Friday, 21 December 2007

Mindfulness Bell

After writing yesterday's post on peace and mindfulness, I came across this nifty free website which provides a computer-generated mindfulness bell. You can set the bell to occur at preset or random times, and you can choose between two different sounding bells.

I've been trying this at work today, as we rush to get everything done in time before leaving for our Christmas break. I've set the bell to ring about every half hour or so, with a random one thrown in for good measure. When the bell rings I stop what I am doing, breathe, and just listen to the bell. It has made for a relatively peaceful morning, despite the raucous ruckus around here....

Picture courtesy this flickr site

7 comments:

Lori said...

This sounds like a wonderful idea, and I think it should be mandatory! I know I don't take the time to just "be" nearly often enougH!

Theresa said...

Hi Lori!

I don't take enough time for that either, even with the bell! First I have to overcome my feeling of oddness at just stopping what I am doing, and then I have to intentionally close my eyes and breathe. It should be simple, but it is a habit I just don't have yet.

Thich Nhat Hanh writes about how everyone at his monastery does this, even in you're in the middle of a conversation, or cooking something or whatever, everyone just stops and breathes, smiles at each other and then carries on what they were doing. I think the world would definitely be more peaceful if everyone did that!

daharja said...

Hi - I have one of these of my own and use it in ritual. It's called a Singing Bowl by many cultures, and I've used it in compositions I've written as well. They come in different sizes and pitches, and make a beautiful tone. There's quite a skill in using them correctly.

Theresa said...

Ah, you have a real one, like in the picture :) Very nice. One of the people in my tai chi class has one as well - they must be lovely to hear for real. My computer generated one sounds pretty nice too, but it just can't be as pure-sounding as an actual singing bowl.

daharja said...

They're a beautiful instrument, and well worth investing in, if you're that way inclined. I bought mine from Community Aid Abroad (now Oxfam), years ago.

If you do want one, take the time to fine one you resonate with. I believe that different pitches affect people differently, and it can take time to find a bowl that suits your own personal pitch.

Theresa said...

I was under the impression that these instruments were used much the same way a gong would be, to mark the beginning and ending of prayer/meditation/chanting/singing or similar activities. Can they actually be played in a sustained way, like a one would play a flute or violin?

daharja said...

Hi - Yes. You can either chime them by striking them, or you can get a sustained note that builds in an eerie and beautiful fashion (for as lon as you play it) by stroking the riim of the bowl with the chimer (in my bowl its a wooden staff) in the same way that you would run your fingertip around the rim of a wine glass to get a ringing. Same effect and sound, and same method, just with a brass bowl and wooden chimer instead of a wet glass wine glass and a fingertip.