The tale of the lengths gone to, to get a new bell ‘inviter’ 🔔

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My big bell with inviter

So my ‘big bell’ one of many I use in my mindfulness teaching practice went on a long journey from a Buddhist monastery in Asia to be with me… A Plum Village nun bought it and shipped it to France for me. It took 4 months to get there. Mary from Dublin was visiting so she flew home with it in her backpack 🎒A few weeks later she came up to Belfast on the train 🚞 with it.

Finally it was mine and it served me well for about 10 years, until the 28 June this year. I was doing a day of workshops for a client, Workspace In Draperstown. It was a great day and all went well. As always I pack my bell away in my big bag. A month later I got it out again to teach my monthly Sunday mindful self-compassion workshop and the ‘inviter’ was missing!!

You may like to call the inviter a big stick but as my teacher Thay says: “We don’t hit the bell, we invite the bell to sound.” This is why it’s an inviter🔔

You can imagine if it was such trouble to get in the first place, replacing it would be very difficult and it was! I scoured the internet to no avail, I bought small imitation ones and even tried a rolling pin but nothing was right!

I decided I need to get one made but where to go? Who makes such a thing? The answer is a wood-turner. My 6 week Namaste class started back in August and I told the class the sorry tale. The wonderful Lesley Neil said she would text me the name of a man In Donaghadee.

I rang Tony at Ark Woodturning, he’s 76 so he couldn’t make me out on the phone, so one day my husband and I went down to see him. I was a bit dubious but low n behold he totally understood, said he had the perfect piece of hard wood (Iroko) reclaimed from an old church! He drew out measurements, cut the wood and the next thing shavings we’re flying everywhere as he produced the most beautiful perfect new inviter🌟Amazing 💛

But still the problem was not fully solved I needed to get the inviter covered with leather to get the sound right. Someone said ‘try the shoe mender on Botanic’. So I did, he said he was too busy to sew it but he sold me a scrap of leather for a £5. So now I just had to find someone who could sew leather…

Again Lesley to the rescue, she suggested Lisa Dunn, who is known locally for her sound healing work with her husband Brian, they are the wonderful Soundhenge. I left my inviter with Lisa and now I have the perfect tool to invite the bell. I’m so happy and grateful!

Come to any of my public classes to hear what it sounds like 🙂

The picture shows my bell with the new inviter check out my Instagram to see more pics of the inviters journey 🙂

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