As you may have gathered, I’m not what is known as a “morning person.” On retreats I often used to sleep through the before-breakfast meditation period, but I have grown to cherish that time, especially at Lake Tahoe. This week I’ll be on retreat at the Lake again, and for the third or fourth time I have volunteered to do the wake-up bell and, half an hour later, the come-to-the-hall bell.
For my efforts I get several rewards. We use an Episcopal camp for retreat, so I’ll get to pull the rope to ring the big church tower bell. I’ll keep in mind this gatha (short verse) from Thich Nhat Hanh:
“Body, speech and mind in perfect oneness–
I send my heart along with the sound of the bell.
May the hearers awaken from forgetfulness
And transcend all anxiety and sorrow.”
And, perhaps I’ll witness a beautiful sunrise, like I did last fall.
May the sounds that you hear also awaken you!