is for bowl.
It’s also for blessings and breath, but they’re all related in my mind, so let’s begin with bowl.
I believe we all have certain images that we really resonate with; that really open deep things for us and help us form and inform our frame of understanding. Bowls are one of those images for me.
Sometimes I think of the world as a great collection of bowls of all sizes and colors, some inside one another, some balanced on the edges of other bowls, all in a beautiful configuration. I think of each one of us as a bowl because we are such great receivers. We are here on this Earth walk, receiving, receiving, receiving in every moment – awarenesses, inspirations, energies we think of as physical, energies we think of as subtle and spiritual, impulses we interpret through our senses. We are like giant bowls being constantly filled.
Using this image of a bowl filled with an always-arriving myriad of things, it’s an easy jump to work with the image of identifying those things in your bowl that you consider blessings. The things you are grateful for.
The more you allow yourself to see yourself as a receiver, the more you open to the understanding that you are indeed filled and there are endless blessings, endless joys, endless experiences, endless expressions that you can turn your attention and gratitude toward. And in doing that you invite in more. You are literally saying with your attention, I want more of how that feels. And you look for things that resonate with that vibration. You look for more of what feels like a blessing, and move away from what isn’t so much. It’s a beautiful dance. It’s how we live our lives each day, and yet when you pay conscious attention you get to immerse yourself in the delight of it. And for me that’s truly what a gratitude practice is all about.
Because I am one who enjoys touchstones, who enjoys physical representations of what is beautiful for me, I love using bowls as blessing containers. Sometimes I’m inspired to write some of the blessings I’m most grateful for on little slips of paper, fold them and stick them in a bowl on my altar. When I see them it makes me smile. When I walk by they move a bit in the breeze and I think of it as activating a thank you that reaches out into the ethers. Sometimes I burn incense and waft it through the slips for the same purpose. Sometimes I simply breathe on them. It’s all the same. It’s all done in gratitude. It’s all done in joy.
This is a photo of a paper bowl I made ago that I like to use as a blessing bowl. By now it feels so full of joy energy it literally vibrates. I love this shot of it sitting on one of the staircase posts in my house. I often use these posts as little mini altars and love walking by them countless times during the day as I walk up and down the stairs.
I also love Tibetan singing bowls, and so sometimes I write a thank you note, slip it under the bowl and then sing the bowl. I love the idea of saying thank you in ways that are expressed externally.
Because one the gifts I’m blessed to carry is sometimes being able to see the Language of Light, I often see the air filled with beautiful symbols. And I like remembering this when I’m sending my thanks into the world. Sending out love-filled energy, heart-felt gratitude, joy that becomes part of the cosmic “atmosphere” available to others. Don’t we all want to breathe in more of that kind of energy?
What is it you want to be spilling out into the world from the bowl that is you? What are you feeling grateful for today? Is there a B-word you associate with gratitude that belongs in your gratitude abecedarium? Do tell, you know I love to hear.
I would say a gratitude for me for the letter B would be Buddha. Buddha is such a great model of living. He inspires peace and contentment for me.
I love the image of your mini-altars on the stairs. It’s inspiring!
What a beautiful post on bowls and their uses. I especially liked the idea of putting the gratitudes on tiny slips of paper in or under the bowls. I have a Tibetan singing bowl and love the sound and energy it creates. Like Amy, I agree that the picture of the bowl on the stairs is stunning. Beautiful post, can’t wait to see more of your abecedarium.
Thanks so much for stopping by Minette and your kind words – I really appreciate it. Tibetan bowls sing so beautifully don’t they. It feels like a real gift being able to caretake them and enjoy their energy.
I love the image of bowls for gratitude! I instantly though of a big blue pottery bowl filled with water and smooth rocks. I am very grateful for all of the wonderful people in my life!
Oh what a beautiful image Margot – simply gorgeous! And what a lovely gratitude. May your life always be filled with wonderful people!
What a wonderful way to wake up this morning. This post is just what I needed to hear. Plans for the upcoming holidays are being discussed and I was beginning to feel over-whelmed. Your post caused me to shift from all the work that “needs” to be done, to what a blessing it is to have family who want to share the holidays with us. It’s an opportunity to share family traditions with the next generation.
Deborah, you are a blessing in my life and a blessing to the world.
What a wonderful shift Judy – I can feel the expansiveness and beauty in that simple refocus. Yay you! And thank you so much for the kind words – I truly appreciate them. And you.
Yes to bowls of gratitude! I recently visited my son in Montreal and was lucky to be there when the Museum of Fine Arts was holding a Dale Chihuly exhibit. I was stunned by the entire exhibit however the gigantic, colourful glass bowls perched atop large poles and lit from above was striking.
I, too, like your idea of slipping slips of gratitude into bowls and passing by them frequently throughout the day. Lovely.
Oh how fun to see a Chihuly exhibit Kelly! I so love his work – he takes glass into such wonderful directions.