Dharma Talks / The Four Kinds of Nutriments: Change Yourself to Change the World

Sr Thuận Nghiêm

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We all have aspirations, dreams, joys and sorrows deep in our hearts.
But are we aware that anything we want to cultivate needs food to grow?

In Buddhist psychology, we learn that there are four kinds of nutriments: edible food, sense impressions, volition, and consciousness.

In terms of edible food, are we consuming in a way that sustains our health and nourishes our heart of compassion?

As for sense impressions, do we take the time to develop friendship and bonding in our daily lives or are we constantly being hooked to our devices? Do we recognize the stress, intensity and addiction that spending so much time on our devices brings about for ourselves, our family and our society?

When it comes to volition, we are speaking about our deep aspiration. What kind of aspirations do we pursue in life? The Five Mindfulness Trainings give us very clear and concrete guidelines on how to live our daily life with compassion and the insight of interbeing. We need the awareness and determination of every individual on Earth to reverse the process of global warming.

The fourth kind of nutriment, consciousness, is both individual and collective. For us to be able to realize our potential, we need to be in a wholesome environment. With the practice and the sangha, we can generate mindfulness and love for us and others to take refuge in.

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What is Mindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

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