Photo from TushitaHeaven.com
In the Plum Village tradition when two people have a conflict they take part in the Beginning Anew practice, a practice that begins with seeing someone's positive qualities, before exploring a conflict. Last week we had the Autumnal Equinox, the day when everything is in balance and day and night are equal. This week we have Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. It is “a time to celebrate the completion of the year while taking stock in one’s life.”
As the weather changes and the leaves color and fall, the collective energy moves inward. Slowing down from the outward activity of the summer, the days become shorter, and the darkness moves us inside, literally and figuratively. Coming back to Beginning Anew and Rosh Hashanah, we can take stock of our year and our life “To begin anew is to look deeply and honestly at ourselves, our past actions, speech and thoughts and to create a fresh beginning within ourselves and in our relationships with others.”
The need to create a fresh beginning comes from body, speech and mind being out of harmony. This dis-ease can be linked to consumption. There is that vicious cycle of consuming to alleviate or cover up the way we feel, and then feeling worse from that consumption, then consuming again. The Fifth Mindfulness Training talks about consuming as not only eating and drinking, but also in terms of conversations and media. There is no doubt that all of our consumptions affect our state of being and state of balance.
In turning to practice this week we will recite The Five Mindfulness Trainings and have the opportunity to do a mini Beginning Anew to look at the effect of our consumption.
We will focus on the Fifth Mindfulness Training., Nourishment and Healing.
Together we will discuss and explore a step by step process of a mini Beginning Anew:
Flower Watering--Reflecting on your positive qualities, actions, consumption
Sharing Regrets--Reflecting on any regrets that we hold around this year and the relationship to consumption. Thinking about what we want to let go of.
Requesting Support---Looking at how you can support yourself and request support to live fully and (consume)mindfully.
The Fifth Mindfulness Training
Nourishment and Healing
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 will practice looking deeply into how I consume the Four Kinds of Nutriments, namely edible foods, sense impressions, volition, and consciousness. I am determined not to gamble, or to use alcohol, drugs, or any other products which contain toxins, such as certain websites, electronic games, TV programs, films, magazines, books, and conversations. I will practice coming back to the present moment to be in touch with the refreshing, healing and nourishing elements in me and around me, not letting regrets and sorrow drag me back into the past nor letting anxieties, fear, or craving pull me out of the present moment. I am determined not to try to cover up loneliness, anxiety, or other suffering by losing myself in consumption. I will contemplate interbeing and consume in a way that preserves peace, joy, and well-being in my body and consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family, my society and the Earth.