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The Gift of Buddha Bowls
A blog by Anne Belden, MS, PCC, October 30, 2014
In the halls of my fertile mind, I am a goddess - wise, graceful ,bestowing gifts……In reality I am a mere woman, and mother of two adult children, one biological and one adopted, the sweet outcome of a decade long journey. Becoming a mother certainly felt like an act of the gods, after so many years, and unspoken losses. Centuries ago, praying to the Goddesses was the only path to healing infertility. How far we have come!
And yet, as little as 30 years ago, no one thought of yoga for fertility; no doctor ever suggested acupuncture to me, or considered my excessive exercising an issue; and while the stress response was understood, it was not yet explored in relation to fertility. All eyes were on the emerging miracles of ART. I made it through those 10 years on sheer grit and undaunted hope, with a liberal sprinkling of support from friends.
However, today, we have loads of data on the benefits of the mind/body connection, which I define as : The spiritual, psychological and emotional connection between the state of the mind and that of the body. And there is an abundance of strategies that promote this connection ,including writing, mindfulness practice, spirituality, connecting with nature, movement, body work, meditation, visualizations, etc. My intention in this blog series is to give you one simple tool each time and I’d love to hear what your experience was in trying it.
One of my favorite exercises I suggest to clients, is what I call Buddha Bowls. This tool supports a practice of mindfulness, which is simply an awareness of what is happening in the moment. Having your own set of Buddha Bowls, is a way to keep you connected with what you feel as you feel it, which in turn supports a closer relationship to the wisdom your body holds.
So here’s what you do: gather up three bowls, all big enough to hold lots of little pieces of paper, and one that you can safely burn things in, if you feel like it. Now label them:
- The Cherishing & Savoring Bowl
- The Bragging Bowl
- The Bad Juju Bowl
Then, pick a time during each day when you can take even just 5 minutes to reflect. Write down 1 thing on a small piece of paper for each bowl. It might help to ask yourself questions, such as:
- What did I savor today?
- How did I cherish myself today?
- What did I totally rock at today?
- Where did I leave a meaningful mark today?
- What bugged the heck out of me today?
- Did someone say something hurtful today?
For the Bad Juju Bowl, it might be enough just to write it down and deposit it in your bowl, or it might feel really good to actually burn the little bit of paper. As you burn it, watch the small trail of smoke go up and imagine that negative energy being absorbed by the universe. For the other two bowls, watch and enjoy the bowls filling up with savoring, bragging and cherishing notes!
As your bowls grow with all kinds of little notes, notice the effect on you; see if it brings a sense of calm and peace, or just a moment of happiness.