When The Bell Rings

So just what is it that moves us? How is that the bell is answered. Just what was it that got me from sitting, to standing, to walking? What got me to answer the bell? Or to do anything for that matter. And the simple answer is intention. When the bell rings my intention is to answer it. Bells are a big part of monastic practice. They signal that a new activity is about to start. So this activity needs to be wrapped up in order to move on to the next one. For all there is of course the internal bell calling to us to move on to the next thing. Which means putting down this thing. There is, hopefully, the intention to answer/respond to the call of conditions as they present. To the very best of ones ability.

Adrienne writes (in effect) about listening to the bell and what sometimes rings louder. That is, so called, distractions. Distractions in themselves are not a problem. Being awake to distractions, and remaining awake, indicates the intention to get out of the cozy bed of whatever and get on with answering the bell. So. Intention, coupled with direction (next thing), equals action.

….I have my well-practiced methods of avoidance and I see them for what they are. I am not sure that searching for the reasons for my reluctance or the source of my difficulty is particularly useful or relevant, however my awareness about what I do means that I want to change and do things differently.

From Distractions by Adrienne Hodges.

And my continuing intention is to continue to write here. Having this time to rest and reflect and not post so regularly has been good.

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