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Buddhadharma : Winter 2013
50 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY WINTER 2 0 1 3 know exactly what it is. To me it’s very clear that holiness is made up of mindfulness, con- centration, and insight. When you’re inhabited by these three energies, you are a buddha, an enlightened person. In Christianity we speak of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can be inter- preted as the quality of presence that is there when we have mindfulness, concentration, and insight. Wherever these three energies are, life is there, healing is there, nourishment and hap- piness are there. So it’s possible to generate the energy of holiness. When these energies of holi- ness are in you, you don’t suffer anymore; you’re free. I can call you “Your Holiness.” Everyone can be holy if they know how to generate the energy of mindfulness, concentration, and insight. It’s not too difficult. When I pour tea, I like to pour the tea mind- fully. When I pour the tea mindfully, my mind isn’t in the past or the future, or with my proj- ects. My mind is focused on pouring the tea. I’m fully concentrated on the act of pouring tea. Pouring tea becomes the only object of my mind- fulness and concentration. This is a pleasure and it also can bring many insights. I can see that in the tea there is a cloud. Yesterday it was a cloud, but today it is my tea. Insight is not something very far away. With mindfulness and concentra- tion you can begin to develop the insight that can liberate you and bring you happiness. There is mindfulness of breathing, mindful- ness of pouring tea, mindfulness of drinking tea, mindfulness of walking, mindfulness of brushing teeth, and so on. When you breathe mindfully, you focus your attention on only one thing: your in-breath and out-breath. This is concentration on your breath. When you are really concen- trated on your breath, insight can come right away. You may get the insight that you are fully alive, and to be truly alive like that is a miracle. Insight Is Not Something Far Away Insight is enlightenment, awakening. You’re enlightened about the fact that you are alive. You wake up once again to the miraculous reality that you are here, still alive. There are many insights that can happen while you breathe in mindfully. You breathe in and you realize that your legs are still strong enough for you to walk, jump, and run. When I practice walking, I’m very happy and grateful that I can still walk. Many of my friends from my generation can’t walk anymore. Thanks to mindfulness, concentration, and insight, every step can generate the energy of joy and happiness. That is meditation. Bringing your mind home to your body, establishing yourself in the present moment, and touching the wonders of life make joy, happiness, and freedom possible in the here and now. Everyone can do it. Everyone can pour his tea mindfully. Everyone can drink her tea mindfully. Instead of allowing ourselves to think of the past or the future, we focus our mindfulness on drinking tea. We are fully present in the here and now. The only thing we touch is the tea. If I’m mindful of my body and established in the here and now, I become real. When I’m real, life is also real. The tea I’m holding in my hands is real. It’s because I’m real that the tea becomes real. The encounter between the tea and me is real; that’s real life. If you’re possessed by fear, anger, or ruminative thinking, you’re not truly present and your tea is not truly there. That isn’t true life. Generating the Energy of Mindfulness The energy of mindfulness makes things real and alive. The practices of mindful walking, mind- ful sitting, and mindful breathing help generate the energy of mindfulness. They are the basic practice. You can also take a shower in mindful- ness and enjoy the entire time of taking a shower. When you prepare your breakfast, if you allow mindfulness to be there in every moment, it can be a time of genuine happiness. You can wash the dishes in the same way; getting in touch with the water and washing each plate and bowl in mindfulness can be a joy. You don’t need to hurry up and finish. You can enjoy washing the dishes.