Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Practice of Sangha (4)

Read deeply the following Thay's teaching on "The Practice of Sangha".
The followings are the excerpts.

The right thing is to do whatever you are doing in mindfulness. Mindfulness is keeping one’s consciousness alive to the present reality. ... The wrong thing is whatever you do without mindfulness. If we understand this, we will not be embarrassed anymore. Everything we do is right provided we do it in mindfulness. 

If you take a step and you feel peaceful and happy, you know that is the correct practice. You are the only one who knows whether you are doing it correctly or not. No one else can judge.

The function of the bell in a sangha is to bring us back to ourselves. When we hear the bell we come back to ourselves and breathe, and at that point we improve the quality of the sangha energy. We know that our brother and our sister, wherever they are, will be stopping, breathing, and coming back to themselves.

The sangha is made out of the work of individuals, so we have the duty to help create the energy of the sangha. Our presence, when it is a mindful presence, contributes to that energy. 

If we practice looking deeply, our understanding of interbeing will grow, and we will see that every smile, every step, every breath is for everybody. It is for our country, for the future, for our ancestors.

The best thing we can do is to transform ourselves into a positive element of the sangha. If members of the sangha see us practicing well, they will have confidence and do better. If there are two, three, four, five, six, seven of you like that in the sangha, I’m sure the sangha will be a happy sangha and will be the refuge of many people in the world.

(My commentary)
Mindfulness means to come back to ourselves. And ourselves means true self who is awareness, non-separate self, or the whole cosmos. Most people except for small children are ego, separate self, or fake self who separates oneself from others. They have wrong views that they are special, separate and superior (or inferior, or equal) to others. That's why they suffer from afflictions such as fear, anger, hatred, despair, jealousy...etc. Their own separations, discrimination, or duality are the root cause of their sufferings. So, all sufferings are their own creations. And the reason why they can't love themselves and others, is because they are ego. When we transform ourselves from ego to awareness through mindfulness, we will be awakened as awareness and will become the temporary Buddha.


Plum Village