Watch deeply the following Thay's Dharma talk video on 'Taking Care of our Thinking'.
The followings are excerpts from the above video.
Mindfulness, concentration and insight bring you freedom. The practice of mindfulness helps you live your life. I want to live my life. I don't want to be a victim of my negative thinking, my negative perceptions. And this is possible with the practice of mindfulness. If mindfulness allows us to touch, to recognize the negative things, and to touch the positive things, and if we can open the door of the Kingdom of God in us, and then we can get in touch with many wonders of the Kingdom that are available in our daily life. It is possible for us to walk all day in the Kingdom of God. It is possible for us to get in touch with the wonders of the Kingdom of God all day. And the door, the key of the Kingdom is there to stay alive, to stay present in the here and the now, and to allow ourselves the time to recognize to get in touch deeply, and not to respond right away, not to react right away in the way we used to do in the past.
There are very concrete things that I like to do, that we like to do. And these concrete things may bring us a lot of happiness and freedom. Whenever I walk, I need to walk, as you are walking, in such away that a step can bring me freedom. I don't lose myself in walking. I don't lose myself in the past or in the future, or in my projects while walking. While walking, I want to taste to get in touch with the wonders of life, the wonders of the Kingdom of God.
Those of us who are capable of walking like that, while breathing in the sitting position or standing position, we may breathe in such a way that help us to recognize the fact that we are alive, we are pleasant, we can get in touch with the wonders of life. While eating, we know we are there fully present. It is us who do the eating and not the machine. We are not on automatic piloting. We are on consciousness, on conscious living. We are on mindful living.
The greatest success, the most meaningful kind of success you can get is freedom. We have to fight for our freedom. It's not by going somewhere or in the future that we have freedom. It is right in the here and the now that we can get freedom, And the beginning is to stay present, to stay alive to be yourself in every moment.
It depends on our way of living our life. And freedom is the ground of happiness. And the way of freedom is the way of mindfulness. And mindfulness, the practice of mindfulness as it is presented in Plum Village, is to learn how to live mindfully each moment of our daily life to be always present. And that kind of training should continue if we don't want to fall into the base of the suffering, depression and so on. And as we have a sangha that is practicing mindfulness, mindful living, we are supported by the sangha.
The easiest way to check if we are mindful or not may be to ask a question to oneself, "Can you accept yourself unconditionally without separation?". If you can say "Yes" without hesitation, you are awareness (non-separate self, true self) who is mindful. If you hesitate to say "Yes" right away, you are ego (separate self, fake self) who is not mindful. That's because if we can accept ourselves unconditionally without separation, we have no fear and insecurity. That's why we can stop thinking and return to awareness (non-separate self, true self) automatically.
So, the key is how to attain unconditional self-acceptance, or unconditional self-love. In other words, it is how to understand the root cause of suffering through insight. However, those who have fear and insecurity (ego) can't stop thinking due to the lack of unconditional self-acceptance (self-hatred), so it's not easy for them to be mindful. I wonder how many people are ready to transform themselves from ego to awareness on this planet right now.