Buddhist bells are customarily cast by hand from a special metal alloy in an elaborate and lengthy process and they may present imperfections. They are usually decorated with auspicious symbols.
Since ancient times, Buddhist monks and nuns have used bells as part of their daily meditation practices. Among other things, bells are considered a meditation enhancer, as they help practitioners keep their attention focused on the present moment. The sound of the meditation bell is thought to promote a sense of peace and calmness. Advanced Buddhist meditators sometimes practice with bells and other instruments for hours at a time.
The Buddhist meditation bell is used today for a variety of reasons. They include:
-To mark the beginning and end of your session. You can ring your bell a couple of times to introduce ritual and ceremony into your practice.
-To clear your space. A bell can create an atmosphere of purity and inspire deeper meditation. Some people believe that the sound of a meditation bell wards off negative energies.
-As an object of meditation. For an alternative to concentrating on the breath during sitting meditation, you can use the ephemeral sound of the meditation bell to help keep the mind centered.