Meditation is not something special as we can do it anytime anywhere. It is a practice, and not a goal so that it is important to [DO] it rather than [BE ABLE TO DO] it.
In this retreat, we did many forms of meditation practice – walking, eating, sitting, laying, guided relaxation, singing…etc. Especially eating meditation was something that resonated with me very much because that is also a part of Japanese custom in some ways. Since our culture is heavily influenced by Zen Buddhism and Taoism, this is not a surprise.
Japanese always say
at the beginning of each meal or eating any food. It means “I shall receive”, “thank you to everything which has been involved in this process for allowing us to eat and be alive”. So eating can be, or I should say is a meditative practice. Thich Nhat Han says that we should try to offer our full presence for every meal. As we serve our food, we can already begin practicing. Serving ourselves, we realize that many elements, such as the rain, sunshine, earth and the care taken by the farmers and the cooks, have all come together to form this wonderful meal. Through this way of eating, we see that the entire universe is supporting our existence. Maybe you might recall last night’s quarrel wit your child, or tomorrow’s due for your assignment…. but then try to come back to your breathing and here and now. Periodically the bell was invited as a reminder. In the center of this practice, there is the Five Contemplations as a way of reminding us where our food comes from and its purpose while focusing on
HERE & NOW
This food is the gift of the whole universe: the earth, the sky, numerous living beings, and much hard, loving work.
May we eat with mindfulness and gratitude so as to be worthy to receive it.
May we recognize and transform our unwholesome mental formations, especially our greed, and learn to eat with moderation.
May we keep our compassion alive by eating in such a way that we reduce the suffering of living beings, preserve our planet, and reverse the process of global warming.
We accept this food so that we may nurture our sisterhood and brotherhood, strengthen our community, and nourish our ideal of serving all living beings
We eat every day. Through this mindful eating, we feel the connection of our body, mind, soul, nature, people, and universe… that is such a Delicious Moment♪
The picture is from the Sugar Beach, where I now do my morning walking mediation. It is such a powerful way to start my day and i LOVE it!
So now you can see that there are so many ways that you can practice meditation. You can find more helpful tips and inspiring stories from the book called, Happiness, by Thich Nhat Hanh. Surely it does bring us happiness 🙂
Have a great week!
With love, hope and gratitude from my heart,