Every moment can be a moment of applied mindfulness that helps us to understand ourselves better.
In this first talk of the 2022 Rains Retreat, Sr. Chan Duc (“Sister True Virtue”) reminds us of the preciousness of having the opportunity to practice together for three months.
As human beings, we have a deep tendency to believe in a separate self and to strive in order to protect ourselves. Our non-stop thinking comes from this instinct of self-preservation. It stops us from being in touch with the wonders of life and the nature of interconnectedness of all that is.
Sr. Chan Duc shares ways that allow us to calm down our thinking and come back to the present moment. We need a calm and clear mind in order to help relieve the suffering of the world without being carried away.
*Majjhima Nikāya 20 The Removal of Distracting Thoughts (Sutra quoted by Sr. Chan Duc during the talk)
Practices for daily mindfully living mindfully from Sr. Từ Nghiêm based on Sr. Chan Duc’s talk
1. In the morning while waking up, silently recite the gatha:
Waking up this morning I smile
24 brand new hours are before me
I vow to live deeply in each moment
And to look at all beings with the eyes of compassion.
This gatha when recited as your first thoughts of the day sets your mind in the direction of positive and Right Thinking – to live mindfully and look at people and situations with understanding and compassion.
2. During the day:
Walking mindfully – to refresh the mind and renew mindfulness energy, and to ground you during challenging moments.
Each step in peace is a nourishment. Walk just to walk. If we walk without thinking, it calms the mind and body.
3. In the evening:
Think of one person or situation to whom you feel gratitude and appreciation. “I feel grateful for…”
Write it down in a gratitude notebook and come back to these gems when the mind meanders to negative realms.
Find creative ways to infuse your day with mindfulness. Return to the present moment again and again.
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