In our afternoons of mindfulness or on retreats, you will hear bell sounds and suddenly people around you have stopped still, stopped talking, and stopped moving. 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 stiffed.

We stop all of our conversations and whatever we are doing and bring our awareness to our breathing. We might like to say silently to ourselves:

Listen, listen,
this wonderful sound brings me back to
my true home.

By stopping to breathe and restore our calm and our peace, we become free, our work becomes more enjoyable and the friend in front of us becomes more real. Back home we can use the ringing of our telephone, the local church bells, the cry of a baby, or even the sound of fire engines and ambulances as our bells of mindfulness. 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.

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