The Sound of the Bell
by Yosa Buson (1716-1784)
the sound of the bell
as it leaves the bell.
This week, sounds will be our teacher. Sitting quietly and being present for the sounds that arise sounds so simple. What can it really teach us?
Sounds anchor us to the present moment, for we hear them only as they are happening. And then they are gone, their vibrations no longer making their way to our inner ear. If we allow them to follow their trajectory of beginning, middle and end, sounds can be a wonderful reminder of the impermanent nature of all aspects of our experience. Thoughts, sounds, emotions, moments.... all have beginnings, middles and ends. They are here and then they are not.
If we continue to dwell on the sounds after they are gone, we can practice returning our attention to the present moment, noticing that we have been caught in some aspect of the sound that has arisen. Our awareness that our mind continues to engage with some story around the sound, and our subsequent returning of attention to what is actually taking place in the present moment serve to strengthen our focus and attention.
If we resist the sound, or cling to it, we become aware of our reactivity, and can practice acknowledging what is actually happening in the present moment and seeing it just for what it is, letting go of reactions that don’t serve us. Take, for example, when we are meditating and there are birds chirping outside the window. Joy! Now imagine that instead of birds, it is two people carrying on a very loud and distracting conversation. Injustice! Can we respond evenly to both events? Both are just sounds, after all. What is different is our reaction to them. In this way, paying attention to sounds becomes an equanimity practice, helping us to deepen our even-heartedness and even-mindedness to all that arises in life so that we may respond with wisdom.
We hope that you can join us this coming week as we listen and learn, with nothing to do in those moments, but observe the sounds within and around us with curiosity and kindness.
Community Sits this Week:
Please note our newest addition to the schedule! Thursday evenings at 7PM at Ferguson Library in Stamford in the Rotary Room.
• Monday 7:30 PM Sama Yoga 45 Grove Street, New Canaan
• Tuesday 1:00 PM Ferguson Library, 1 Public Library Plaza, Stamford (made possible by a grant from Bankwell)
• Wednesday 12:00 PM New Canaan Library 151 Main Street, New Canaan
• NEW Thursday 7:00 PM Ferguson Library, 1 Public Library Plaza, Stamford (in the Rotary Room)
• One Day Silent Retreat with Guided Meditations Saturday April 21. To be held at the First Congregational Church of Stamford 9AM - 4PM. For more information, reply to this email.
• Mindfulness in Education Conference @ St. Luke's School in conjunction with Spence School, New Canaan Saturday June 9 (more details to follow)
May all beings everywhere, without exception, live in peace,
The CMP Team
CMP survives on donations. All of our weekly sessions are free and open to the public, but donations are essential to our sustainability. Checks, cash and credit cards are accepted and donations are tax deductible.
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** CMP is a 501c3 nonprofit.
Checks can be given to facilitators at our weekly sits or mailed to:
Community Mindfulness Project
P.O. Box 1713
New Canaan, CT 06840.
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** We thank you!