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Buddhadharma : Summer 2019
THICH NHAT HANH 67 Generating the energy of mindfulness is essential for the practice. We have to live each moment of our life mindfully. We look, listen, and touch with our mindfulness. When we cook, we cook mindfully, aware of our breathing and what we are doing. Enjoying our breath ing in whatever we are doing, we produce the energy of mindfulness to help us touch life deeply. Meditation helps us obtain insight, dis sipating our misunderstanding and ignorance, and brings about love, acceptance, and joy. There is no need for us to run away from birth and death. There is no need to run away from our garbage. We can learn the art of taking care of our suffering and transforming it into peace, joy, and lovingkindness. If suffering, fear, or despair is there, adopt the attitude of nonfear. Learn the techniques of transforming the garbage of the afflictions into flowers of wellbeing, solidity, and freedom. Looking deeply into a flower, we see the interbeing of the flower. Looking deeply into the garbage, we see the interbeing of the gar bage. Looking deeply is not speculating. We have to practice. We have to be concentrated. We have to be present in order to touch the flower deeply, to really experience its nature of interbeing. When we live mindfully, everything reveals the nature of interbeing. Looking deeply at a leaf, we touch the sunshine, the river, the ocean, and our mind in it. This is true practice. The teachings of impermanence and nonself are not doctrines or subjects for a philosophical discussion. They are instruments for meditation, keys to help us unlock the door of reality. When some one offers us a hammer for our carpentry work, we should not put it on an altar and worship it. We must learn how to use it. Don’t be dogmatic about impermanence and nonself. Practice looking deeply and touch the nature of interdependence, the nature of interbeing, in reality. — From Understanding Our Mind: Fifty Verses on Buddhist Psychology (Parallax Press)