Flower Field
Listen to this talk:
Heart, Body, Mind and Spirit (9 min.) MP3

Click here for more Dharma talks
"Heart, Body, Mind and Spirit"
Transcript of a talk delivered by Br. ChiSing
Awakening Heart Sangha (Community of Mindful Living)
May 17, 2007 - Dallas, Texas

Breathing in and breathing out.
Breathing in, I'm seeing my heart as a flower. Breathing out, I feel fresh.
Breathing in I see my body as a mountain. Breathing out, I feel solid.
Breathing in I see my mind as still water. Breathing out, I reflect everything without distortion.
Breathing in I see my spirit as space. Breathing out, I feel free.

This simple guided meditation that was originally written for children in our community is also a very much beloved guided meditation that adults use as well. And during one of my meditations a few years ago I had a profound insight into this meditation practice of:
      Flower, fresh.
      A mountain, solid.
      Still water reflecting.
      Space, free.
In fact, this simple child’s meditation outlines the entire path of practice.

First, we start off with our hearts opening like a flower, feeling fresh. This points to the practice of opening the heart, of devoting ourselves to the path, developing loving kindness, good actions, ethical actions, ethical behavior, generosity. This is important because we are purifying our negative karma (negative actions, negative consequences of actions) and we are generating positive effects of positive actions, because this positive energy is what is necessary as a foundation for our practice. Some people arrogantly like to just seek for wisdom or enlightenment without doing the necessary purification and homework of laying a good foundation: the foundation of the open heart, generosity, loving kindness, ethical behavior. But if you try to attain transcendent wisdom and enlightenment without first opening the heart and purifying the heart, you will hit a wall in your meditation practice. You will have a constant barrage of thoughts, negative memories, and difficulties in your meditation practice. So it is important to lay the foundation first, so that our hearts can be fresh like a flower.

And then as we progress on the path, we can then begin to practice allowing our body and mind and whole being to be solid like a mountain. So we begin our meditation practice of just being present, just practicing with this body: how to sit, how to treat this body well, how to understand the energies of the body—how it works together to create stability and solidity of posture. This takes time, to be able to know the body, be in the body, in such a way that we do feel solid as a mountain as we sit. Our energies of body and mind are integrated in solid presence, deep concentration. And this is the practice of attaining one point of mind, or Samadhi, where the whole being—body and mind—are one, concentrated, present, deeply present.

And once we practice deeply enough that we can realize this deep presence, concentration, one pointed mind, then our mind becomes like still water, reflecting the truth: everything, just as it is, without distortion. Our mind then opens to transcendent wisdom, seeing clearly the truth of the universe without distortion, perfectly, clearly.

And then this fourth step of our practice is not even really a step at all: to allow our spirit to feel like vast spaciousness, free and liberated, is not a step on the path. It is the truth all along. We are that vast spacious awareness, that pure clarity, that pure freedom and liberation. And so everything is like a bell of mindfulness, to awaken us to the truth of who we already are. We are Buddha. We are enlightenment. We are the vast spacious consciousness. We are free. And we are free in such a way that we offer ourselves completely for the benefit of all beings. We allow this spacious freedom to embody and incarnate as wisdom in the mind, as deep presence in this body, and as love and openness of heart.

So, from our ego perspective it looks like we're trying to start off with opening the heart, developing concentration, attaining wisdom and then becoming Buddha. But from the point of the view of our true Buddha nature, it is who we always have been, always are and always will be. And it is from this point of view that the Buddha is trying to become and express as wisdom of mind, and express and manifest as deep presence in this body in this realm of form, and as openness and love of the heart for all beings.

So, even though from our perspective we're trying to get somewhere, from the perspective of the truth it's not trying to get anywhere but just being who we are, expressing and manifesting through wisdom, through presence, through love.

     Breathing in and breathing out.

Transcribed by Alessandra and Chelsea German

▲ Return to Top