The Great Bell Chant: A Meditation

Saturday, October 23, 2010 - 7:54 am

The Great Bell Chant: A Meditation

This video is a compassion meditation of sorts, featuring the words and voice of one of our most enduring guests, Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh. I wonder if this short film can’t serve as a sort of loosely guided meditation in its own right. If you have several minutes, use this video as a guided meditation. After you’re finished, reflect on your experience and comment on these questions:

  1. How did the sound of the bell and the words of Thich Nhat Hanh help you in focusing your attention?
  2. In what ways did the cinematography of sweeping, aerial vistas and intimate portraits aid you in your focus of nature and fellow people?
  3. Did you find that Phap Niem’s fluid chanting helped you in letting go and being more aware of the compassion inside you?
  4. How did/didn’t the combination of visuals and audio help guide you in this exercise? Did you find them more distracting then helpful?

And, if you’re looking for a more aural focus, try this four-part bell meditation with Arthur Zajonc.

If you’d like to hear more of the audio played in this video, check out Gary Malkin and Michael Stillwater’s work in Graceful Passages: A Companion for Living and Dying.

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is the cofounder of On Being and currently serves as chief content officer and executive editor. He received a Peabody Award in 2007 for his work on “The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi” and garnered two Webby Awards (in 2005, and again in 2008). The Online News Association nominated his journalistic work multiple times in the general excellence and outstanding specialty journalism categories. Trent’s reported and produced stories from Turkey to rural Alabama, from Israel and the West Bank to Cambridge, England.

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