In the Buddhist practice, breathing meditation is an integral part of what most of us do. Observing the breath as we inhale and exhale through our nose our mouth. And as Bhante Samita guided us today during meditation, one cannot breathe the last breath or the next breath. There is only this present breath that we need be mindful of and present for.
But what happens to us when we leave the cushion? Can any of us say that we are that present and mindful with the rest of our day?
Each day I observe myself and others as our words and actions are completely based on the past and future. Stories that we create cause so much suffering and dissatisfaction (dukkha) for ourselves, and even worse yet, for so many others around us. And while words can powerfully nurture, support and encourage, they can also destroy and plant seeds of spite and anger.
I have come to understand that I have no control, and no responsibility for the words of others. But I am responsible for my own. And often, keeping my mouth shut, and observing the thoughts that arise in my mind, are enough to be present and accepting. With peace in my heart, and an absence of judgement, if words need to spoken at that time I know they will be more mindful and loving.
Now this does not mean that I only speak the right words all the time by any means. But I can clearly see the benefits of my practice more and more even day. And this is like fuel to me. This I see as the meaning or intention of the Pali word saddha (faith, confidence).
Each of us our seeds in this World which can grow as a weed, or blossom like a beautiful flower. Our thoughts, words and actions determine how we nourish the self. For some, our nature may be one that easily grows into a lotus. Perhaps that is due to the kamma that we have generated in previous lives. For others of us, we may have more to overcome and require a greater effort and stronger determination. But just as a cactus may exist in the desert and contain thousand of thorns, it too has the ability to produce beautiful blossoms. None of us are without great potential, and all of us are in possession of a loving and compassionate heart. We simply need to remember the breath, being mindful of the present moment, and watch carefully the seeds that we plant.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.