Mindfulness, Schmindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh

Mindfulness is a word we are all familiar with, and as Buddhist practitioners we use it with ease. But the real question is, are we actually being mindful in our daily lives.
As I was driving my vehicle this morning, I became mindful that I am driving a huge SUV which is using a lot of gas and adding a lot of pollution to the air. This is the same air that we all breathe, that every living thing depends on. So how mindful am I being of our earth, our planet, of all living things? Not mindful at all.
Is every trip I take in my car a necessary one, or am I once again wasteful and hurtful with no mindfulness?
How about when we use that vehicle to go to the grocery store; are we mindful when we decide what food we will purchase and how it effects our bodies? Take a look when you are checking out at the store, and ask yourself if you are shopping mindfully.
Now, did you pay attention to those plastic bags they are putting your groceries in? Do you know how badly they not only hurt the environment, but they cause death to many fish and wildlife! Is it too hard for us to use cloth recyclable bags?
OK, so now we bring the food home and cook a meal. Do we eat it mindfully? Or do we just shovel the food in until are belly hurts? Have you given any thought to what actually brought this food to your table? The farmers who grew the grain and raised the animals, the transportation people who earned their living by bringing it to us, the store employees who earn their living by serving us. What about these living things we are consuming so we may sustain our own life? This list goes on and on if you give deeper thought to how we are all connected.
Lastly, I want to talk about the upcoming Holiday. Are we mindful during this Season? How much money are you spending on gifts? Could any of us have spent $100.00 less, and given that money to charity?
How many children and families are suffering or starving right now around the World, yet we are buying video games and TV’s for hundreds or thousands of dollars without any thought of how many are suffering and in desperate need. This my friends is not being mindful.
But please don’t think I am without guilt here in all of these things. It is only my mindfulness now that gives me these awareness’s.
I certainly cannot go back in time to undo my wrongs, nor will I suffer guilt because of this. I forgive myself for not being mindful, and I am thankful that I am a bit more mindful today.

Lastly, please do not think I am lecturing you here. I am lecturing myself. I only aspire to have others gain a little more mindfulness, and have loving kindness for all living things. And I know there are many more ways that I need to be mindful, but do not yet see them. This is why I will continue my practice every day.

May you each be blessed with peace, health, joy and prosperity now and always.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.

Budu Sarani