Bells of mindfulness
Sometimes we need a sound to remind us to return to our mindful breathing. We call these sounds “bells of mindfulness”. When we hear a bell of mindfulness ring, we stop talking or whatever we are doing and bring our awareness to our breathing. If we are on a retreat, we might hear an actual bell sounding. If we are at home, we might use the telephone ringing or the beep as the washing machine cycle comes to an end as our bells of mindfulness. The sounds of a fire engine in the distance or a child’s cry would do as well. We can also program a bell of mindfulness on our computer or smartphone. There are many opportunities for us to stop and breathe even in our busy world.
Three conscious breaths
When we hear the sound of our bell we relax our body and take three conscious breaths. And with just three breaths we can release the tensions in our body and mind and return to a cool and clear state of being.
The ringing bell has called out to us:
this wonderful sound brings me back to
my true home.”
For those of us who don’t train ourselves, the sound of the bell doesn’t mean much. But if we train ourselves, the sound will have a very spiritual meaning for us, and will wake up the most wonderful things inside us.Thich Nhat Hanh