I was standing in a 7-layer metal bowl, my bare feet firmly planted in the cool, gold-colored metal. The room was bright and airy with only the faint noise of the frenzied Nepalese traffic in my ears.
“Close your eyes,” the large man said. I complied. A moment later, the muted sounds of Nepal were drowned out by the singing bowl. The direction of sound changed as he danced around me, gently grazing the bowl against my various torso regions as he conducted his therapy to balance my chakras.
Or some such bullshit.
I was in a singing bowl healing center in Lalitpur, a city known for its fine arts and master craftsmen. Among these beautiful bowls, I tried to give myself over to this healing process.
Except what stuck out in my brain like an elephant at the Monkey Temple was the fact that here I had been listening to a repetitive lecture on the energy balancing therapies of singing bowls …
By a man at least 50 pounds overweight. In a poor country.
“So what are the end results of the therapies?” I asked. He looked at me quizzically. “I mean, do people come for singing bowl therapy for specific reasons, like discovering greater happiness, overcoming stress, improving clarity … maybe losing weight?”
I wasn’t trying to be mean. (And he didn’t get it anyway.) He repeated that they came to him to rebalance their chakras, agitated that I apparently hadn’t been listening during the last 15 minutes in his fancy singing bowl showroom.
I was listening. Could I get a cynisism rebalancing, please?
We went on to talk further about the therapies of singing bowls … and by this point I was only half listening. What is the point of rebalancing your chakras if you can’t even rebalance your weight?
Here it comes. The lecture that perhaps one must rebalance chakras before you rebalance weight.
Maybe. But I doubt it. This guy was known as a healing man and had been giving singing bowl therapies for years. It was a safe guess that his weight had been positively correlated to the number of therapies and singing bowls in which he dealt.
But perhaps balancing chakras was more important than balancing weight? I doubt that, too. The evidence – medical and empirical – didn’t really support that notion.
What about that cynisism rebalancing I asked about? Anyone? Bueller?
Cynicism aside, I bought the singing bowl. It’s what I had come for, after all. I had seen and read about the bowls in the past many times, including by yoga instructors whose chakras were most definitely imbalanced – and I wanted a bowl of my own. I was finally in Nepal again fourteen years after my first visit and it was time for a bowl.
We all need balancing of several sorts.
Singing bowl sounds really are beautiful and soothing. The therapist-salesman helped me select an “E” bowl that matched my astrological cosmic energy. There was one bowl in particular that definitely spoke to me more than the others. (See? I am not as close-minded as you may think.)
I was looking forward to using my bowl for sound energy and meditation. And also because I had recently become a new chicken mother and I needed to develop a chicken call more interesting than “Heeeeerrrrreee chick chick chick chick chick!” That antiquated farm call simply did not match my cosmic energy one iota.
In fact, I had been “Ohming” to my baby chickens from the time they were 4 days old … and by God it actually worked. Instantly, the down-covered fluff balls would stop their chirping and stare off into space as if Buddha himself had appeared in their little chicken-eyes.
But now that they were older and had escaped their cardboard box in the garage – to the hood of the car and top of the deep freeze – it was time to fluff up their big girl feathers and head into the coop. I would need something louder than any “Ohm” I could give; my singing bowl would have a purpose greater than sound energy.
But I digress.
I really think the singing bowl salesman-therapist was doing it all backwards. I’ve helped people rebalance their weight and watched as a whole lot else comes into balance. Surprisingly. Cosmically.
Rebalance your weight, then worry about rebalancing your chakras. The journey to the center of your soul may end up being far more productive, fruitful and rewarding.