In this section of the wonderful booklet “The Miracle of Mindfulness” the meditation teacher and Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh leads us into the value and practice of breathing as a way to re-connect our thoughts to our body again. Much, if not all of our modern-day discomfort has to do with our thoughts being somewhere else than our body. Since we are a body-mind complex, when that happens we lose contact with our Essence. I find that re-connecting with my breath in a very direct way – with no thoughts in the space of breathing – shifts my consciousness immediately. Enjoy this teaching! Continue reading
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
Thought cannot hold this moment,
for this moment is not of time.
In this last entry of K’s Journal he puts it very clearly: “…this moment is not of time”. To consider his words we must go into the question of what time actually is. Can we consider time without reference to memory, the past? without projecting that impression from a past occurrence slightly modified into the future? To be in the present moment sounds so very simple and indeed, it is not a complex process. However, since our very world is made up of thoughts that arise from a fabric of past/future it is not an easy task. Continue reading
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017 !!!
Upeksha is Sanskrit word. It is a seminal term in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. English words that give us a sense of what this term signifies are: equanimity, non-attachment, non-discrimination, even-mindedness or letting go. In the Yoga Sutras it is mentioned as the state of being ‘close to the Seer with great patience’.
Thich Nhat Hanh in his new book “At Home in the World” mentions this term in the following passage that I feel is a great way to set an intention for the coming solar cycle, the New Year 2017. Continue reading
This is another short chapter from Thich Nhat Hanh’s newest book, his memoirs, called At Home in the World. It is a meditation on endless life. It strikes a strong chord in me because when I was about twenty years old I once had a remarkable vision of the eternity and infinity of life while captivated by the intricacy and aliveness of my own palm Continue reading
This is one short chapter from Thich Nhat Hanh’s newest book, his memoirs, called At Home in the World. It speaks to the deeper significance of relaxing, beyond our own individual need. Enjoy! Continue reading
Thich Nhat Hanh wrote the introduction to a booklet by Thomas Merton “Contemplative Prayer“. Thay mentions the following Buddhist “9 Prayers” which I find very timely for my practice at present. Please enjoy these prayers:
I must be able to smile to my sorrow,
because we are more than our sorrow
My Comment: This is one of the hardest places to be. I know that I am more than my sorrow, anger, disappointment, irritation, impatience etc. And yet it feels like going against gravity to shift and “turn a smile on” that is really a smile, not a fake. It means gathering myself just as if I were the Samurai on the battlefield. Letting go of the anger is like centering myself with my sword so that I am wielding my instrument (the body-mind-spirit) from the deepest place in me, from my Truth.
Here is a short except from Thich Nhat Hanh (Being Peace): Continue reading
The Sanskrit syllable “tap” means “to be hot”. From it the Sanskrit term “tapas” is derived and that term generally is translated as “penance” or ascetic practices in the yoga literature. Most generally this term is used to mean abstinence from worldly pleasures for the purpose of pursuing spiritual goals. It can also mean extremely rigorous practices of self-denial.
However, the inner meaning is better understood as a fine austerity as in simplicity in one’s behavior. In this simplicity I find confusing thoughts and impulses are better seen and avoided, not as in denial of anything, but as restraint from allowing my energy to flow into triviality that doesn’t really interest me any longer.
The wisdom teachings speak of ‘holding one’s vital energy inside’ because I am not just letting it flow to any of the myriad distractions which our modern life continually offers to our sensory system.
From this understanding I entered this morning into the following meditation:
I awaken to the beauty and pain of life and so I awaken to my own sorrow. Holding this sorrow in my awareness like a man whose hair is on fire, without a thought, with a brain that is completely still, there is great heat in me.
I am the crucible of the inner alchemy. The impurities are burnt to ash. I direct the energy of my attention to this terrible-wonderful ‘what is’ I call my world and the fire is ignited.
With the power of smiling I contain the sorrow within my being and thus no contamination of the world occurs.
The power of smiling is the inner power of holding both ends of the spectrum of terrible-wonderful so that I am able to see the whole business, not just a fragment. The smile is not an expression of joy or happiness, but rather as Thich Nhat Hanh puts it:
“Smiling means that we are ourselves, that we have sovereignty over ourselves, that we are not drowned in forgetfulness.”