Empowerment, Intention and the Bowl

What is a bowl? When is a bowl like an intention? How can it empower us? Bowl: a hemispherical vessel, wider than it is deep, used for holding food or fluids.

The bowl is the oldest human made form. According to an article by the BBC on 6/7/2009:“Pottery fragments recently discovered by archeologists in the Yuchanyan Cave in China have once again demolished the evolutionist conception of history.  According to a report on BBC News, the fragments have been dated using 40 different Carbon-14 techniques to be between 17,500 and 18,300 years old.  The existence of such ancient pots is an utter defeat, in evolutionist terms, for they indicate that human beings led civilized and settled lives at what is claimed to have been the Stone Age.”

This suggests that the possession of a bowl is what defines a civilized human being living a settled life! It also suggests that the bowl is the first human-made form. It may also be your first hand made form. When you were offered play-doh, plastic or earthen clay, you probably rolled it into a ball, stuck your thumb in the middle and made a ‘pinch pot’. Or you rolled the ball into snakes, and moved on to coil them into a bowl shape. It’s probably in our DNA – the memory of creating a form that we could use to hold the berries we were gathering, the tea we brewed from water and herbs, the stew we made from the rabbit we caught.

A bowl is the first form we learn to make when we learn to use a potter’s wheel. It’s the basic form from which everything else evolves…mug, vase, teapot, even a plate, which is just a flattened out bowl!

When is a bowl like an intention? A bowl is for holding things. We use bowls to hold our food, and other things too…beads, screws, potpourri. We also hold less tangible things like memories, thoughts, beliefs. A bowl is like an intention when we hold the intention. 

Intention: an aim that guides action; an objective. Philosophy- a concept arising from directing the attention toward an object. An intention can be like a true waking dream.

In order to accomplish a goal, whether it’s picking up milk on the way home, or fulfilling a long held dream, we must form a clear intention. If we don’t take it any further than tossing out that empty milk carton in the morning, it’s not likely we’ll come home with the milk! We have to anchor that goal in sometimes multiple ways. We first tell our self to remember to stop at the store. We may write it down, sometimes on a post-it note that we then stick on the dashboard. Now we’ve increased our chances of success! 

To manifest an intention though, we have to up the ante. We have to clarify the intention/dream. First of all, ask ‘is this MY dream for ME? Is it something that is in MY power to have? …or does my intention require another person to change in some way?’ If the answers leave even a little hint that it’s about changing someone else, this is not your intention…it’s your fantasy! Fantasies are fine to enjoy, they just aren’t meant to be made manifest.

When you find an intention in which we are the star of the show, and other possible players are unknown to you, ask: What is it exactly that I want? What does it look like? What is the landscape, the interior, the color? What are the perfect words to describe it? What words would I like to hear? What would it feel like to have this intention become the rhythm of my reality?

If you can see, hear and feel this, then HOLD it! Put it in your ‘intention bowl’. Hold it in your heart in the way you may hold your children when they’re not with you. Hold it in your mind the way you may hold a critical project for which you’re responsible. Hold it in the way the most perfect world leader would hold the well-being of her people – of her nation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal’.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

To catch a husband is an art; to hold him is a job.’ Simone de Beauvoir

How can our Intention empower us? When we are more committed to manifesting our dreamthan we are to getting our perfect cup of coffee in the morning or buying that pair of shoes that caught our eye, or watching our favorite show in the evening, then we are holding our Intention. When we allocate our time, energy and money with our intention in mind, then it can empower us! In other words, we must behave consistently with having the intention become more and more real. If my intention is to be 10 pounds slimmer for the spring, and I spend my free time on the couch with a plate of cookies, I’m only kidding myself about that particular intention! An intention may be very intense, and yet it’s not enough! We must participate fully.

The winds of grace are always blowing, but we have to raise the sail. –Ramakrishna

Self-effort and grace are like the two wings of a bird: the bird needs them both to fly. – Swami Muktananda

Half-assed is just as bad no matter which cheek you’re missing! – Werner Erhardt

During our series of four spring Empowerment Workshops at Clay Alchemy from the Voice of Clay, come make a bowl with us, and together we’ll listen to our dreams, breathe into ourintention, and empower you to hold them until they are made manifest! 


shannon Burke