The Singing Bowl and Mr. Singh A Short Story by Mikhayla Harrell

Mikhayla Harrell is a museum educator, teen coordinator, artist, activist and yoga instructor. She helps people tap into their creativity and wellness through neuroaesthetic inquiry and somatic practices. Join Mikhayla on Thursdays from 12:30 to 1 p.m. for Ogden Museum Meditation (OMM), a free lunch time mindfulness session. Below is one tenant of our weekly Museum Meditation, the ability to recognize and celebrate all the gifts that life has to offer.

Image via Sean Ambrose

We are all given gifts throughout our lives; they can be physical objects, lessons, struggles. They can mean nothing to us or quite a lot. We collect these gifts throughout our lifetime, letting them pile up in dusty corners, throwing them out when they no longer serve us or integrating them into the loving grind of quotidian use.

The gift that stands out to me today is a brass singing bowl from India. It was given to me by my father circa 2022. My father has always been my number one cheerleader and has bestowed generosity in countless ways to myself and others in this lifetime. We are blessed. And interestingly enough, this simple bowl is my most prized gift from him to date. It has led myself and hundreds of others into practice, mindfulness and meditation. Its sound invokes openness and possibility, it is a vibration of interconnectivity.

The first time I visited my father in New Delhi he was adamant that we visited Mr. Singh and his brass shop. When we finally meandered to the market we entered a heavily laden emporium. Row after row of shelves from floor to ceiling with dusty singing bowls and sacred statuary.

At last, Mr. Singh, a shop owner, business man and spiritual leader in his Sikh community, pulled out the largest brass singing bowl I had ever seen. He asked me to stand still, relax and connect. He held the bowl over my head like a monolithic umbrella and made it sing. My whole body tensed and then released.

The deep vibration was instantly transformative. It was an experience I will never forget.

We meet for Ogden Mindfulness Meditation weekly to celebrate these gifts of time, focus, concentration and deep relaxation. We celebrate the gift of interconnectivity with each other, the aesthetic space around us, and the present moment.