As I am returning from a relaxing mindfulness retreat, I am inspired to dig into my archives of my original "Zen Mail", which are my musing on Buddhist thought that I once created to inspire some friends.....
With the concept of Mindfulness, there are a number of thought processes and actions that open the door for mindful living. Mindfulness, meaning ......being aware of your present moment; taking note of your surroundings as you walk down the block, enjoying nature, eating a bit slower to enjoy the taste of your food, thinking before we talk, enjoying the little actions we take in life, being grateful for all we have in life, our health, our minds, our family, and friends. For me, it's difficult to live mindfully on the regular. I have to make a conscious effort to be still, to be quiet, to open my eyes and be aware more often. Last week I was listening to Five Mindfulness Trainings that the celebrated Zen master Thich Nhat Hahn developed to help us understand and practice Mindfulness. Want to exude true happiness? Check this out.....it's deep and there are lots of layers......you could make this pact with yourself.......
True Happiness - A Training in Mindfulness
Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing and oppression, I am committed to practicing generosity in my thinking, speaking and acting. I am determined not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others; and I will share my time, energy and material resources with those who are in need. I will practice looking deeply to see that the happiness and suffering of others are not separate from my own happiness and suffering; that true happiness is not possible without understanding and compassion; and that running after wealth, fame, power and sensual pleasures can bring much suffering and despair. I am aware that happiness depends on my mental attitude and not on external conditions, and that I can live happily in the present moment simply be remembering that I already have more than enough conditions to be happy. I am committed to practicing Right Livelihood so that I can help reduce the suffering of living beings in Earth and reverse the process of global warming.
("Right Livelihood" means that one should earn one's living in a righteous way and that wealth should be gained legally and peacefully.)
One key notion for me is " true happiness is not possible without understanding and compassion." Sometimes I have to dig to the depths of my soul for understanding in order to have compassion. Sometimes I can't comprehend a damn thing...but I try and when I come to the realization of understanding, the resulting innate compassion always leads me to feel happier and enjoy better relationships. Sometimes acceptance just has to do.
I'd love to hear your thoughts, so please do share in the comments below.