Using bells as a reminder to come back to our body and breath
We use bells or other sounds to remind us to bring our wandering mind back to our body. It might be the telephone ringing or the clock chiming, or the computer beeping or the crying of a baby or the sirens of a passing emergency vehicle. It could be the reminder chimes from apps we have installed for the purpose in our phones.
These are our bells of mindfulness. When we hear the sound of the bell we relax our body and become aware of our breathing. We do that naturally, with enjoyment, and without solemnity or being stiff. When we hear one of these mindfulness bells ring, we stop all of our conversations and whatever we are doing and bring our awareness to our breathing. The ringing bell has called out to us:
This wonderful sound
Brings me back
To my true home.
By stopping to breathe we restore our calm and our peace, our work becomes more enjoyable and the friend in front of us becomes more real. With just three conscious breaths we can release the tensions in our body and mind and return to a cool and clear state of being.
We use bells at regular intervals at the weekly Sunday practice at the MPCH.