Dear Still Water Friends,
For me, one of the gifts of mindfulness practice is that ithelps us observe and appreciate the many ways habit energies — created in ourlives, our ancestor’s lives, and in our culture — mold our emotions, our bodilystates, and our intentions.
This Thursday evening, Nov 17, 2005, after ourmeditation period, we will explore together the process of healing from deeppsychic wounds. We will begin our program by watching a poignant questionsand answer involving Thay and a young woman suffering from chronic fatigue andcolitis. She was attracted to the peace and joy Thay talked about, but shedidn’t how to transform the grief, loss, and hurt she was carrying from herchildhood.
A related excerpt by Thay on healing from Transformation atthe Base is below.
The best times to join us on Thursday evenings are:
Just before the first sitting at 7 pm
At 7:25, at the beginning of walking meditation; or,
At 7:35, at the beginning of the second sitting. (To allow others to maintain concentration and continuity, we ask that practitioners not enter during the walking meditation.)
Events this Weekend
November 19: All-day Mindfulness Workshop with Anh-Huongand Thu Nguyen at the Christ Congregational Church in Silver Spring,Maryland. For info or to register contact Julia Jarvis 301-270-0514 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 20: The Peaceful Home: Creating Family Harmonyin a Stressful World. With Mitchell Ratner and Annie Mahon at CircleYoga in Chevy Chase, 3 -5:30 p.m. More information under workshops atStillWaterMPC.org.
I hope you can join us for one of these events.
From Transformation at the Base by Thich Nhat Hanh.
The basic method of healing is to be mindful of refreshingand beautiful things in the present moment. This simple method is not as wellknown, celebrated, and widely practiced as it could be. It is easy to take joyand peace for granted. When everything is running smoothly, no one says anythingabout it. When someone smiles beautifully, it is not printed in the newspaper.But when someone gets so angry that he kills another person, that is considerednews. . . .
The roots of our suffering and ignorance can all be found inour store consciousness, the base, in the present moment. So the intelligentthing to do is to make the present moment beautiful and fresh, to transform it.It isn’t necessary to say, "We have to suffer today in order to have peaceand joy tomorrow," or "This is not my real home, I will wait until Iam in paradise to be happy." We want to take care of the future. But thefuture will be made of only one substance: the present moment. The best way totake care of the future is to do our best to take care of the present moment. Itisn’t helpful to get lost in the past or future. When we are lost, we cannottake care of the present, the past, or the future. The secret of transformationat the base lies in our handling of this very moment with mindfulness. If weknow how to handle the present moment, not only will we live deeply each momentof our life, but we can also transform the past and build a future.
Dwelling in the present moment does not prevent us fromsurveying deeply the past or the future. Grounded in the present, we can surveythe past or look to the future and learn a lot. If we know how to touch deeplythe present moment, we can also touch and even change the past. In the past Imight have made a mistake and made someone suffer. The scar of suffering isstill in me, and it is still in the other person as well. With the energy ofmindfulness I can recognize the wound in myself, and I can say to the person Iharmed, "Sorry, I will never do that again." The determination tobegin anew is a very powerful energy. It can help begin to heal our wounds rightaway and relieve our suffering and the suffering of others. We can help manypeople be liberated from their guilt by offering them this kind of teaching andpractice.