The world renown Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, teaches a wonderful method of coming back to the present moment with the use of temple bells. Every time you hear the bell, you stop talking, stop thinking and return to yourself, breathing in and out and smiling. Whatever you are doing, you pause for a moment and just enjoy the breath and your surroundings. He suggests maybe reciting something similar to this verse:
This wonderful sound brings me back to myself.
There are no temple bells near me, but I just recently found a new phone app called the hourly chime. I set it to chime every hour on the hour starting at 5:00am and ending at 9:00pm. It chimes just once on the hour. I have come to really enjoy hearing this chime and it helps me reset. I take one to three full breaths, smile, and come back to the present moment. Every morning, even if I am not planning to get up at 5:00am, it’s a gentle reminder to start the day mindfully and with a smile on my face. During my early morning meditation I usually set an intention for the day. This hourly signal brings me back to my intention of the day and gives me another opportunity to live in the present moment. I recently visited my sister and shared with her this app and my new practice. She put it on her phone and is enjoying it as well. The added bonus to this is that even though we are miles apart, I know that when my chime signals me, it is also signaling her and I smile imagining her smile. I invite you to join us in the present moment and smile!
Such a quick and simple gesture, yet so profound in its results.
As the chi flows,