Stopping. During activities like outdoor walking meditation, meals, and so on, a bell will be invited to sound. It is a bell of mindfulness. When we hear it we relax our body and mind and become aware of our breathing. This is the practice of stopping: we stop talking, moving and thinking and go back to our breathing, naturally and with ease. The sound of the bell is calling out to us:
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 birds’ singing, the cry of a baby, or even the sound of fire engines and ambulances as our bells of mindfulness. With just three mindful breaths, we can release the tensions in our body and mind and return to a cool and clear state of being.