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Bells of Mindfulness: Finding Fair Trade in Sacred Spaces

6th August, 2013 - Posted by Kara Roguly - 8 Comments

Indika bells at SF store

Bells at Global Exchange Store in San Francisco store.

 Global Exchange brings surprise treasures into my life. Most recently I had the privilege of being introduced to installation artist Tiffany Singh (Auckland, New Zealand).

About a year ago Tiffany contacted Global Exchange’s SF Store looking for 1000 Fair Trade Bells. We sell beautiful bells from India, in all sizes but she needed more bells than we have in stock; so I connected Tiffany with our bell source, Indika.

In June of this year Tiffany and her camera crew showed up at our SF store. I was fortunate to spend time with this wonderful artist, as she explained how she was going to incorporate the bells into her installation at the Montalvo Arts Centre in Saratoga CA.

Indika Bells

Bells of Mindfulness

The Bells of Mindfulness, proposes to deeply examine the idea of sacred spaces. Drawing on the Buddhist tradition of using temple bells as an aid for mindfulness, Tiffany suspended 1000 Indika bells and 1000 handmade paper cranes attached to brightly colored ribbons, color blocked, from a persimmon tree in Montalvo’s Italianate Garden, creating a tranquil space for rest and reflection. Sourcing the bells from rural artisans in western India, Singh hopes The Bells of Mindfulness will inspire conversations about the importance of better equity in international trade.

 

 The Bells of Mindfulness is a participatory sculpture. To participate:

  • Go to the persimmon tree in the Italianate garden in Montalvo Arts Center
  • Listen to the bells on the tree.
  • With intention choose your bell.
  • Take the bell to your sacred place.
  • Attach your bell.
  • Send us an audio recording, film clip, or image along with the location of the bell to bellsofmindfulness@gmail.com
  • Follow the journey of the bells at http://www.flickr.com/photos/bells_of_mindfulness/map/
  • Keep your eye out for bells. If you find one, marking someone’s sacred place, you may remove the bell and go back to step 3.

I had never been to the Montalvo Arts Center. It is a large walking meditation of beautiful paths incorporated in nature with witty, simple and beautiful installations scattered throughout.

I had to look for Tiffany’s persimmon tree, and I was so excited when I finally found the tree with colored string, colored paper cranes and bells hanging from it’s branches.

 I spent a couple hours under the tree, watching, ringing and listening to the bells. I took two fallen bells from the ground and gave one to my friend and the other is hanging in my kitchen, for now.

Seeing my bell reminds me that I value and strive to incorporate art and mindfulness in my daily life.

me and bells

Me looking at the bells.

Bells of Mindfulness   will be up thru October, I encourage you to spend a day at the Montalvo Arts Centre and

enjoy the sights and sounds of nature and art!

Mindfulness is the root of all methods that tame the mind. First it focuses the mind. Then it eases the mind. Finally it is the luminous nature, beyond thoughts.

 - Paul Rinpoche

bell in my home

My mindful bell at home.

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