“It is not within anyone’s power to save the whole world, but it is within your power to add whatever you can, with a loving and caring and peaceful heart. You can attend the portion of the world that you touch, you can add a bit of beauty and understanding to the world, you can become the one calm person standing in the boat in a great storm… And by doing so with peace and equanimity, you can show others that it is possible for them to do so as well. When you do, you will join with the forces of peace in the complex unfolding of life. And in that moment you will feel yourself to be one with the vastness from which you and all beings were born, returning to the silence that surrounds you in every moment of your life.”
“As the pace of our lives continues to be accelerated by a host of forces seemingly beyond our control, more and more of us are finding ourselves drawn to engage in meditation, in this radical act of being, this radical act of love, astonishing as that may seem given the materialistic “can do” speed-obsessed, progress-obsessed, celebrity-and-other-peoples-lives obsessed orientation of our culture. We are moving in the direction of meditative awareness for many reasons, not the least of which may be “to maintain our sanity, or recover our perspective and sense of meaning, or simply to deal with the outrageous stress and insecurity of this age. By stopping and intentionally falling awake to how things are in this moment, purposefully, without succumbing to reaction or judgment and by working wisely with such occurrences, with a healthy dose of self-compassion when we do succumb, and by our willingness to take up residency for a time in the present moment in spite of all our plans and activities aimed at getting somewhere else, completing a project or pursuing desired objects or goals, we discover that such an act is both immensely, discouragingly, difficult and yet utterly simple, profound, hugely possible after all, and restorative of mind and body, soul and spirit.”
May I know how to nourish the seeds of joy in myself every day.
May I be able to live fresh, solid, and free.
May I be free from attachment and aversion, but not be indifferent.
“These meditations help us water the seeds of joy and happiness in our consciousness store. How can we touch true joy in every moment of our lives? How can we live in a way that brings a smile, the eyes of love, and happiness to everyone we encounter? Use your talent to find ways to bring happiness to yourself and others… Meditative joy has the capacity to nourish our mindfulness, understanding, and love. Try to live in a way that encourages deep happiness in yourself and others. “I vow to bring joy to one person in the morning and to help relieve the suffering of one person in the afternoon.” Ask yourself, “Who can I make smile this morning?” This is the art of creating happiness.” ”
-from Nourishing Happiness by Thich Nhat Hanh
“The body, then, is the field in which we grow and harvest our experiences, which may be positive or negative, painful or pleasant. While negative, painful experiences do not bring us immediate joy, they do so in the long run because – if we are wise – we relate to them rightly by regarding them as useful lessons. No experience need be devoid of merit. People have had major spiritual breakthroughs as a result of suffering and debilitating illness. Even physical pain does not have to be a merely unpleasant experience. In fact, it can sometimes be a doorway to ecstasy.”
“The most important thing to keep in mind when practicing meditation lying down is that it is about falling awake… There are many virtues to meditating lying down… We can surrender completely to the embrace of gravity, and let go into the floor or mat or bed and let it do the work… In practicing dropping into the embrace of gravity itself, we are more motivated and more willing to drop unconditionally into now, to bring a radical and open- hearted acceptance to whatever we find is going on in our minds and our bodies and our lives in any moment or on any given day, in a word, to be and let go.”
“I find it useful to meet each moment freshly, as a new beginning, to keep returning to an awareness of NOW over and over again, and let a gentle but firm perseverance stemming from the discipline of the practice keep me at least somewhat open to whatever is arising and behold it, apprehend it, look deeply into it, and learn whatever it might be possible to learn as the nature of the situation is revealed in the attending.
“Meditation is a way of being, not a technique… Meditation is not relaxation spelled differently… We might say that meditation is really a way of being appropriate to the circumstances one finds oneself in, in any and every moment. It is the non-clinging, and therefore the clear perceiving, and the willingness to act appropriately within whatever circumstances are arising that constitute this way of being that we are calling meditation.”