Inviting the Bell

In my tradition, we use the temple bells to remind us to come back to the present moment. Every time we hear the bell, we stop talking, stop our thinking, and return to ourselves, breathing in and out, and smiling. Whatever we are doing, we pause for a moment and just enjoy our breathing. Sometimes we also recite this verse:

Listen, listen.
This wonderful sound brings me back to my true self.

When we breathe in, we say, “Listen, listen,” and when we breathe out,
we say, “This wonderful sound brings me back to my true self.”

When we hear the bell, we can pause and enjoy our breathing and get in touch with the wonders of life that are around us — the flowers, the children, the beautiful sounds. Every time we get back in touch with ourselves, the conditions become favorable for us to encounter life in the present moment.

Hanh, T. N. (1995). Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life. Random House. (pp. 18-19)

Inviting the Bell

Great Bell Chant

With body, speech and mind in perfect oneness,

I send my heart along with the sound of this bell.

May the hearers awaken from forgetfulness,

and transcend the path of anxiety and sorrow.

I listen, I listen this wonderful sound

brings me back to my true home.

May the sound of this bell penetrated deeply into the cosmos,

in even the darkest places, living beings hear it clearly,

so that understanding lights up their hearts and with out hardship,

they transcend the cycle of birth and death.

Listening to the bell,

I feel my afflictions begin to dissolve,

my mind becomes calm, my body relaxed,

and a smile is born upon my lips,

following the sound of the bell, my breath guides me back,

to the safe island of mindfulness.

In the garden of my heart, flowers of peace bloom in beauty.

The Universal Dharma Door is already open,

the sound of the rising tide is clear, and the miracle occurs,

a beautiful child is born in the heart of a lotus flower,

a single drop of this compassionate nectar,

is enough to bring back the spring to mountains and to rivers.

Namo Valokiteshvaraya

Namo Valokiteshvaraya

Namo Valokiteshvaraya