How I Began To Play… An Unexpected Legacy

Dragon-meditation

“You don’t have to be a saint or mystic to be touched by Bowl Sounds. You don’t need to be religious or spiritual to feel their influence. I have used Bowl Sounds with skeptics and cynics to aid relaxation and induce trance states. It matters not whether you believe or disbelieve. It matters only that you experience.” – Kenton Knepper

I have been known around the world as an influential mentalist, magician, psychic entertainer and suggestionist. So how did I arrive at working with mystical Bowl Sounds?

A dear friend who was an actual mystic by all accounts began my journey with the Bowls. A few Tibetan Singing Bowls had made their way into my stage show and lectures, thanks to her influence.

One day I phoned my friend to tell her of how the Bowls had evolved in the stage show. “I am glad you called today. I am making my transition.” I was taken aback. I realized this is why I had been so pushed to phone her, but I did not know of her physical situation. She was leaving this world and I had phoned her for what I thought were other reasons. We spent quite a while on the phone, and never said “Goodbye” as this would have been considered a lie, certainly. She passed on that evening.

At her passing celebration I realized what a mystic she was. Heads of various mystical traditions of esoteric studies attended the ceremony for her. The President of one well-known society performed the majority of the service. As I heard him speak of how people tried to communicate with my friend, and how so few could understand her, her importance and evolution struck me. She had long said that she could speak to me, and so few understood those like us. I thought nothing unusual of it, until this time. I finally was beginning to grasp what she meant.

She had been far ahead of me in her attainment, yet she confided in me as if this had always been normal for us both. She teasingly called me “Sonny” and I called her my other “Mom.” We had hoped to do an album together entitled “Mother and Sun”–one of her verbal jokes of enlightenment. It did not happen. Yet I took for granted that she could speak to me and I her. Now, I was starting to wonder why she thought me anyway near her caliber. Surely I was not at her level. But most days I understood her rather well.

After this passing ceremony I began to collect new Bowls like crazy. One friend of mine imagined this was due to grief. Maybe it was, but I could not help myself. It suddenly seemed to be highly important that I collect Bowls and begin playing them like never before.

Soon the Bowls were more than a counterpart prop or mystical accompaniment on stage. They had begun to weave themselves back into my inner life. Music had always been a part of my outer expression as long as performance magic had been. The mystical was with me as long as I could remember in this life. Now, in some ways suddenly, it all came together in the Bowls.

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Years later, a potential magic student contacted me. I told him I no longer took private magic students. He mentioned that he felt I might in his case, as he was an actual Lama by training and tradition, and we shared a mutual friend. This arrangement brought forth a series of writing and a few recordings involving the Bowls. Eventually this student deemed me a Lama, though I had not taken any of the traditional pathways. We began to teach meditation together incorporating segments of my own teachings and his more traditional Tibetan practices. Of course, the Sounds of the Bowls were ever present.

When my Lama student could not attend the meditations, friends asked that I simply play the Bowls for them instead. From this, a second weekly meeting evolved with the Bowls. This new weekly meeting was put into my schedule to aid in yet another passing of a very close friend. It seemed that the Bowl Sounds had become a bridge between the worlds. This was never something I would have intended, and surely not the way I would have asked for a higher calling to be revealed to me.

Yet there it was. It was undeniable. It was ringing in my ears literally. But would I listen?

I began to learn how addictive and needed the Bowl Sounds were. On one evening when I could not attend the second weekly meeting I was told that the meeting could not go on without me. I knew that this was not due to me personally, no matter what my ego might have liked to imagine. This need was presented as a dire situation because of what the Bowl Sounds did for those who listened to them. It had nothing to do with my little ego. The Sounds work because of what comes through the Bowls, not what my little personality does or thinks. The Bowls allow me the great fortune to be the channel for their playing.

The Sounds were becoming almost required. No longer were the Bowl Sounds reserved for the select few. Times and people were and are evolving.

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Now it made sense what my friend the mystic used for her business card. Her business card consisted of her first name only. There was no other information on the card. She handed this out when people wanted to hear more of the Bowl Sounds but wished to praise her personality. She insisted as she gave out these odd “business” cards that should the listener need the Bowl Sounds, they would come. She might even be the one playing them, I suppose. One year she got tired of answering the constant questions about her calling cards and stuck an address label on the back with a phone number. She preferred the old calling card with her name on it only though, as that brought her much glee. She was compassionate enough to know that it frustrated the masses not to have physical contact information. These people were starting to feel a real need to hear the Bowl Sounds, and she didn’t want to make it seem difficult for people to get to those Sounds.

I tell a bit of this history to let you know the reality behind my Bowl Sounds. These sounds are not about my little personality or my ego. The Sounds are addictive, even to me. Many times I hear myself say, “I just can’t stand it!” as I race towards a Bowl to play. It is a need beyond personal expression. It has something to do with inward growth and deeper progress.

I wish I could explain it all to you with words, but I cannot. What I can say to you is that I am blessed to be a channel for the playing of these Bowl Sounds. Yes, my personality does get involved and it does make choices from time to time. If my personality tries to get in the way however, the Bowls simply fail to play as my personality imagines. The Bowls will be played the in the way they know they need to be played, to produce the Sounds required for others. Thank goodness. I’d be quite distraught if my personality could somehow interfere.

I still use the Bowl Sounds in my magical performing. But my favorite performances now are those in which the Bowl Sounds are played as the primary focus. Performing and recording the Bowl Sounds have become a passion I cannot put into words. The fact that my playing of the Bowl Sounds has become a need and a service to help people transcend, transmute, evolve, expand, relax and achieve is a bliss beyond measure for me.

It is my true hope that this joyous job that has been given to me in such an obtuse way may serve you well in your own personal journey and growth. It is an honor to be a carrier of the Bowl Sounds through me, and I will do my best to allow them to call out to the depths within you too.

I’ll be listening with you.

Many Blessings To You Now,

Kenton Knepper