Monday, November 7, 2016

How to correct and repair the past

Listen deeply to the following Thay's Dharma talk through Podcast from 55:50 to 1:03:37.
The followings are excerpts.

And we can assure a better and more beautiful continuation. It is now at our hands. With the practice of mindfulness, we can begin to purify our action to assure a better future. 

(sound of the bell)

But what if yesterday I already produced a thought of hate and discrimination? I don't want to continue with that. What if yesterday I have said something very mean to my father or to my friend? I regret but I already have said that. I have already done that. 

Can we do something in order to repair the wrong thinking, the wrong speaking that have been created by us in the past? And the answer is yes, we can do something. Yesterday you may have said something not kind to her. Today you recognize that is not right speech and you want to repair and ground it in the present moment. You want to practice right speech. 

You breathe in, you breathe out. And you pick up your phone or turn on your computer and write and mail a letter to tell her that you are sorry, that you really want her to be happy, that you regret to have said such a thing. And in the present moment you can do it. Because as soon as you produced the thought of reconciliation, the thought of lovingkindness, that thought begins to heal you and to heal the other person. 

And what you have done yesterday, what you have said yesterday, your karma will be transformed by the action of today. The action of today, the thought of today will catch up with action and thinking of yesterday, embrace it and transform it. The Buddha said, "Everything comes from the mind." If the mind changes, everything will change. 

Suppose while your grandmother was alive, you said something that was not nice to her. Now you want to say, "Sorry" to her. But she is no longer there for you to say, "I'm sorry, Grandma. I have said something mean to you. I was stupid. I was not mindful. I didn't mean to say something like that." But she is no longer alive for you to send a letter and to call. 

The practice of mindfulness is wonderful because you can even correct the past, repair the past. You sit down and look deeply, you breathe mindfully. With that, you get insight that your grandma is still alive in every cell of your body. Your grandma is still there. And you are part of karma of your grandma. (lol) You are the continuation of your grandma. It's very clear that you are somehow the continuation of your grandma. 

So, you can practice like this.

Breathing in, I see you, grandma, in every cell of my body.
Breathing out, I smile to you, grandma.

And your grandma is available in the here and the now. Thinking that your grandma is no longer there, is wrong thinking. It's wrong thinking. Thinking that your grandma belongs to the past, is wrong thinking. Your grandma is always there in you and around you. And you can talk to her at any time, "Grandma, I'm sorry. I promise you that I will never say something like that anymore in the future." And you can see your grandma smiling in you. And you are healed. This is something wonderful about the practice. With the present moment, you can heal the past, you can create the future. 

So, actions taken in the here and the now can modify, correct, transform the past and transform the present and the future. So, it is possible in the teaching of the Buddha, to assure the better future and beautiful future, just by thinking, just by speaking just by acting, and you have the sovereignty to do that. Your free will is possible. And it will be easier with a good environment, with a sangha

(My commentary)
Above Thay's Dharma talk is to correct and repair the past within ourselves. It has nothing to do with repairing the problem with our counterpart. Our own problem can be solved through the practice of mindfulness. So, we will be liberated from stress. This is a merit. However, if our counterpart does not practice the same thing, his or her problem can not be solved. Then the problem between the two will remain. Only if both sides correct and repair the past, the relation between the two can be restored.


Thích Nhất Hạnh

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