Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ringing the Bell

Tuesday, at temple, Reverend Kevin taught me how to ring the temple bell, or the Kansho Bell. Back in the day, they would ring the temple bell a certain way to tell the village that the temple was about to start service. They would also ring the bell another way to signal a fire alarm, but I didn't learn that one. Anyway, these days, the temple bell is rung more as a tradition to start service each week.

This first picture is our Kansho Bell. It's about 2 feet tall and made of really thick metal. It produces a very loud thick sound, almost like a gong, without the splashy sound.

<---- This is a picture of our GIANT bell outside the Temple. I've only heard this one rung on special occasions like Patriot's Day and New Years Day.

I've heard the regular Kansho bell every time I've attended, and could probably have guessed correctly how the rhythm was supposed to go... but actually performing that task myself was a lot harder than it sounded! The way you do it is you ring the bell 7 times, slowly, at a medium volume. Then you ring it really fast and really soft, but get louder and slower, then back down again. Then you hit it 5 times... do the crescendo/decrescendo one more time, then hit it 3 times. Sounds simple right? Believe me... it's not.

Reverend Kevin wanted me to ring the bell for church next Sunday... but it's such a big responsibility, I think I'm going to hold off and get some more practice in. When I go to Japan for my Tokudo Ordination, this aspect is going to be a really big deal, so I want to make sure I get it right. Anyway, that's it for now!

In Gassho,


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