Singing Bowl, Pick Me

A few years ago on a day trip to Tarpon Springs I wandered into a store filled with the coolest and most eclectic things. They had unique jewelry, cards with clever sayings and an entire wall of singing bowls. I passed by the bowls giving them a full on Sherry eye roll silently thinking, whatever.

No singing bowls for me

At that point in my yoga teaching career, I had not ever been able to make a singing bowl sing. It felt like an epic fail. I felt like I had not been expressing my craft as fully as I could and that was a continued source of disappointment.

When you graduate from Yoga teacher training it somehow seems you are expected to emerge with intimate knowledge of unusual things.  Things that before yoga teacher training you may not have even heard of; like singing bowls or the healing benefits of Matcha tea. In any case, I wanted to make a singing bowl sing so badly that I picked them up every where I saw them and to no avail. Not a sound came from any bowl that I ever tried.
So when I saw the wall of singing bowls in the coolest store ever, I hesitated to even touch one because I was enjoying my day and wanted to keep it that way. The super friendly store owner saw me leering at the bowls with my disapproving face and she said, “Has a bowl picked you yet?”

Pick me? Hmphhhh. I scowled.

The singing bowl picks you

She continued, “ The bowl needs to pick you, not the other way around.” I shared the unfortunate news.  “I can’t make them sing. I’m a yoga teacher but I can’t make one singing bowl sing.”  This announcement was accompanied by a full blown frown on my face.  She explained, “When you pick up the right bowl for you it will sing without effort. Try a few more.”  Still, I felt like stomping away like a four year old because I was pretty sure she was wrong.

She was however encouraging and friendly so I began to pick them up one by one to try and make one of them sing. She would shortly see what I already knew.

See? I told ya

As expected, they didn’t budge.  Not a sound or vibration came forth. Completely validated and sporting  my “told ya so” face, I picked up just one more singing bowl.  I guess I did so to undeniably drive the point home.  Before I could even finish striking the bowl with the wooden mallet, it began to sing.  Let me clarify.  This bowl didn’t just sing, it began to belt out a joyful noise to rival the likes of Andrea Bocelli straight out of Rome. It was bananas. The sound was so loud and reverberatory that I saw a dog three stores away turn and stare at me and the bowl. I was befuddled.

Her voice broke my trance, “See, it picked you,” I think it was the store owners version of a mic-drop.  Positively speechless,  I handed her my  Amex card and left with my otherworldly singing bowl. Now, every Thursday in my Yin class, I love to make it sing.

Be open to a new outcome

Whenever I use my singing bowl it reminds me to be open and to give myself the opportunity to suspend judgement and allow. It reminds me that just because I have had a similar outcome for an extended period of time doesn’t mean that I have to accept that as my truth forever.

There are many times in our lives when we feel stuck in something because we continue to experience it in a certain way (I can’t make it sing). We begin to accept that as our truth and then solidify it by continuously repeating it to ourselves with passion. This is like cosmic cement, forever casting our limiting beliefs (I can’t make it sing) into reality.  We have the opportunity to step out of our knowing  (as in I KNOW this will never work) and allow for the possibility that we can have a different outcome.

Whenever you hear yourself saying “I can’t”, or “this doesn’t work”, or “it never happens for me”, maybe be open to the simple possibility of a new outcome.  You are worth the consideration to be generous with yourself.  You are incredible, capable and talented in so many ways. If there is something in your life that you just can’t seem to make sing, suspend your judgement and allow. Remind yourself that you already have everything inside of you to be successful and legendary; at whatever it is that you are trying to accomplish.

You can do this. We all can.

Hugs, Sherry

If you’re curious about singing bowls, here is an interesting article about the healing benefits of sound therapy.  Tibetan Singing Bowls.

There are 12 comments

    1. Sherry Duquet

      Thank you Mamie, it is near to my heart and will continue to practice being open too. It takes time and practice for me.

  1. Marilyn Hafling

    Like this story–singing bowls are wonderful. Thanks for the update on the beaches–I check them out daily.

    1. Sandy Boulton

      Hi Marilyn. Thank you so much! Loving that our beaches are becoming healthy again after red tide.

  2. Nickie

    I am having a hard time finding the one too. The thing that confuses me is that when I use the wooden end of the mallet it works great… but has the rattling sound from the wood rubbing around the rim. Yes I do know that I’m suppose to use the felt end but that muffled the ring. Any tips? Feeling a little down when this experience is suppose to be uplifting.

    1. Sherry

      Nickie, I have had the exact same dilemma. I have found that the best way for me to alleviate the rattling sound is to use the rubbery end of the mallet and to go very slowly. You may also want to experiment with how you are holding the bowl with your other hand. Finger tips touching the bowl, finger tips not touching the bowl etc…On some days mine sounds better when I cup the entire bowl with the palm of my hand. Be kind to yourself as you are learning something new and remind yourself to have fun with it. Your desire to do it well is coming from a place of love so be loving and kind with yourself as you continue to learn.

    1. Sherry

      Hi Stephanie. Thank you for reading this article and for asking about your bowl. That is a great question and I think you just answered it. There is no more important universal message than to follow your own intuition.

  3. Alicia

    My new bowl didn’t come with any rubber on the mallot,just wood and like another comment previously I just hear the rubbing of the wood against the bowl with a slight high pitch noise. I have had other bowls work for me but I’m not sure this one is and I may need to return it, I was so drawn to it so Im surprised I can’t get it to sing, maybe it’s the all wooded Mallot that it came with?

    1. Sherry

      Hey Alicia, I totally agree and think it is your mallet. The mallets with the rubber ends are so much easier to use. If you can find one, give it a try. I think you will be able to make yours sing.

  4. Camie Gorringe

    My singing bowl was a gift. Sometimes it sings and other times it won’t. Any way to make it connect w me so it will sing all the time?

    1. Sherry Duquet

      Hi Camie. Thank you for reading this post and commenting. That is an excellent question. It may help to try a new mallet, if you have not done so already. Another idea is to place it directly in your hand OR, if you do that currently, try it on a different surface. Another thought is to meditate before playing the bowl, setting your intention with it, maybe it needs some encouraging! Hope you connect together successfully.

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