Thursday, October 8, 2015

To go home to ourselves

Watch the following Thay's video from 51:05 to 57:25.

To go home to yourself, the first of all, you bring your mind back to your body. And you feel that you are truly there. You are not being pulled by either the past or the future, or your project you are thinking. Because the thinking may cause us to lose ourselves. So, the practice of mindful breathing can unify our body and mind. And we can find ourselves establishing in the here and now. And the practice of mindful breathing can stabilize the situation. It helps us to calm down, and to be truly there, and to be aware of what's going on. We are not lost by what is happening. We are still ourselves. 

And it's like a house with several windows and doors. And if we open all the windows and doors in a time there is a strong wind, the strong wind can come in and blow everything away. So, going home is like a shutting the window, shutting the door so that the wind will not penetrate. And eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind, they are windows. And we shut these windows. We don't look anymore. We don't listen anymore. We don't think anymore. We just follow our in-breath, out-breath. And we are comfortable in the house. And you may like to make a fire in the chimney to warm it up. And you feel comfortable within. 

And that is what we should do every time we feel lost, we feel dead, we are no longer ourselves, we are blown away by events. That is what the Buddha called going home to the island within. Close the 6 windows and stay inside with your breathing, and you will be calm, you will see more clearly. And when you feel safe, you're clear, and you may like to open one window to see what is going on. This should be a practice taken by everyone when they don't feel like they are themselves. They are losing themselves in the situation, in the environment and closing the 6 sense doors as a practice. 

And when you focus your attention on your in-breath and out-breath and just pay attention to just that, and then, 6 doors will be closed by themselves and we are warm inside. And the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha are with us inside. And the Buddha is mindfulness generated by mindful breathing. It can show you, it will bring you the light. And the Dharma is your breathing in mindfulness. It's the real Dharma, true Dharma. And you are protected by the Buddha which is mindfulness. You are protected by the Dharma which is your mindful breathing. And when the Buddha and the Dharma is there, your 5 skandhas which is body, feelings, perceptions, mental formations and consciousness, it is like a sangha and you operate in harmony. The sangha is inside. 

So, if you take refuge in the three jewels, Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, you are safe, you are in peace. And to pronounce the sentence, "I take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha", is not the same. You may pronounce it but you don't do it. Now you don't have to pronounce the sentence, you just follow your in-breath and breathe in and out mindfully, and then the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha just manifest in you as the refuge and you are safe. And Thay practices that in difficult moments. In disturbing situations, Thay always practices that mindful breathing and goes home to himself and gets the protection of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Anywhere you can do that. When there is fear, anger, confusion, despair, we should take refuge in the three jewels just by the practice of mindful breathing. And you will see the effect if you practice with all your heart.

Thích Nhất Hạnh