Creating from the Stable Mind

Einstein Nature Spiral image_12_31_13

The only way to create New Earth, which is to live New Earth, is from the Stable Mind. Sometimes it is called “Big Mind”, or Universal Consciousness. When we continually ground ourselves in that place, then “we see clearly what we should and should not do in order to improve the situation”.

It always comes back to the core statement that we move in the space we create as we move. (Krishnamurti) How we live now is how our future unfolds around us. This is the view that evolution is the dynamic of the unfoldment of all the potential that is contained within each of us as seeds.

This beautiful short essay by Thich Nhat Hanh transmits that sense of staying connected with the peaceful place in us that gives us this stability in life.

Taking Refuge in the Island of the Self”

“Breathing in, I go back

To the island of myself.

There are beautiful trees,

There is water, there are birds,

There is sunshine and fresh air.

Breathing out, I feel safe.

“Using gathas in our daily practice makes it easy and enjoyable. Gathas are Zen poems that we can memorize and recite silently to ourselves as we practice mindfulness of breathing. Gathas are simple and can be used to accompany any activity. This is a wonderful gatha. We can use it when our mind is confused, when we don’t know the right thing to do, when we’re in a dangerous situation or beginning to panic. When we come back to the breath, breathe mindfully, and recite this gatha, our mind will be calmed immediately. Once we feel stable, we’ll be able to see clearly what we should and should not do in order to improve the situation.

“Coming back to take refuge in the island of the self is the teaching the Buddha gave when he was eighty years old. He knew that after he entered nirvana there would be many disciples, both monastic and lay, who would feel lonely and that they had lost their place of refuge. So he taught that inside us there’s an island where we can take refuge. When we feel lost, lonely, sad, hesitant, in despair, when we don’t know what the correct thing to do is, we can come back to that island and have safety.

“That island is our stable mind. That island is not a place outside of us. One breath can bring us back to that island immediately. In each person there are the seeds of stability, freedom, and non-fear. It’s these seeds that make a place of refuge for us and protect us. When we take refuge in our island, we’re taking refuge in something real, not in some abstract idea or vague notion about the future. We can use this gatha when we do sitting meditation or walking meditation. Whether we’re sitting, standing, walking or lying down, we can practice coming back to take refuge. Breathing in, we can say, “coming back to take refuge.” Breathing out we can say, “in the island of myself.”

Coming back to take refuge

In the island of myself.

Or we can say:

Coming back

Taking refuge

The island

Of myself.”

Thich Nhat Hanh, Nothing to Do, Nowhere to Go, p. 195

Related Articles:

I have Arrived, I am Home (

Plum Village Bell Meditation – Thich Nhat Hanh (

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