100 Days, 108 Bows How Bowing Can Change Your Life
At our weekly Wisdom Wednesday event last week, a couple of us were sitting around chatting about the importance of keeping a daily practice. We talked about the juicy benefits we received from creating time for ourselves every day. We shared about the rituals we did for ourselves; from meditation, to movement, breathwork, and journaling. We connected about our challenges in keeping our daily commitments to ourselves and in deepening our practices. We shared and cross-pollinated our ideas, experiences, and wisdom together.
As we connected, Jummee mentioned her experience living and studying at a Zen Buddhist temple and the daily practice of doing 108 “bows” that she learned and cultivated there.
“Wait, so what’s bowing?” one of us asked.
Jummee shared that the bowing practice she learned is for the clearing of karma that arises from the 6 senses and the 6 sense objects, from the past, present, and future. That’s 6 x 6 x 3 = 108 bows (or more!) every day. She showed us how to do one bow, and after seeing our faces she said, “yeah, your ass is going to be so tight if you do 108 every day!”
But the physical benefits aren’t the main intention behind bowing. She shared about some of the miracles her monk witnessed in the temple; from a woman who wasn’t able to conceive and was able to have a baby after 6 months of bowing, to 7 year old who was born with a physical disability that left her body contracted and in pain, who was then able to move freely without challenges after bowing every day after her mother brought her to the temple to live and heal. Basically, the practice creates a clearing of the mental constructs, beliefs, thoughts, or “karma” that creates our physical reality. By shifting the foundation of the physical reflection of this karma through the bowing practice, the external reality shifts.
I asked her if we could start doing a bowing practice together every morning. Jummee hadn’t done the practice in awhile, so she and I were excited to be each other’s accountability buddies to make this part of our daily routine.
And so we did! Within just the second day of doing it, the manifestations and synchronicities started flying into my field. I bowed for different intentions, surrendering all that was holding me back as I touched the ground, calling in Divine support and guidance on my inhale standing up. I surrendered and cleared any frustrations, pains, sorrows, guilts, and bowed to my true Divine nature, the All That Is within myself. I declared to bring myself into alignment with the natural flow of life with every bow, and release all that is not love from my space with every exhale. Every day it’s been a different experience. In my meditations after, I’ve already felt incredible energy moving. Seeing more clearly where I’m not showing up in love for myself, and creating space to just be.
Last week Jummee and I found out that one of our close friends received a cancer diagnosis. While there’s no good time to receive this news, we shared our gratitude for the bowing practice and declared our committed to doing 108 bows every day for 100 days to support our friend’s healing and our own strength, so we can continue to show up 100% in our daily lives for ourselves and our community. Already we’re feeling the support of this daily devotion to ourselves and how it is a source of strength and courage.
Collective action will always be greater than what we can accomplish with individual will power alone. So if you’re looking for a practice to strengthen your focus, your commitment, your discipline, your devotion to yourself…. a practice to clear your mind and connect your consciousness to your body every morning so you’re more present and alert during the day…. a practice to clear whatever obstacles are in the way of creating the life you desire then join us!
For 100 days, we will be doing our bowing practice on Facebook LIVE every morning at 7 AM PST from Jummee’s page (https://www.facebook.com/jummee). We hope you join in our collective practice of 108 bows every morning!
The power of practicing with a collective is immeasurable! We’d love to do this together with as many people as possible and create a virtual community of loving, compassionate practice. Let’s encourage, inspire and uplift each other as we bow 108 times to the Divine that resides within each of our hearts.
Zen Master Dae Bong says that,
“Our bowing takes away our karma mind, our thinking mind, and return to this moment very clearly, want to find my true nature and save all beings from suffering. This is why bowing practice is so important. If somebody has much anger, or much desire, or lazy mind, then every day, 300 bows, or 500 bows, even 1,000 bows, every day. Then their center will become very strong, they can control their karma, take away their karma, and become clear. This helps the practitioner and this world.”
This is our goal; to become a living embodiment of love, create world peace through our daily actions, and inspire and encourage our communities.
To learn more about the practice, see what it looks like, and ask questions you can check out these links and follow our page Jummee Method
It's a meditative practice that encourages reflection and concentration. Though three bows is common, the more dedicated followers often practice 108 bows [백팔배], a long tradition whose number is particularly significant for the following:
There are 6 bodily pathways that lead to suffering: eyes, ears, skin, nose, tongue, mind.
There are 6 objects that lead to suffering: something you see, hear, feel, smell, taste, think about.
There are 3 time periods in which you suffer: the past, the present, and the future.