Honestly, these tingshaw chimes that I use as my altar bell might just be the only tool I own that I cannot remember how I acquired. I’ve been trying to remember for days now, and I’ve gotten nowhere. Neither can I precisely remember when I got them. I seem to recall having them when I left for college, but that doesn’t exactly clear things up.
What I do remember very clearly, though, was how the sound of tingsha chimes actually made me drop everything I was doing to hear them. It was almost like I was compelled to hear them sing. I knew that I wanted a set of these chimes then, and I don’t believe too many weeks passed before I was able to buy a set. I really don’t think they were much more than $15 dollars, but I could be wrong. It’s clearly been awhile.
The compelling ring is certainly appropriate since these bells literally act as a summon to pay attention and be in the present moment to begin and end a meditation, which means they’re very effective for use in a ritual. Since they’re pitched higher and each bell has a slightly different tone (a modern imperfection as apparently tingsha chimes of ages past were carefully matched so each had near identical tones), I find them more compelling to hear than the chime produced by a singing bowl, which is what Hartwood Grove uses.
I’ve had these chimes for ages now, and I’ve never felt compelled to acquire any other sort of bell. These tingsha chimes do get a little headache inducing when used to stir up energy, though, so I might end up getting a handbell at some point in the future…but it’s not something I’m striving for at the moment.