Yesterday, one of my Facebook friends posted on her status line that she had downloaded a “mindfulness” bell onto her desktop to remind her to take a moment to pray regularly.
Not having been aware that there were online or downloadable mindfulness bells, but intrigued by the possibility, I immediately Googled “mindfulness bell.” I came upon several sites, including one by the Washington Mindfulness Community, which you can fine here.
It is not necessary to download anything on your computer. You can just simply set either a small or a large bell to go off either at periodic intervals or at random intervals. Since I knew I would be spending the bulk of the day in front of my computer working on an academic paper I need to submit to a journal within the week, I set the program to ring a bell once every hour.
Each time the bell gonged, I simply stopped what I was doing (even if I was in the middle of writing a footnote) and engaged in a simple breathing meditation for several minutes. It was calming. It was refreshing
It was also helpful – at one point during the day, I was in the process of drafting a response to an e-mail that had irritated me. The break was exactly what I needed to be able to write a better response than the one I might have hit send on if I hadn’t stopped to breathe for a few moments.
Some might scoff at the need for an external reminder to mindfulness. But the reality is that most of us need a reminder now and then. I’m grateful to have this one so readily available.