Frequently asked questions
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the energy of being aware and awake to the present moment. It is the continuous practice of touching life deeply in every moment of daily life. To be mindful is to be truly alive, present and at one with those around you and with what you are doing. We bring our body and mind into harmony while we wash the dishes, drive the car or take our morning shower.
One can practise mindfulness throughout every moment of the day and not just in the meditation hall.
What is a Sangha?
A Sangha is a community that practises in harmony together, so that our practice of mindfulness becomes more joyful, relaxed and steady. We are bells of mindfulness, supporting and reminding each other along the path of practice.
What is the significance of bowing?
When we see someone join their palms to bow to us, we can do the same. Joining our palms and breathing in, we say a silent 'A lotus for you', so we're offering a lotus flower to the other person.
What is walking meditation?
In between sessions of sitting meditation, we practise Kinh Hanh, which is an indoor walking meditation. We take one or two steps with each in-breath and each out-breath. The purpose is simply to walk, aware of your breath, your steps and the present moment.
What is the bell used for?
The bell is a central feature of our mindfulness practice. It acts like a bodhisattva helping us to come back to the present moment and concentrate our awareness. It helps us as a Sangha to be aware of each other and to practise in harmony. On retreat, for example, much of the co-ordination of activity is maintained through the skillful use of the mindfulness bell.
We do not say “striking” or “sounding” the bell but inviting the bell to sound. The small rod used to invite the bell is therefore known as the bell inviter.