Saturday, September 28, 2013

An Excerpt From Thich Nhat Hanh's "True Love"


The Energy of Mindfulness
Understanding is the fruit of meditation. When we practice deep looking directed toward the heart of reality, we receive help, we receive understanding, we receive the wisdom that makes us free. If there is a deep pain within you, meditate.
Meditating is not trying to run away, trying to ignore the presence of the pain, but on the contrary, it is looking at it face-to-face. You have to practice deep looking directed toward the nature of this pain, because for Buddhists, we are joy, but we are also pain; we are understanding, but we are also ignorance. Meditating is not transforming oneself into a battlefield where one side is fighting another, where good fights against evil. This is not Buddhist meditation. Buddhist meditation is based on the principle of nonduality. This means that if we are mindfulness, if we are love, we are also ignorance, we are also suffering, and there is no reason to suppress anything at all.
When the seed of anger manifests on the level of our conscious mind, our immediate awareness , it is because the seed of anger is in the depths of our consciousness, and then we begin to suffer. Our immediate awareness is something like our living room. The task of the meditator is not to chase away or to suppress the energy of anger that is there but rather to invite another energy that will be able to care for the anger.
You can use the method of mindful breathing to make the seed of this other energy grow inside you. It will then manifest in the form of energy, and this energy will embrace your energy of anger like a mother taking a baby in her arms. Then there is only tenderness, there is no fighting with, or discriminating against, the pain. The purpose of the practice of mindful breathing is to help to give birth to this precious energy called mindfulness and to keep it alive.
We have already spoken of this energy that illuminates us. Mindfulness is like a light, enabling concentration to really be there, and that also makes it possible for us to look deeply into the heart of things. From this looking deeply is born deep vision, understanding. Mindfulness brings concentration, understanding, love and freedom.
If you are a Christian, you could say that this energy we are talking about is known as the Holy Spirit, the energy that is sent to us by God. Wherever this energy exists, there is attention, understanding, love, compassion. And this energy has the power to heal. Since Jesus embodies this energy, he has the ability to heal whoever he touches. When Jesus touches people, he touches them with the energy of the Holy Spirit. It is not touching his clothing that has the power to heal. We could say that when the energy of compassion and love touches us, healing establishes itself.
In Buddhism we say that mindfulness is the energy of Buddha. The seed of mindfulness is the baby Buddha that is in us. This precious seed can be buried very deeply under several layers of suffering and ignorance. We begin by looking for, by touching, this seed of mindfulness and everybody knows that all of us have this precious seed in us.
When you drink water, if you are aware of the fact that you are drinking water, mindfulness is there. Mindfulness is the energy that makes it possible for us to be aware of what is happening in the present moment.
When you breathe in and you are aware that you are breathing in, mindfulness is there. Mindfulness is always mindfulness of something. When you are angry and you know that you are angry, mindfulness is there. Anger is one energy, mindfulness is another, and this second kind of energy arises in order to care for the first like a mother caring for her baby.

(To see True Love on Amazon, click here)

No comments: