• Mindfulness: Hearing the bell

    Mindful Business Traveler
    redlightBells are often used to help bring people’s attention into focus.

    Churches may ring bells to celebrate an occasion.

    A monastery may invite a bell to sound before a meditation session.

    A home may have wind chimes outside a window so the occupants can hear them ringing in the wind.

     

    In each case, we may sense something slightly profound in the ringing of the bell. Is it that the sound is so beautiful? That we do not hear it that often? Or, is it just that for a moment we pause, empty our mind, and listen?

    In any case, if you are lucky you may have had an encounter like that, after which you felt that something special and a little inexplicable had happened.

    Red lights, crying babies and in-flight announcements                 

    Of course, in our daily life — and certainly while we travel for business — not everything we encounter may feel quite so soothing. On the way to the airport, we may sit at a red light, staring at it and thinking: “Change!”

    Or we may be seated on a plane in what feels like the “crying baby” section, wishing the cacophony would stop.

    Or perhaps we are just about to fall asleep when an in-flight announcement tells us, too loudly, something we don’t feel we needed to know at that moment.

    Can these sights and sounds become our friends?

     

    Bells of mindfulness

    Mindfulness

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    Let’s take a red light as an example. Often, we see it as an obstacle – something standing in our way. What if, instead, we chose to see it as a “bell of mindfulness” — a reminder to come home to ourselves and breathe? Imagine we’re sitting at a red light now.

    We might say silently to ourselves:

    (as the air passes in through the nose)

    Breathing in, I see the vibrant red light.

    (as the air passes out from the nose)

    Breathing out, I have plenty of time.

     

     

    (as the air passes in through the nose)

    Breathing in, I see the vibrant red light.

    (as the air passes out from the nose)

    Breathing out, I have plenty of time.

     

    (in)

    Light

    (out)

    Plenty

     

    (in)

    Light

    (out)

    Plenty

    When we can turn our irritations into our friends, we may feel less tyrannized by daily life, and more at home, no matter where we are.

    After all, peace is every step.

    Your friend,

    mindfulness-logo

    The Mindful Business Traveler

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