“I make this sound to give the whole world peace.”
Shree Krishna Shahi was the first person in the Kathmandu valley of Nepal to work with Tibetan singing bowls. He learned about the bowls from his adopted Tibetan grandfather, Tashi Lama, who came to Nepal during the winters in the early 1980s. Through his sound studies with the elder monk, Shree learned the traditional secrets of singing bowl therapy and sound healing. He started to understand the interconnections among the chakras, planets, metals, colors, and tones and how working with the Tibetan singing bowls could enhance people’s health and well-being.
For twenty years, Shree has been using the Tibetan singing bowls to give sound therapy, teach students, and perform concerts. He has toured worldwide, and with Santa Ratna Shakya, has formed Tibetan Singing Bowl centers in Germany, America, Nepal, and other Asian countries. Peter Hess and Hans de Back, now famous in their own right, are both Shree’s students. Shree works and teaches at the Old Tibet store http://www.oldtibet.com/ in Boulder, Colorado during the summer. He lives in the Swayambhunath Stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Q. What experiences put you on your spiritual path?
A. When I was a boy, a Tibetan salt trader and lama named Tashi used to come to my town in Nepal for the winter. One day, I returned home from school and saw my mom buying salt from him. He had many bowls of different sizes, which he used to measure the salt. I accidentally kicked the bowls over while looking for something to eat. They made an incredible sound. Tashi was angry and my mother said, “Why did you do that? Say you are sorry.” I was too scared to look at him so I said sorry to my mother. After making the sound, I forgot about my hunger and just wanted to hear it one more time. When Tashi turned his back, I kicked the bowls again. This time, my mother and he were both livid. They checked the bowls to make sure they weren’t broken. Then, I apologized to him, shaking with fear because I thought he might hurt me.
For almost a week, I avoided going near his teepee, even though I loved to hear the sound of his horse bell. Then, while walking home one afternoon, he smiled and offered me some tsampa, flat bread with salt and butter. I was scared and tried to take it without getting too close but he caught my hand and pulled me into his lap. I screamed to my mother but quickly calmed down as he was kind to me and the tsampa tasted good. From that day on, I began smiling at him.
I asked my mother if she could buy me one of his bowls. She asked Tashi and he said, “Your son is like my grandchild. I will give him one of the bowls.” He also gave me a small stick to strike it with. I was the only one in Nepal who had a Tibetan singing bowl and I was grateful to Tashi for giving it to me. I came to regard him as my adopted Tibetan grandfather. I looked forward to his return every winter so I could spend time with him and learn more about the bowls. By age twenty-two, I became known throughout Nepal as the “King of the Singing Bowl.” People began coming from all over the globe to see me.
Q. What changes are others noticing about you?
A. Many of my students say, “Shree, you look the same as when I met you twenty years ago.” I tell them it is because sound therapy keeps me young like an evergreen tree. It gives me energy so I never feel old.
For the rest of the interview, please check out the book, Seek The Lover Within: Lessons from 50 Spiritual Leaders.