Every time you sit down, you sit like a Buddha. Whether it is in your living room or at the foot of a tree or on your cushion, sit and enjoy your sitting. If you know how to sit and enjoy your sitting, then sitting will not become a goal, will not be considered as a hard practise. It is very pleasant. You sit, and you don’t do anything, you just sit, just enjoy sitting. The quality of your being there is what matters the most. To sit alone or to sit with a few friends is to produce your true presence, your full presence. Because in daily life, in our daily life, we might get lost in our thinking, in our worries; we have so many projects. That is why we have to learn how to sit. And to sit means to restore yourself, to become fully present, to become fully alive in the here and now. And with your body, with your breath, you can do it very easily and very quickly also. It needs five seconds or 10 seconds for us to restore ourselves fully. With our body and with our in-breath and out-breath, in no time at all, we produce our true presence in the here and the now. And that is the quality of being that we offer to ourselves and we offer to the Sangha and to the world. Be there, fully alive, fully present. And that is the purpose of sitting.

When you practise sitting, when you sit with a sangha, you don’t have to do anything at all. The basic practice is to be there, and to feel the joy of being together. It’s like a flock of birds flying in the sky; they enjoy flying together. It’s not hard work. It is a pleasure to fly together like that in the sky. So we sit together in one place. We feel our togetherness. We feel we are supported by each other. I produce my true presence and offer that to you, and you produce your true presence and offer that to me and to the sangha. Sitting like that, you feel the energy, you feel the transformation. When you look through the window, you see that the trees outside, they are doing the same. They are sitting, they are standing side by side; they don’t talk. And they feel the presence of each other. And it’s highly nourishing.

I like to define sitting meditation as doing nothing, as to sit there and do nothing. I don’t like to describe sitting meditation as the practice of concentration, and looking deeply, and getting the insight. First of all, it is the pleasure of being there, fully alive, and getting in touch with the wonders of life; that is already very rewarding, very healing, and transforming.

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What is Mindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

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