Our breathing is a stable, solid ground that we can always take refuge in. Regardless of what is going on inside us or around us, our breathing is there for us like a faithful friend. One mindful in-breath is enough to bring the mind home to the body, and we become fully present, fully alive.
We feel the flow of air coming in and going out of our nose, or the rising and falling of our abdomen. We accompany the breath with all our awareness, focusing 100% on the experience of air flowing into our body, and flowing out.
We can silently say to ourselves: “Breathing in, I know I’m breathing in.” “Breathing out, I know I’m breathing out.”
Guided Breath and Walking Meditation
The following guided meditations are a wonderful way to learn breath and walking meditation.
A guided breath meditation.
A guided walking meditation.
Happiness in the Present Moment
Translated by Thich Nhat Hanh.
“The past has already gone, and the future has not yet come.
Let us not drown ourselves in regret for what has passed or in expectations and worry for the future.
The Buddha has said that “we can be peaceful, happy, and free in this present moment.”
Let us hear the Buddha’s words and let go of our anxiety and sadness.
Let us come back to ourselves and establish ourselves in what is present right now.
Let us learn to recognise the conditions for happiness that are present within us and around us.
Can we hear the birds singing and the wind in the pines?
Can we see the green mountains, the white clouds, the golden moon?
The Pure Land is available in the present moment.
Every day we can enjoy ourselves in the Buddha Land.
Every mindful breath and step takes us to the Pure Land, revealing all the wonders of the Dharma body.
I am determined to let go of hurrying, competing, being busy and disgruntled.
I shall not run after fame, power, riches, and sex because I know that this does not lead to true happiness.
All it will bring me is misery and misfortune.
I shall learn to know what is sufficient, to live simply, so that I have time to live deeply every moment of my daily life, giving my body and mind a chance to heal, and to have the time to look after and protect those I have vowed to love.
I shall practice for my mind to grow in love and compassion, so that I have the ability to help beings anywhere who are drowning in craving.
I ask the Buddhas everywhere to protect and guide me, to support me on my path, so that I can live in peace, joy, and freedom every day, fulfilling the deepest aspiration as your disciple whom you trust and love.”
The Seventh Mindfulness Training: Dwelling Happily in the Present Moment
Aware that life is available only in the present moment, we are committed to training ourselves to live deeply each moment of daily life. We will try not to lose ourselves in dispersion or be carried away by regrets about the past, worries about the future, or craving, anger, or jealousy in the present. We will practice mindful breathing to be aware of what is happening in the here and the now. We are determined to learn the art of mindful living by touching the wondrous, refreshing, and healing elements that are inside and around us, in all situations. In this way, we will be able to cultivate seeds of joy, peace, love, and understanding in ourselves, thus facilitating the work of transformation and healing in our consciousness. We are aware that real happiness depends primarily on our mental attitude and not on external conditions, and that we can live happily in the present moment simply by remembering that we already have more than enough conditions to be happy.