Kathmandu’s Buddhist Bell Sellers

KATHMANDU, Nepal — One of the beautiful aspects of Buddhism, as I’ve come to understand it during my brief travels, is that there are likely as many interpretations of it as there are practitioners.

The individual’s practice appears to be based, at least in part, on mindfulness.

A vendor offering dozens of brass, handmade bells of different sizes along one of Kathmandu’s busy streets caught my eye. Bells, I recalled, were present in some meditation rituals I had witnessed.

But why?

One illustrative explanation comes from a blog named The Daily Heal:

“In our tradition, the bell is considered the voice of a friend or the voice of the Buddha, calling us back to the present moment,” says Leslie Rawls, the Dharma teacher for the Charlotte Community of Mindfulness. “So, the sound of the bell is an invitation to have a moment of meditation.”

While I can’t find the original article cited, the writer reminds that it was meditation that ultimately led Siddhartha Gautama to achieve the Great Enlightenment, or Awakening, and become the Buddha.

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