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.”
The following guided meditations from Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein are a wonderful way to learn breath and walking meditation.
A guided breath meditation by Sharon Salzberg.
A guided walking meditation by Joseph Goldstein.
Happiness in the Present Moment
“Happiness in the Present Moment”, translated by Thich Nhat Hanh, read by Brother Bao Tich.
This teaching helps us to see the importance of dwelling happily in the present moment. How, if we know how to bring our mind back to our body and become fully established in the here and the now, we can touch the beauty deeply, recognise the conditions for happiness and let go of our worries and anxieties. “We can be peaceful, happy, and free in this present moment”, said the Buddha.
“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.”