I received The Mindfulness Bell today and immediately read Leslie Rawls's beautiful tribute to her dad and the 11-year-old girl inside her. Thank you for sharing it. Stories like this help all of us to deepen our understanding of the Dharma. The story was a reminder to me that wisdom is not about escape, but rather about being present to what is —all of it. I found these teachings most helpful when my wife and dad died within a six month period in 1998. I drew strength from the teachings of non-control, nonattachment, impermanence, and awareness of the moment. When my wife was dying of breast cancer, I could be fully present without feeling the need to try to control the outcome. I also was able to look deeply at my feelings in the weeks and months afterward and to accept and embrace all of my feelings, both the negative and positive ones. I could feel loss and sadness, and at the same time feel grateful for the time we had together and the life she lived. As a Catholic, I drew strength from the teachings of both Jesus and the Buddha. That was a blessing for which I am deeply grateful. Bill Williams West Hartford, Connecticut, USA
The Mindfulness Bell has become a nourishing addition to my practice. When I read it, I feel like I am sitting in the presence of the Sangha and feel happy. I am trying to stop my recent practice of reading it while eating, but isn't this a happier practice than reading the newspaper? Lennis Lyon El Cerrito, California, USA
My heart was so touched by the clarity, depth, openness, and courage of The Mindfulness Bell #26. After reading it, I wanted to renew my subscription, and send a gift subscription to a dear friend. It was a little hard to write on the back cover, but impossible to actually cut the page off to use it as a subscription form. So, I had to put it down, and find another piece of paper to renew my subscription.
I am reminded of Sister Jina's talk about learning to practice meditation so that any arrows coming towards her would be repelled. My feeling is that you have created a Mindfulness Bell that manifests that Buddha shield, that round, strong fullness of quiet energy that will not permit assault. Katharine Cook San Rafael, California, USA
I appreciated the recent Mindfulness Bell articles on healing. ["Fresh Air," Issue #25 and"Surrender and a Lotus," Issue #26.] It is good to share experiences on how to handle chronic disease. Especially with CFIDS, you can get isolated because you don't look sick to others and there is difficulty understanding the illness. It is nice to come back to your breath and be truly in touch with all the wonderful and loving beings around us—families and friends, Sangha, the breeze, the beautiful tree next door, our wonderful animal friends—and to know you aren't isolated at all. Sometimes you can see that you are more than this body, this illness, and you know even in this situation, with true understanding, you can be of benefit and loving to yourself and others. Bronson Rozier Louisville, Kentucky, USA