This was our second Day of Mindfulness. The organizing team had been working so hard to keep this DOM alive. We are a very young Sangha, hence most of us are learning to meditate and learning to facilitate meditation at the same time! Amazingly we were able to get our DOM started, and now able to keep it alive! Thank you everyone for your beautiful efforts.
You can find here the links to the dharma talk we watched today, and some of the photos taken. See you next time!
New Year’s Eve Talk, from the Assembly of Stars Hall of the Lower Hamlet, Plum Village, France on December 31st, 2010.
Once we understand the suffering inside ourselves, compassion will arise. If you understand the roots of suffering, understanding will arise, and then compassion. Then you feel at home with yourself. And when you feel at home with yourself, you can help the other person. You can understand his or her suffering better. You have become a home for yourself, and you are helping him or her to become a home for him- or herself.
In Plum Village we say: without the mud, the lotus cannot grow. That is the non-dualistic way of looking. If we try to run away of suffering, we cannot be happy; if we throw away the mud, there can be no lotus suffering. We should learn to embrace our own suffering, and by doing so we are able to generate joy, peace, and happiness.
When your mind and body are together, you become settled. Everything is available: happiness, suffering, hell, heaven. The energy of mindfulness helps you to get in touch with the positive elements, so the we can embrace and transform the negative elements. We know there is a close connection between the mud and the lotus. We are no longer afraid of suffering. We learn the art of handling the suffering in such a way that can help create moments of joy and happiness. Even if there are still blocks of pain and suffering in us, we can practice climbing the hill of the century together as a Sangha to generate joy and happiness.
Suffering is useful. It can help us recognize what is not suffering. Walking meditation like that, together or alone, we make the Pure Land of the Buddha available with every step; we make the Kingdom of God available with every step.
André Gide said, ‘God is happiness,’ and, ‘God is available 24 hours a day.’ I would like to add: If God is available 24 hours a day, it means his kingdom is available 24 hours a day. Don’t wait until you breathe your last in order to go to the kingdom, because the kingdom is already there.
The practice of taking refuge can be a very deep practice. When we take refuge in our breathing, we touch peace and safety.