Becoming Rain

rain1

the tears

i shed

yesterday

have become

rain

“In one of my former lives I was a cloud. The cloud had a nice time in the sky, travelling around and looking down. A cloud is sometimes transformed into rain, and when the rain comes, the cloud isn’t scared to death. The cloud knows that the rain is something very exciting too. So, instead of crying, the cloud begins to sing and becomes the rain falling on fields and into the rivers.”

“If we look deeply we see that the nature of a cloud is also the nature of no birth: The cloud does not come from nothing. It has come from the water in the river and ocean. It has come from the heat of the sunshine. You know that the birth of a cloud is a poetic image. The cloud is simply a new manifestation. Before being a cloud, the cloud has been many other things. Our true nature is the nature of no birth and no death. Birth and death are notions that cannot be applied to reality, because there is nothing that can be born from nothing, and there is nothing that can become nothing at all. The meditation practice of looking deeply will bring about insight. It will dissipate our fear and our despair.”

-Thich Nhat Hahn

*art by Omer Agam (digital artist and graphic designer)

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Honoring Ancestors

 

“If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.”

-Thich Nhat Hanh-

Through the hot blast

Of summers long past

I had to run fast

Before little inner me

Was a lost memory.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2014

Nourishment and Healing

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The 5th of the Five Mindfulness Trainings

Nourishment and Healing

Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I am committed to cultivating good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking, and consuming. I will practice looking deeply into how I consume the Four Kinds of Nutriments, namely edible foods, sense impressions, volition, and consciousness. I am determined not to gamble, or to use alcohol, drugs, or any other products which contain toxins, such as websites electronic games, TV programs, films, magazines, books, and conversations. I will practice coming back to the present moment to be in touch with the refreshing, healing, and nourishing elements in me and around me, not letting regrets and sorrow drag me back into the past not letting anxieties, fear, or craving pull me out of the present moment. I am determined not to try to cover up loneliness, anxiety, or other suffering by losing myself in consumption. I will contemplate interbeing and consume in a way that preserves peace, joy, and well-being, in my body and consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family, my society and the Earth.

*Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s translation of the 5 basic precepts as taught by the Buddha Shakyamuni

photo by laurasici,

http://www.flickr.com/photos/55486687@N03/5298306161/in/photostream/

Loving Speech and Deep Listening

ImageThe 4th of the Five Mindfulness Trainings

Loving Speech and Deep Listening

Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I am committed to cultivating loving speech and compassionate listening in order to relieve suffering and to promote reconciliation and peace in myself and among other people, ethnic and religious groups, and nations. Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I am committed to speaking truthfully using words that inspire confidence, joy, and hope. When anger is manifesting in me, I am determined not to speak. I will practice mindful breathing and walking in order to recognize and to look deeply into my anger. I know that the roots of anger can be found in my wrong perceptions and lack of understanding of the suffering in myself and in the other person. I will speak and listen in a way that can help myself and the other person to transform suffering and see the way out of difficult situations. I am determined not to spread news that I do not know to be certain and not to utter words that can cause division or discord. I will practice Right Diligence to nourish my capacity for understanding, love, joy, and inclusiveness, and gradually transform anger, violence, and fear that lie deep in my consciousness.

 *Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s translation of the 5 basic precepts as taught by the Buddha Shakyamuni

Photo found on Pinterest via: Kate Armstrong

True Love

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The 3rd of the Five Mindfulness Trainings

True Love

Aware of the suffering caused by sexual misconduct, I am committed to cultivating responsibility and learning ways to protect the safety and integrity of individuals, couples, families, and society. Knowing that sexual desire is not love, and that sexual activity motivated by craving always harms myself as well as others, I am determined not to engage in sexual relations without true love and a deep, long-term commitment made known to my family and friends. I will do everything in my power to protect children from sexual abuse and to prevent couples and families from being broken by sexual misconduct. Seeing that body and mind are one, I am committed to learning appropriate ways to take care of my sexual energy and cultivating loving kindness, compassion, joy and inclusiveness -which are the four basic elements of true love – for my greater happiness and the greater happiness of others. Practicing true love, we know that we will continue beautifully into the future.

*Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s translation of the 5 basic precepts as taught by the Buddha Shakyamuni

*Photo by Gianfranco Meloni

 

True Happiness

birds-of-paradise

 The 2nd of the Five Mindfulness Trainings

True Happiness

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 by remembering that I already have more than enough conditions to be happy. I am committed to practicing Right Livelihood so that I can reduce the suffering of living beings on Earth and reverse the process of global warming.

*Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s translation of the 5 basic precepts as taught by the Buddha Shakyamuni

*Photo from http://wallpath.com/bird-of-paradise.html