The first day Seth rang the Bell of Mindfulness and I was taken aback to believe that such a minor thing, such as a sound, could have any impact in how we act, how we feel, or how it connected to our daily lives. After the first few classes, the bell actually became soothing to me. It became a few seconds of the day where I can just exhale, listen to the reverberations, and relax all of the muscles in my body. I would have never realized that focusing on a ringing of a bell could calm me down so much. It allowed me to collect my thoughts, discard those I did not need and just be in the moment. The writing “Better than Fixing Things” by Elmo Stoll tells us to do this exact thing. Being able to just pick up something that is a basic technology, doesn’t run on electricity and provides a few seconds of pure tranquility is such a meaningful power. I would have never thought that the bell meant anything to me the first few classes but the idea really caught up with me. In Stoll’s story, a man moves to the country with all of his electrical appliances and a local, who doesn’t use electricity, explains to the newcomer that once all of those fancy things break he can teach him to live perfectly without them.
Having electronics is very convenient but to some degree it separates us from another. There is definitely less personal communication happening thus more people are relying on their phone or computer to have a good time. If you look at the picture I posted with this you can see how people really ostracize themselves by using their phone and not communicating with anyone in person. What are the social effects we will see in the next 50 years from this crazy way of “hanging out” with others? I know I do this occasionally when out with a group of friends and probably the rest of you also do it.
If we would all take the time to put down electronics for ourselves and others we might find that we become more sociable and less likely to need to check your phone every 20 seconds. It is hard for me to put down my phone during the school year but for 2 weeks out of the year I go to a fly-in fishing camp in Ontario, Canada. This camp is 12 miles to the nearest road and 50 miles from the nearest cite. We have to take a float plane to get into and out of the camp. (My icon for this blog is a picture of that float plane.) This is my favorite place in the world because there is nothing you can do about your phone not having service. It is a time where I can just lay in my hammock, read a good book, and care nothing about what is happening in the world around me. In relation to Seth’s bell, this is my soothing place to be. There are no worries, no Twitter, no School, no drama. The only things present are my family, an ice cold Canadian beer, my fishing rod and the sound of the wind. Just writing about it is making me less stressed about how much is going on in my life.
Although I cannot just take the camp with me, I can use Seth’s method of choosing a relaxing tone and just zoning out to it. It really helps me out throughout the day when I am bombarded with all of the tasks I need to complete.