The Call of the Bell
“May the sound of this bell
penetrate deep into the cosmos
Even in the darkest spots
Living beings are able to hear it clearly
So that all suffering in them cease
Understanding comes to their hearts
And they transcend the path
Of sorrow and death.”
–Thich Nhat Hanh, excerpt from The Great Bell Chant
Many traditions use the reverberating sound of bells, chimes, or singing bowls to call people to worship or the present moment. There is something about the sound of a bell that stops us — if only for a moment — to redirect our thoughts and sometimes actions.
Our founder, Jean Springer, often used a hand chime to call people into and back from a time of reflection. Now we typically use a beautiful small bowl or even a recording of a bell on our smart phones.
Whatever your faith tradition or experience with bells, I invite you to take a moment to listen to the profound prayer offered by Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hahn and chanted by Br. Phap Niem (link below) in The Great Bell Chant. Even if you’ve heard it many times before, what if this time you invited in an even deeper peace from the bell, the chant, and the words.
May you seek out the sound of the bell to invite you into a sacred pause, a deeper peace, and a reminder that the bell rings for all.
P.S. Eremos rings in the start of our 25th year this Saturday, May 8th! While some will be with us and Mirabai Starr on Saturday, we invite you to ring a bell in thanksgiving for the dream of our founder, Jean Springer, the men and women who helped her bring Eremos to life, and for each of you for being part of this community for years to come. Thank you for being part of our contemplative community without walls!
Mother of God Rejoicing
rejoice with me.
In the midst of the petty trials
and the profound sorrows of this life,
let me catch a glimpse of your face
and dissolve into laughter.
You who “come across the waters,”
float through the rushing streams of my preoccupations
and set my heart free.
The Great Bell Chant…
Listening to the bell
I feel the afflictions in me begin to dissolve
My mind calm, my body relaxed
A smile is born on my lips
Following the sound of the bell
My breath brings me back to the safe island of mindfulness
In the garden of my heart
The flowers of Peace
― Thich Naht Hahn, excerpt from his prayer featured in The Great Bell Chant. To read the complete prayer and hear this profound chant, click here