I stopped at the temple to meditate this morning. I have taken to going there in odd moments when I have a free time. I enjoy the presence of the place without the congregation. I like it with the congregation as well, but there’s is a stillness when I’m there alone. Only the caretaker and maybe some children from the neighborhood playing in the grounds.
Today, I found myself listening to a bell that would ring outside when the wind blew. It would sound out gently and slowly fade away. The instantaneous shock, the interruption of its call followed by gentle rumination lost in the noises of the world. I suddenly realized that there is no way to know if the bell stopped ringing, but that it simply receded from my perception. I am struck by the continuity of all things. That they persist even as we are swept from that moment, even as our ability to hold it in our consciousness departs. How many things seem to slip inexorably away to be lost to time. And yet, I find myself wondering if the bell is always there, ringing faintly outside of my perception.
If only I had ears to hear.