"When understood, the Buddha’s universe..is anything but alien and inhibiting. It is a world full of hope, where everything we need to do can be done and everything that matters is within human reach. It is a world where kindness, unselfishness, non-violence, and compassion achieve what self-interest and arrogance cannot. It is a world where any human can be happy in goodness and the fullness of giving." ❦ Eknath Easwara

October 30, 2014

Opening Up to the Sunlight of Awareness - Thich Nhat Hanh

"Beginning meditators usually think they must suppress all thoughts and feelings (often called “false mind”) in order to create conditions favorable to concentration and understanding (called 'true mind'). They use methods such as focusing their attention on an object or counting their breaths to try and block out thoughts and feelings. Concentrating on an object and counting the breath are excellent methods, but they should not be used as suppression or repression. We know that as soon as there is repression, there is rebellion - repression entails rebellion. True mind and false mind are one. Denying one is denying the other. Suppressing one is suppressing the other. Our mind is our self. We cannot suppress it. We must treat it with respect, with gentleness, and absolutely without violence. Since we do not even know what our 'self' is, how can we know if it is true or false, and whether or what to suppress? The only thing we can do is to let the sunlight of awareness shine on our 'self' and en-lighten it, so we can look directly.
Just as flowers and leaves are only part of a plant, and just as waves are only part of the ocean, perceptions, feelings and thoughts are only part of the self. Blossoms and leaves are a natural manifestation of plants, and waves are a natural expression of oceans. It is useless to try to repress or stifle them. We can only observe them. Because they exist, we can find their source, which is exactly the same as our own.
The sun of awareness originates in the heart of the self. It enables the self to illuminate the self. It lights not only all thoughts and feelings present. It lights itself as well."
- Thich Nhat Hanh, The Sun My Heart


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