< Keywords >I had felt my education cheated me.
(When she was 22, after graduation of Cambridge University, before working for BBC.)
I asked myself, "Who am I?" And somehow, my degree, my University degree and my school hadn't told me.
Of course, I asked the question, "and Why am I here?"
I also wanted to know, "What can I trust?".
I also wanted to know, "Where am I going?".
And another question I had was "How can I help?".
There was a poet who once said, "We live our way to the answers." So, I'm living my way to answer to these questions.
Life is energy. That horse that is pushing us is a kind of energy.
And sometimes the seeds that come up are very big and overwhelming. ... There's not even space for mindfulness to intervene. And those are the moments we need to practice a kind of emergency practice. And for me, my emergency practice has been something Thay had told us to do, which is deep belly breathing. So, when our mind has a seed running riots, we have to come down from here (head, brain) which is the outcome of a chaos, of a thunderstorm and we have to bring our energy down to our breathing (belly). So, we take our energy down from our upper level of consciousness (mind consciousness), and we just breathe, and we trust in the good seeds down here (store consciousness) we have some space to help respond to the situation. So, if necessary, we lie down, we take ourselves out of the situation that had triggered our anger or sadness or despair. And I put my hands on my belly, and I bring all my attention one hundred percent to the rising and falling of my abdomen. And I often give myself the challenge that I have to follow the breath all the way through and all the way back again "strictly no thinking". And it's not so easy. ... I discovered that with practice, it's possible to breathe 10 times, in and out, with not a single thought. ... So, somehow I have learned not to trust my mind but to trust my breathing. If in doubt, breathe. And it has never failed me and that has given me a real solid basis, something I always know I can trust and I don't need to be afraid because I always know that the breathing when I breathe fully, one hundred percent, will help calm, clarify and give me courage.
This is another deep Dharma talk which shares the very concrete method to practice mindfulness, especially the breathing technique. Her talk is very vivid because it's based on her own experience.
How to generate happiness and to take care of sufferings, the answer is mindfulness. And mindfulness is available through conscious breathing, namely awareness. The key is to stop thinking. Non-thinking will transform ourselves to awareness, or the Buddha.
Sister True Dedication (Hien Nghiem)