Dear Still Water Friends,
One of the aspects of mindfulness practice I truly love is that it can begin with the most simple act:
Breathing in, I am aware of breathing in.
Breathing out, I am aware of breathing out.
Then, step by step, as our mind settles and our awareness grows, we open wider and wider to the wonder of the present moment.
This Thursday evening, after our meditation period, we will practice together the Three Touchings of the Earth.
The First Touching reminds us that the present moment is part of a flowing through time: each moment encompasses the past and the future.
The Second Touching reminds us that the present moment flows across space, there are no hard boundary between myself and others, between myself and the rest of nature.
The Third Touching reminds us that we are simultaneously individual and universal:
The disintegration of this body does not touch me, just as when the plum blossom falls it does not mean the end of the plum tree. I see myself as a wave on the surface of the ocean. My nature is the ocean water. I see myself in all the other waves and see all the other waves in me. The appearance and disappearance of the form of the wave does not affect the ocean.
During our dharma discussion we will reflect on whether and how mindfulness practice has altered our sense of self. Those who attended the recent retreat with Thay are especially encouraged to come and share their experiences.
The complete text of the Three Touchings is available on our website: www.StillWaterMPC.org. Go to "Articles and Resources," and then to "Still Water Mindfulness Ceremonies."