Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Mindfulness Bell Ringing

Invitation of the Bell to Sound

Listen, listen,
this wonderful sound brings me back to my true self.
Body, speech and mind in perfect oneness,
I send my heart along with the sound of the bell.
May the hearers awaken from unmindfulness
and transcend all anxiety and sorrow.
(in-breath) Listen, listen...
(out-breath) This wonderful sound brings me back to my true self.

This is a way to bring peace and quiet into being within yourself
so that you may transmit this peace to everyone around you.

-Thich Nhat Hanh
My handphone gave off a chime I never heard before on the stroke of midnight- the very first minute of my birthday a few days ago. I was bewildered for a while, before realising I set it on a reminder ring mode almost a year ago- to herald the passing of another year in my life, and the arrival of another. It reminded me of Thich Nhat Hanh's verse on the Mindfulness Bell, which is invited to sound every fiftteen minutes in Plum Village, to remind everyone to return to mindfulness of the moment. It's a nice coincidence that the gentle handphone alarm sounded like a bell too. If the Mindfulness Bell is to bring one to reflect on the micro-moment, the handphone bell brought me to reflect on all the moments I'd been through so far and to speculate on all the moments to come. But of course, all these happened in the same micro-moment of now. After I switched off the ringing, I chanted Amituofo ten times. From this moment onwards, may I be as aware of each moment as I can be. reply

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