shelter from the storm

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These are very simple practices that have been passed down through the centuries because they are so effective.

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Thich Nhat Hanh:

 

Suppose there is a storm raging – you don’t mind, because your house is solid. You close all the doors and windows, and although the wind is blowing fiercely outside, and there is rain and thunder, you still feel safe within your home. The island of self is like that. You have to practice, to learn, in order to allow that shelter, that island within yourself to appear for your use. During your daily life, learn to dwell in that safe island of mindfulness within you. Then you will be protected from provocations, you will be protected from anger, and from despair. There are many elements around you that are ready to invade you, to attack you and to deprive you of your peace and stability. So you have to organize in order to protect yourself, and to build up the practice of dwelling in that island of self is the practice recommended by the Buddha.

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calming down

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Exercises in Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh:

“Here are a number of exercises and approaches in meditation
which I often have used, adapting them from various
methods to fit my own circumstances and preferences.

“Select the ones you like best and find the most suitable
for your own self. The value of each method will vary
according to each person’s unique needs. Although these
exercises are relatively easy, they form the foundations
on which everything else is built.” Continue reading

the taste of zen

To Be Mindful

Thich Nhat Hanh:

The process to Light Existence, Produce the Power of Concentration, and Bring Wisdom to Bloom is called in Buddhism the Process of the Three Studies. Sila, Samadhi and Prajna (Discipline, Concentration, and Wisdom) are the Sanskrit terms. The word “Sila” (Discipline) must here be taken to signify Awareness of Being. Sila does not denote rules to prevent immoral actions. To be attached to rules without grasping their meaning is to take a means for an end; it is to fall into what Buddhism calls attachment to rules, one of the major obstacles to knowledge. It is not by virtue of moral conduct that one can realize Wisdom, but by maintaining body and mind in the permanent Awareness of Being. That is why the application of thoughts leading to Awareness of Being is called the “Essentials of Discipline. Continue reading

breathe my dear… Thay

Breathe my dear, everything will be okay. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh:

Breathe my dear, everything will be okay. ~

Thich Nhat Hanh

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Alia, her sister Lois and I are clearing Lois’ house for the painters who will be here Monday to spray the ceilings. Then we will continue painting the rest of the interior. Breathing with mindfulness is the way I stay centered in the midst of all activities. My wife Alia is an excellent organizer and has set us up to complete all phases of this project graciously and with ease. Tomorrow the three of us will be moving to a nearby motel for two days while the painters do their thing.

Thay’s beautiful calligraphy above expresses the trust that will carry us through all travails and turbulence in these times.

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the axis on which the Earth revolves

Thich Nhat Hanh

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the Earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment.

Only this moment is life.”

-Thich Nhat Hanh

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“… it becomes clearer that our main mission here is simply to live, to breathe the air and to let the love within us flow. Just the simple living of an everyday life is sacramental when the person is living with that consciousness of “all is love” humming its tune beneath our words and thoughts. To live devotionally does not mean, necessarily, that one becomes a hermit or a wandering pilgrim, although if you feel called to it, blessings on your way. To me, at least, the daily things are the most holy, the washing up, the chores, the errands. All moves in rhythm, and we are just part of that symphony of all life that shares energy back and forth.”

Carla Rueckert (Book V, Law of One, Fragment Five)

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mindfulness – what is that?

mindfulness

Joseph Goldstein, the author of this article, is one of the first American vipassana meditation teachers. I very much appreciate that he puts the Chinese character for “Mindfulness” at the beginning of his article, as it makes clear that mindfulness has not only to do with the mind, but with the ‘heart-mind’.  Although this is a short description, I find it full of very practical advice and useful tips for our practice. Continue reading

serenity

serenity

Serenity is one of the most important quality of my experience on this physical plane. There are many ways to maintain serenity. The one I have been most attracted to lately is mindfulness. For me this means continually bringing my mind back to my body so as to be physically present in all I do more and more. Continue reading