Dear Still Water Friends,
This Thursday Evening, beginning at 6:15, we will have our first meeting of the Beginning on the Path of Mindfulness Discussion Group. It offer an opportunity for new practitioners and others to come together to talk about basic practices and the joys and challenges of mindfulness practice. It is helpful but not essential to notify Rachel (at firstname.lastname@example.org) ahead of time that you will be attending this discussion group.
At 7 pm our regular Thursday evening gathering beging with a meditation period. At 8 pm we will begin our program by reciting together the five mindfulness trainings and then focus our attention on the fifth training, on right consumption (offered below).
In Touching Peace Thich Nhat Hanh suggests three steps that may help us transform this training from an idea (or ideal) into a meaningful daily practice:
- First, what kind of toxins do you already have in your body, and what kind of toxins do you already have in your psyche, your consciousness? What makes you suffer now? . . . Recognizing these toxins and listing them on a sheet of paper is meditation — looking deeply in order to call things by their true names.
- Second, what kind of poisons am I putting into my body and my consciousness every day?” What am I ingesting every day that is toxic to my body and my consciousness? . . . What kinds of poisons do we ingest every day in our families, our cities, and our nation? This is a collective meditation.
- Third, write down a prescription that arises from your insight. For example, “I vow that from today I will not ingest more of this, this, and this. I vow only to use this, this, and this to nourish my body and my consciousness.” This is the foundation of practice — the practice of loving kindness to yourself. You cannot love someone else unless you love and take care of yourself. Practicing in this way is to practice peace, love, and insight.
You are invited to join us this Thursday for our discussion group, meditation, recitation, and program.
The Fifth Mindfulness Training
Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I am committed to cultivating good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society, by practicing mindful eating, drinking, and consuming.
I am committed to ingesting only items that preserve peace, well-being, and joy in my body, in my consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family and society. I am determined not to use alcohol or any other intoxicant or to ingest foods or other items that contain toxins, such as certain TV programs, magazines, books, films, and conversations. I am aware that to damage my body or my consciousness with these poisons is to betray my ancestors, my parents, my society, and future generations. I will work to transform violence, fear, anger, and confusion in myself and in society by practicing a diet for myself and for society. I understand that a proper diet is crucial for self-transformation and for the transformation of society.