Thursday, September 29, 2011

Anger and Mindfulness

When someone touches the seed of anger by saying something or doing something that upsets us, that seed of anger will come up and manifest in mind consciousness as the mental formation (cittasamskara) of anger. The word “formation” is a Buddhist term for something that’s created by many conditions coming together. A marker pen is a formation; my hand, a flower, a table, a house, are all formations. A house is a physical formation. My hand is a physiological formation. My anger is a mental formation. In Buddhist psychology we speak about fifty-one varieties of seeds that can manifest as fifty-one mental formations. Anger is just one of them. In store consciousness, anger is called a seed. In mind consciousness, it’s called a mental formation.
Whenever a seed, say the seed of anger, comes up into our living room and manifests as a mental formation, the first thing we can do is to touch the seed of mindfulness and invite it to come up too. Now we have two mental formations in the living room. This is mindfulness of anger. Mindfulness is always mindfulness of something. When we breathe mindfully, that is mindfulness of breathing. When we walk mindfully, that is mindfulness of walking. When we eat mindfully, that’s mindfulness of eating. So in this case, mindfulness is mindfulness of anger. Mindfulness recognizes and embraces anger.

Every time we need the energy of mindfulness, we just touch that seed with our mindful breathing, mindful walking, smiling, and then we have the energy ready to do the work of recognizing, embracing, and later on looking deeply and transforming. Whatever we’re doing, whether it’s cooking, sweeping, washing, walking, being aware of our breathing, we can continue to generate the energy of mindfulness, and the seed of mindfulness in us will become strong. Within the seed of mindfulness is the seed of concentration. With these two energies, we can liberate ourselves from afflictions.

--Thich Nhat Hanh--

Monday, September 26, 2011

Attachment is an Impediment

Attachment to views is the greatest impediment to the spiritual path.
--Thich Nhat Hanh--

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Walking Meditation When Angry


When anger arises, we may wish to go outside to practice walking meditation. The fresh air, the green trees, and the plants will help us greatly. We can practice like this:

'Breathing in, I know that anger is here.
Breathing out, I know the anger is me.
Breathing in, I know that anger is unpleasant.
Breathing out, I know this feeling will pass.
Breathing in, I am calm.
Breathing out, I am strong enough to take care of this anger.'

To lessen the unpleasant feeling brought about b the anger, we give our whole heart and mind to the practice of walking meditation, combining our breath with our steps and giving full attention to the contact between the soles of our feet and the earth. As we walk, we recite this verse, and wait until we are calm enough to look directly at the anger. Until then, we can enjoy our breathing, our walking, and the beauties of our environment.
After a while, our anger will subside and we will fill stronger.
Then we can begin to observe the anger directly and try to understand it.

--Thich Nhat Hanh--

Recollection of the Buddha

Recollection of the Buddha

The practice I would like to show you is called Recollection of the Buddha and it is taught in every school of Buddhism.
SIt down quietly, breathe in and out for a few minutes to calm yourself, and then ask, "Little Buddha, are you there?"
Ask the question very deeply and quietly. In the beginning you may not hear an answer. There is always an answwer, but if you are not calm enough, you won't hear it.
"Little Buddha are you there?" And then one day you will hear the voice of your little Buddha answering, "Yes, my dear, of course. I am always here for you."
Hearing this you smile. "I know, little Buddha, you are my calm. I know you are always there, and I need you to help me be calm.. I shout and I act as if I don't have a Buddha in me. Thankyou little Buddha I need you to be there."
The little Buddha says, "Of course I'll be here for you all the time. Just come inside and visit me when you need to."
That is the practice of touching the Buddha inside. It's a very important practice for all of us.
--Thich Nhat Hanh--

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Walk with the Feet of the Buddha


It is possible to walk with the feet of the Buddha.  Our feet, empowered by the energy of mindfulness, become the feet of Buddha.  You can't say, "I can't walk with the feet of the Buddha, I don't have them."  It's not true. Your feet are the Buddha's feet, and if you really want to use them, it's up to you.  If you bring the energy of mindfulness into your feet, your feet become the Buddha's feet and you walk for him.  And that does not need some kind of blind faith. This is so clear.  If you are inhabited by the energy of mindfulness, you are acting like a Buddha, you are speaking like a Buddha, you are thinking like a Buddha.  That is Buddhahood in you.  That is something you can experience; it's not  a theory  --Thich Nhat Hanh--

Unconditional Love

Love is a mind that brings peace, and happiness to another person.
Compassion is a mind that removes the suffering that is present in the other.
We all have the seeds of love and compassion in our  minds, and we can develop
these fine and wonderful sources of energy.
We can nurture the unconditional love that does not expect anything in return
and therefore does not lead to anxiety and sorrow
--Thich Nhat Hanh--

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The End of Suffering - Thich Nhat Hanh

I found this originally in Itunes but have found it to be a wonderous help to me through my grief and sorrow at the loss of my beloved father on August 15th, 2011.
Please check it out and see if it does for you what it's done for me and countless others.
With eternal love,
Little Miss Bliss ♥ 

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Prayer for Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh


In beauty, sitting on a lotus flower, is Lord Buddha quiet and solid.
Your humble disciple, calm and pure of heart, forms a lotus flower with his hands, faces you with deep respect, and offers this heartfelt prayer.

Homage to all Buddhas in the ten directions.
Because of your love for all people, have compassion on us.
Help us remember we are just one family,
Help us rekindle our compassion and brotherhood, and transform our separate interests into loving acceptance for all.
May your compassion help us overcome hatred.
May Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva's love help the flowers bloom again in the soil of all countries.
Humbly, we open our hearts to you, so you may help us transform our karma and water the flowers of our spirits.
With you deep understanding, help our hearts grow light.

Homage to Shakyamundi Buddha whose great vows and compassion inspire us.
I am determined to cultivate only thoughts that increase trust and love, to use my hands to perform only deeds that build community,
to speak only words of harmony and aid.

May the merit of this prayer be transformed into peace worldwide.
May each of us realize this, our deep aspiration.

Breathing Room

Breathing Room

We have a room for everything - eating, sleeping, watching TV - but we have no room for Mindfulness.
I recommend that we set up a small room in our homes and call it a 'Breathing Room', where we can be alone and practice just breathing and smiling, at least in difficult moments.
That little room should be regarded as an Embassy of the Kingdom of Peace. It should be respected, and not violated by anger, shouting, or things like that.  When a child is about to be shouted at, she can take refuge in that room. Neither the father nor the mother can shout at her anymore. She is safe within the grounds of the Embassy. Parents sometimes will need to take refuge in that room, also, to sit down, breathe, smile and restore themselves. Therefore, that room is for the benefit of the whole family.
I suggest that the breathing room be decorated very simply, and not too bright. You may want to have a small bell, one with a beautiful sound, a few cushions or chairs, and perhaps a vase of flowers to remind us of our true nature. You or your children can arrange flowers in mindfulness, smiling. Every time you feel a little upset, you know that the best thing to do is to go to that room, open the door slowly, sit down, invite the bell to sound - in my country we don't say 'strike' or 'hit' a bell - and begin to breathe.  The bell will help not only the person in the breathing room, but the others in the house as well.
I believe that every home should have one room for breathing. Simple practices like conscious breathing and smiling are very important. They can change our civilization.
--Thich Nhat Hanh

Choose the Right Channel

There are thousands of channels in our consciousness.
It's up to us to choose the channel.
--Thich Nhat Hanh--

Anything is Possible

Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible.

- Thich Nhat Hanh

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Planting Seed of Happiness

Planting Seeds of Happiness

You have both seeds of happiness and unhappiness in you, planted by your parents, your ancestors, or your friends.
When seeds of happiness manifest themselves, you feel quite happy. But when seeds of sorrow, anger, and hatred manifest, you feel very unhappy. The quality of our life depends on what seeds we water in our consciousness.
When you practice breathing, smiling, and looking at beautiful things around you, you are planting seeds of beauty and happiness. That is why we practice things like breathing in and seeing ourselves as a flower, breathing out and feeling fresh, breathing in and seeing ourselves as a mountain, breathing out and feeling solid like a mountain.  This practice helps us plant seeds of solidity and freshness in ourselves.  Every time we walk with calm and ease, or we smile and release the tension in us, we are planting seeds that will strengthen our happiness. With each happy step, we plant a happy seed.

- Thich Nhat Hanh -

The Precious Gem - A Poem by Thich Nhat Hanh

Precious gems are everywhere in the cosmos and inside of every one of us.

I want to offer a handful to you, my dear friend.
Yes, this morning, I want to offer a handful to you,
A handful of diamonds that glow from morning to evening.
Each minute of our daily life is a diamond
That contains Sky and Earth, Sunshine and River.

We only need to breathe gently for the miracle to be revealed:
Birds singing, flowers blooming.
Here is the blue sky, here is the white cloud floating,
Your lovely look, your beautiful smile.
All these are contained in one jewel.

You who are the richest person on Earth
And behave like a destitute son,
Please come back to your heritage.

Let us offer each other happiness
And learn to dwell in the present moment.
Let us cherish life in our two arms
And let go of our forgetfulness and despair.
- Thich Nhat Hanh