hand, circling it with my right, my wedding ring would occasionally touch the bottom of the bowl.  The contact of metal on metal resulted in a discordant clang.  My teacher again corrected my hold on the bowl.  I wasn’t about to take off my wedding ring, but I had to adjust my approach given that I was wearing one.

How might I need to adjust my approach in various areas of life given that I have certain commitments (be they to spouse, children, friends, certain values, or causes)?

My Tibetan singing bowl now sits on a prominent shelf in my home office, a reminder of the 7 life lessons I learned that afternoon in Kathmandu.

Image result for tibetan singing bowls photos gifs

Views: 33

Replies to This Discussion

I have on cd at home, I play it quite a lot, especially if it's a bad keeps me calm. I've always wanted to have my own bowls, but they're's work too.


Have questions?

Need help? Visit our Support Group for help from our friendly Admins and members!

Have you?

Become a Member
Invited Your Friends
Made new Friends
Read/ Written a Blog
Joined/ Created a Group
Read/ Posted a Discussion
Checked out the Chat
Looked at/Posted Videos
Made a donation this month
Followed us on Twitter
Followed us on Facebook


Please consider a donation to help with our continued growth and site costs


Visit The Temple
on Facebook:


Blog Posts

The On Going Debate

Posted by Quingu on June 17, 2019 at 11:30am 0 Comments

Free Will

Posted by Quingu on June 15, 2019 at 8:39am 0 Comments


Posted by Crystalline on June 12, 2019 at 4:58pm 1 Comment


Posted by Sky a.k.a. JD Aeon on June 10, 2019 at 9:30am 1 Comment

Babylon Has Fallen

Posted by Quingu on June 5, 2019 at 5:00pm 0 Comments

The God of War

Posted by Quingu on June 3, 2019 at 9:00am 0 Comments

June 2019 Monthly Horoscope

Posted by Helela on June 1, 2019 at 10:22am 3 Comments

The Ridd'lin

Posted by Quingu on May 29, 2019 at 12:14pm 0 Comments

Your Magnetic X

Posted by Zephonith Serpent Woman on May 29, 2019 at 1:11am 2 Comments

Antichrist Religion

Posted by Quingu on May 28, 2019 at 7:00pm 0 Comments

Never More (Angelic Wars)

Posted by Quingu on May 28, 2019 at 6:00pm 0 Comments

The 7 Rings

Posted by Quingu on May 25, 2019 at 4:00pm 0 Comments












© 2019   Created by Bryan   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service