Monday, March 03, 2008

The FIVE Things I will do starting NOW:

From the writings of Thich Nhat Hanh, I offer the five steps of mindfulness he suggests for a journey of healing and wholeness ... Today I begin to live them out by taking the leap ...

1) Reverence for Life:
Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I vow to cultivate compassion and learn ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not condone any act of killing (or violence) in the world, in my thinking or in my life.

2) Generosity:
Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing and oppression, I vow to cultivate loving-kindness and learn ways to work for the well-being of people, animals, plants and minerals. I vow to practise generosity by sharing my time, energy, and material resources with those who are in real need. I am determined not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others. I will respect the property of others, but I will prevent others from profiting from human suffering, or the suffering of others species on earth.

3) Sexual Responsibility:
Aware of the suffering caused by sexual misconduct, I vow to cultivate responsibility and learn ways to protect the safety and integrity of individuals, couples, families and society. I am determined NOT to engage in sexual relations without love and a long term commitment.

4) Deep Listening and Loving Speech:
Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I vow to cultivate loving speech and deep listening in order to bring joy and happiness to others and relieve others of their suffering. Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I vow to learn to speak truthfully with words that inspire self-confidence, joy, and hope. I am determined not to spread news that I do not know to be certain, and not to condemn nor criticize things of which I am not sure. I will make all efforts to reconcile ad resolve all conflicts, however small.

5) Mindful Consumption:
Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I vow to cultivate good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking and consuming. I vow to ingest only items that preserve peace, well-being and joy in my body, in my consciousness and in the collective body and consciousness of my family and society. I am determined not to ingest food or other items that contain toxins such as certain TV programmes, magazines, books, films and conversations ... I am aware that to damage my body, or my consciousness with these poisons is to betray my ancestors, my parents, my society and my future generations. I will work to transform violence, fear, anger and contusion in myself, my friends, and in society by practicing this diet for myself, my friends and the society.

(source - Anger by Thich Nhat Hanh)

As I read these words several weeks ago I felt a deep resonance ... they do not set the bar far beyond where I've already been aiming

... I have always had a reverence for life, and an aversion to all forms of violence

... I have always prided myself on being generous of time, talents and treasures - perhaps too generous - but generous

... I have NEVER engaged in the act of sex with someone for whom I don't feel DEEP LOVE and INTENSE COMMITMENT - EVER - when I have given my body, my heart and soul have followed ... and that has and WILL NEVER change ...

... in my journey over the last year I have found my strength of deep listening has sometimes been tripped up by a tongue that has been too rash and too sharp - in this, my commitment is to work on uttering only loving speech

... and the final act of mindfulness is the ONE that has always been easy for me - from shopping locally, to prioritizing Fair Trade products, to raising awareness about Food Justice issues ... my consumption of food, books, tv, movies and EVERYTHING has been guided by a deep respect for life in ALL its diversity ...

So, today I affirm these things on my journey ... as I continue to seek wholeness and healing from within ... transformation is possible if we are willing to let it happen ...

No comments: