The Nine Bow Ritual for Those You Respect Deeply
The Nine Bow Ritual is a simple practice of deep respect. Think of a person, living or not, for whom you have very strong positive feelings. If you select a person no longer living, you may be surprised at the emotional impact of this ritual. If you have a concern about your emotions, please consider doing this ritual with another person present. Simply follow the steps noted below.
1) Sit quietly in a quasi-meditative state.
2) Initiate a period of deep personal reflection. Who will you select? Why? What has this person done for you? What is the nature of your positive emotions about this person?
3) Once you have made your selection, imagine their face as you best remember it. Best to recall their smiling face.
4) Now ring a ritualistic bell, chime, or singing bowl three times. Three long sounds! Wait until you no longer hear the vibrations between repetitions. Go slowly!
5) After the sound ends, bow to the person in your image three times – the deeper the better.
6) Thank them for their care, and say what you want to say to them. Speak from your soft heartedness, gratitude, and appreciation.
7) Repeat steps 4-6 at least two more times.
8) Sit and reflect on how you are feeling after completing the ritual.
9) If you keep a journal, you may want to journal about your experience.
10) Now practice self-compassion as you know it.
11) Realize how fortunate you are to have had this person in your life.
By Anthony R. Quintiliani, PhD., LADC
From the Eleanor R. Liebman Center for Secular Meditation in Monkton, Vermont
Author of Mindful Happiness
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