This week Mick will facilitate. He shares:
A recurring theme in our Monday nights together is that of Coming Home.
Coming home. Yes, we know our practice is to come home to the present moment wherever we may be. And what do we find when we pause and come back to our body, our breath, our emotions. In pausing we come into contact with the ten thousand joys and sorrows of life. In that moment of being at the center we have the choice of how to respond and where to guide our attention. We notice a great deal when we practice coming home. In pausing we can see clearly that anger is present, that there is a knot in our stomach. In pausing we can see clearly the smile of a loved one and the sunshine.
With this recognition, this knowing, "right now, it's like this", we hold great power.
Thich Nhat Hanh teaches that we all hold many seeds within ourselves. We hold the seeds of love and compassion, along with the seeds of hatred and violence.
Your mind is like a piece of land planted with many different kinds of seeds: seeds of joy, peace, mindfulness, understanding, and love; seeds of craving, anger, fear, hate, and forgetfulness. These wholesome and unwholesome seeds are always there, sleeping in the soil of your mind. The quality of your life depends on the seeds you water. If you plant tomato seeds in your gardens, tomatoes will grow. Just so, if you water a seed of peace in your mind, peace will grow. When the seeds of happiness in you are watered, you will become happy. When the seed of anger in you is watered, you will become angry. The seeds that are watered frequently are those that will grow strong.
-Thich Nhat Hanh in Anh-Huong & Hanh, 2006, 22
The seeds that are watered frequently are those that will grow strong. The practice of watering seeds brings us to inquire, what seeds am I watering in myself, and in the people around me? The first step of our practice is to pause, then recognize what is present, then choose how to be with what is there. This explanation brings us to examine who we are practicing as gardeners to our own soil. We can look deeply at our inner voice and our daily actions and habits. Many of us have amassed experience on this path of mindful living. After years of practice, the inner critic is still there. So is the voice that speaks kindly to yourself. In our pausing, do we take the time to give ourselves credit for our practice, for watering our seeds of mindfulness and clear seeing?
This Monday we will take time to reflect on our practice as master gardeners and to look at the presence and strength of our inner critic, and our inner positive voice that offers praise and credit.