Week seven of the eightfold path according to the Buddhist tradition. You know, we are having a retreat in Thailand, and so I have really been thinking about what it means to awaken the Buddha within, which brought me to a class that I taught years ago on the four noble truths and the eightfold path. The seventh path is right mindfulness.
I know we have had nearly silent retreats or silent retreats, where you practice mindfulness. Does right mindfulness mean that you need to go through the world and be silent all the time? No, it doesn’t. It means to simply be mindful of your present situation, of your presence, of your divine presence, being mindful of how you are moving through the world, being mindful of others in the world, and what their needs, wants, and desires are in relationship to yours.
It is being aware of the moment that you are in right here, right now. Not the last moment, not the moment in the future, but this moment right here. It is about being aware that you are aware of being conscious and mindful.
I watched an Eckhart Tolle video one time at a silent retreat that Kate Guendling did. If you ever get the opportunity to do one of Kate’s silent retreats, they are wonderful. But we watched this video of Eckhart Tolle, and then if you don’t know who that is, then Google him. The way he moved was mindfully.
He would turn his head and reach to go pick something up, and pick it up, and then come back and continue his phrase. He would stop and mindfully be present with what he wanted to say. So he was not just speaking without thinking about it, which many of us do. But he was very thoughtful about his intent to communicate with clarity and being mindful of an action without clutter. If he were to straighten his hair, he would straighten his hair and then continue.
Now that doesn’t mean that you have to do everything in slow motion, but what that does mean is to be mindful of what your motion is, to be aware that you are aware, and to be right here in this moment, to be right here present with this moment, and not thinking about what you are going to do tomorrow.
You know, many times people listen to a conversation and interrupt the conversation, interrupt the person that is speaking. I have been known to do that. I am trying my best to be aware of it. Because when you interrupt, that means you are not listening to the conversation, you are not listening to what is being said, you are thinking about what you are saying and want to share that. That is not being mindful of right communication, right speech. That is not being mindful of the other person and honoring that.
So, look, go through your world, how do you eat your morning cereal, or breakfast, or toast, or whatever you eat in the mornings mindfully? You know, take a sip of your tea, coffee, or water, and feel it in your mouth. You know, honor that moment, feel how that moment responds to you. That is my interpretation of right mindfulness, being aware that you are aware, and allow each moment to be rich, and full, and expressed, and experienced right here in this present moment. Right mindfulness. You could spend the rest of your life practicing just right mindfulness, and it would change this planet. See you next week.
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