Monday, 21 October 2013

I have arrived, I am home

"I have arrived, I am home" is perhaps one of Thich Nhat Hanh's most well-known teachings but it is one I keep coming back to again and again, which I surmise is the point of his teaching. We should never get to the point of saying, 'yes, I understand this' and therefore dismiss it, there is always new learning to be had due to circumstances in one's life as well as many other aspects that can affect one's understanding. I was reminded of this again today in a daily email I received from Elisha Goldstein, a mindfulness teacher and psychologist from America who's daily Now moments are usually the first email I read each morning (
And so I reflect on what "I have arrived, I am home" means for me today, on this grey autumnal day with intermittent rain showers, when the pull of the heating indoors is very strong! It's the sort of day when hibernation seems like a good idea! I was going to use the adjective 'dull' but the day is not dull at all, although the weather could be perceived as being so. On this day, "arriving" for me begins with recognising these thoughts that could predict action, especially habitual action, unless one becomes aware of them. And now the path of mindfulness is being trod, instead of the usual, habitual path, and from this perspective it is important for me to begin to recognise all the aspects of the day that are not dull, and for which one can be grateful.
I recently did a gratitude exercise where one holds out one's hands in front and counts on each finger and thumb one thing to be grateful for, ending up with a list of ten. The first time I did this I found it difficult to stop at ten, and carried on to 20, because once one starts looking mindfully, there are many aspects, small and large to be grateful for.
Here's my reflection on "arriving".

The light that shines

Mindfulness is the light that shines on all,
worthy and unworthy,
beneficial and unbeneficial.
It merely shines a light,
what we do with what it illuminates
is up to us.
It can be a spotlight
that picks up one aspect and
highlights it clearly.

Let it be a candle 
lighting other candles,
passing on a stream of mindfulness,
illuminating both the darkness
and the light of wisdom.
Let it be a candle,
lighting all candles
round the globe
creating an unending stream of mindfulness,
reaching into all the dark
and gloomy corners,
banishing shadows and
driving out ignorance.
Let it be a candle,
pass it on.

© 21/10/13

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