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The Buddha Bowl

Feature Photo by Noukka

Cathy Lynn

How do you express your wishes to whom or whatever you hold faith in…Universe/Source/God?  How do you express your gratitude?  Have you ever considered that those expressions are imperative?

About 7 years ago on a visit to one of my oldest and dearest friends, we went to a pottery painting place.  They had all kinds of pieces that you could paint to your liking and then they would glaze and fire them.  Generally they were ready for pick up within a week.  It was a great evening, filled with laughter,paint, and messy hands!

I chose a Buddha bowl.  It was an ambitious task to be sure, as I’d never done this sort of thing before.  But, I listened to the instructions about how the paint would burn and what wouldPicture1 be left behind, and got to work.  I put the symbols for Love, Peace and Prosperity inside it, and wrote the words on the lid. I used colors that made me feel happy.  I painted bamboo on the sides, for good luck.  And my little Buddha bowl turned out gorgeous, as you can see.

When I got it home, I had no idea what I would use it for, so I took it to work, and built my office decor around it.  Then the idea of making it a wish and gratitude bowl came to me.  I started writing my dreams and wishes on scraps of paper and putting them in the bowl.  I also decided that some kind offering would be appropriate as well, so I would include a bit of spare change with each piece of paper.  I put them in the bowl, and basically forgot about them.

Time went by, and I wound up changing floors at work.  My Buddha bowl went with me to my new office.  Then came the flood.  A water line burst on a floor above and water ran over a weekend.  My office was a mess!  I had to take most of my decorative things home, and had to throw some away.  The Buddha bowl went home with me in a box, and there it sat.

Fast forward to today.  I decided it was time to see exactly what I had put in my Buddha, and started opening the scraps of paper.  It was such a tactile experience, unfolding each little scrap of paper and reading through it.  Some weren’t legible because, unbeknownst to me, some water got into the bowl from the flood in my office.  I’ll never know what those wishes were, but isn’t that sort of like life?  We don’t always know what’s coming, or the outcome of the things we put out there.


Many of the things I put in the bowl have come to pass.  One in particular has not.  But that doesn’t matter so much, because I can now see where I wasn’t ready for what I was asking.  What matters is that, in reading back through them, I’m able to see where my head and heart were at that time.  I was able to see my gratitude for things happening in my life.  And, I’m able to see how answers to requests show up in the perfect time, and how universal understanding brings things exactly when I need them and when they serve the greater good.

I also believe that having put the words down in a tangible form kept them in my subconscious, and therefore helped me manifest them into my life through actions and allowing.

I’ve decided to start using the Buddha bowl again – to put my hopes and dreams to paper again, and offer them up.  And to note the things I’m grateful for, such as the abundance in my life, my friends and family, my job, my co-workers who teach me things every day (whether I like it or not!).  There is so much in this world to be grateful for, so much abundance to be had if we’re willing to see it and allow it.  It’s just as important to acknowledge those things, as it is to wish for them.

Creative Spiritual Inspiration

My charge to you is to create your own way of sharing your dreams and intentions with the Universe, expressing gratitude, and way of acknowledging the abundance in your life.  Here are a few ways to do that:

  1. Create your own version of the Buddha bowl.  It doesn’t have to be Buddha, it can be anything that speaks to you.  But create it or decorate it with your own hands.  It’s important that you put your heart and soul into the project.  Make sure it resonates with you and your core beliefs.
  2. Find a special container that speaks to you and use it.  If you do a Google search, you’ll find all kinds of “wish bowls” and “blessings bowls.”  See if one strikes your fancy or speaks to you.
  3. Put it all in a journal.  Find a beautiful journal that you just can’t put down when you touch it.  Then label it your hope and gratitude journal.  Then write everything you hope for, everything that comes true, and everything you’re grateful for in it.

In a year or so, read back through what you’ve written.  Take a look at what has come to pass and what hasn’t. Consider that which hasn’t to be things you may not ready for, even though you thought you were.  Look at what you’ve been blessed with and what gives you feelings of gratitude.

Come back and tell me how you put this idea to work.

Then, come back a year from now, and tell me how it’s enlightened you about yourself.

About Cathy Lynn

Cathy Lynn is a personal growth blogger at her website Me First, by Myself, blogging and tarot instructor, and writer. She lives in Nashville, TN with two feline fur babies.

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  1. hey there! this was a great read! thank you! I have a few different things instead of a Buddha bowl. I have been using an index box and cataloging my thoughts and wishes in my ‘circle’ of praying. It was figurative for not putting God in a box as so many do. I have the most extreme and then some normal everyday wishes listed in it. But I like the idea of it being more personal, decorating it and such with my hands. making it more than just a box or bowl. THANK YOU!

  2. Absolutely an important post for every woman! We all need to solidify our dreams and “wishes” by at least writing them down in a journal. I love the idea of placing them in a sacred space such as your “Buddha Bowl”. It is so powerful to go back and read what your desires were in the past and how many of them actually manifested.

  3. Oh wow, I love this… at the beginning of the year I began a gratitude journal and I wrote in it everyday, until about April. And you know this was when life felt like I was wadding through heavy clay. I couldn’t do it any more, couldn’t stick to it. But I still practice gratitude every day in my mind, at my yoga practice; not on paper.

    You have given me inspiration and ideas though on how to incorporate the gift of gratitude into my life and I shall come back to you when it all comes together, so thank you :).


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