Plenty of Time
Caught up in the pressures of our daily lives, we can often feel as if we don’t have any time to practice mindfulness. Breathing in and out mindfully, letting go of our thoughts, and becoming grounded in our own body, however, take only one or two minutes. We can practice all day long and benefit right away, whether sitting on the bus, driving a car, taking a shower, or cooking breakfast. We cannot say, “I have no time to practice.” We have plenty of time if we know where to look. Enjoy Sitting Here
If you allow your body to sit in a relaxing, peaceful way, it calms your body and mind. Effortlessness is the key to success. Sitting like this allows you to enjoy your in-breath and out-breath, to enjoy being alive, to enjoy sitting here. Maintaining Our Flowerness
Just by breathing in and out and smiling, we have a flower to offer. The more we practice breathing and smiling, the more beautiful our flower will become. A flower doesn’t have to do anything to be of service; it only has to be a flower. That is enough. Being truly there is enough to make the whole world rejoice. So please practice breathing in and out and recover your flowerness. You do it for all of us. Your freshness and your joy bring us peace.Society Within
Our suffering represents both our individual suffering and the collective suffering of our ancestors, parents, and society. Every time we practice mindful breathing and take good care of our body and feelings, we relieve some of our suffering. We get the benefit of transformation and healing, and our ancestors and society also get the benefit. Every smile will affect society. We can touch society within ourselves. The Earth is Right Here
The earth has all the virtues we seek, including strength, stability, patience, and compassion. She embraces everyone. We don’t need blind faith to see this. We don’t need to address our prayers or express our gratitude to a remote deity.
The earth is right here; we can address our prayers directly to her. She supports us in very concrete and tangible ways. No one can deny that the water that sustains us, the air we breathe, and the food that nourishes us are gifts of the earth.
Copyright © 2023 by Thich Nhat Hanh. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.