Where Does the Bell Sound Come From?

(extracted from "The Whole World is a Single Flower")

One day, as the big temple bell was being rung, the Buddha asked Ananda, "Where does the bell sound come from?"

"The bell."

The Buddha said, "The bell? But if there were no bell stick, how would the sound appear?"

Ananda hastily corrected himself. "The stick! The stick!"

"The stick? If there were no air, how could the sound come here?"

"Yes! Of course! It comes from the air!"

The Buddha asked, "Air? But unless you have an ear, you cannot hear the bell sound."

"Yes! I need an ear to hear it. So it comes from my ear."

The Buddha replied, "Your ear? If you have no consciousness, how can you understand the bell sound?"

"My consciousness makes the sound."

"Your consciousness? So, Ananda, if you have no mind, how do you hear the bell sound?"

"It was created by mind alone."

  1. Everything is created by mind alone. Is that correct?
  2. If you have no mind, where does the bell sound go?
  3. Where does the bell sound come from?


True form is without thinking. Truth is unmoving. Name and form, appearing and disappearing – these things never existed. Time and space are always moving. The world of name is the world of opposites. If you are not thinking there are no opposites. See, hear, smell, speak, act, and think clearly.