The bell helped me let my attention settle on one thing as if the sound of the bell being struck was compelling enough compared to other events in my external and internal experience. I don't know that "paying close attention" helped open awareness. I got caught up in the distinction between being openly aware and distracted, that is, the difference between being open to and being caught up in. The voice helped direct me except when the voice came in while I was attending to the bell sound from memory. Then the voice was a distraction.
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