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Fresh Starts
March 16, 2007

Good morning, dear sangha friends. This morning, I awoke, had a cup of water, and then headed directly to my meditation corner in my bedroom and practiced mindful breathing and sitting. I had intended to meditate for 20 minutes or so, but ended up sitting for about 60 minutes. It was very refreshing. I guess I really needed it. I hadn't been feeling well yesterday, and I skipped dinner and the meditation gathering last night. I felt that I needed to "begin anew" once again.

I also decided to practice mindful writing after this morning's sitting meditation. Below is what the "Buddha in me" wrote through me just a few hours ago. Some of you know that I began this mindful writing practice two years ago. However, what you probably don't know is that I haven't done it in a while, due to various reasons, such as a broken heart, family crisis, etc. I have sometimes felt blocked. So, this morning, I decided to "just do it," even if I believed I was blocked. Our beliefs are "not always so." The Truth is always there, blocked or not.

Also, after meditation and breakfast, I decided to practice mindfulness with a couple of my family members. When my baby niece awoke, and after my brother bathed her, I brushed her hair and walked her around. She didn't want to play or eat or say anything. She just wanted to be held silently, just gently opening up to another new day. Then, I thought of Shaun and Kara, who recently had our first sangha baby, "Sam." And I decided to breathe and walk with my baby niece in my arms in mindfulness, in solidarity with Shaun and Kara as they struggle with the new joys and challenges of mindful parenting. Wow, I realized in that moment that one could even meditate with a baby in one's arms! I suppose I knew that intellectually, but it's another thing altogether to realize it experientially. :-)

Afterwards, while I was typing the words from my journal onto the computer, my mother walked into the computer room. She was telling me about how she wished she had more help at work. At first, I wasn't sure why she was telling me about this, especially since she knows how inept I am at real estate business. As I walked away, I checked in with my heart, and I realized that what my mother was really doing was not asking for help in business but making a call for help in her spirit. So, I dropped what I was doing immediately and told my mother to put on her jacket and shoes. I took her hand and walked her outside. At first she fussed a little because she needed to get to work, but that didn't last long because I knew that what she really needed and wanted was some quality time with someone who loves her out in God's beautiful creation, all available through the back door, in the here and now. "Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have I give unto you."

I gently instructed my mother to try to just enjoy the walk, to breathe in "Dear God" and to breathe out "Thank You." To feel the breeze, hear the birds, see the sky and trees and ducks and pond. Every few seconds, of course, she would chime in about this needs to be fixed, that needs to be replaced, these weeds need to be pulled, that tree needs to be trimmed, etc. Chuckling to myself, I knew that it was all okay, for I knew that the healing power of mindfulness was doing its work quietly underneath the chatter of the mind. I just continued to breathe, walk slowly, holding my mom's hand, letting my mindfulness be enough for the both of us. At one point, I felt inspired to give my mom a simple practice she could use anytime she needs. I told her that, whenever she felt stressed, she could take a slow deep breath and breathe in all of the healing energy of the Earth, and then breathe out, letting go of the stress, entrusting it into the care of the Universe. So she did that right then and there, three times. It wasn't much, but it was a start. Toward the end of our walk, another inspired thought came to me, and that was to invite my mother to sing one of her favorite church hymns. I figured, well, if she can't practice walking meditation very well yet, perhaps walking and doing a spiritual practice she was familiar with might be helpful. I know she loves to sing at church, so we did singing and walking practice in place of breathing and walking practice. We sang "His Eye Is on the Sparrow and I Know He Watches Me." :-)

Then we fed the ducks. . . .

Please enjoy your day today.
It is a gift, a love letter, waiting to be opened.
Mindfulness is the key.
I need your support.
Let's start fresh together.

Thank you.

Enjoy the Buddha's "love letter" to you below.

In light, love and life,
Br. ChiSing

Begin Anew
~ inspired by the Buddha in you,
as written through Br. ChiSing
(March 16, 2007)

Begin anew. . . .
It has been a long time since last we spoke.
It does not need to be so long.

In every moment,
the here and now --
the eternal and timeless --
is always present.

It does not take a special feat
to touch the here and now.
You only need to awaken to
this very breath, this very step.

In just one moment of mindfulness,
everything is made new,
moment to moment.

Enlightenment, peace, wisdom, joy --
these are only one breath away,
one step away.

But the question is:
Are you really there, my dear?
Are you really there in your breath, in your step?
Or are you only daydreaming, sleepwalking?

Whatever you think you've done wrong,
whatever penance you believe you must perform
before you can awaken,
I invite you now to let that go.

Take a slow, deep breath.
And remember the Greater Reality
which holds you,
which supports you,
which nurtures you.

Let there be a moment of awakening,
let there be several moments of awakening,
every time you rest into this Greater Reality,
the Buddha Nature, your True Self.

And as you begin to rest in your true vastness,
a healing takes place
organically and naturally --
forgiveness takes place,
understanding takes place,
reconciliation takes place --

In the eternal and timeless
here and now,
you can always begin anew.

You can always find refreshment and rejuvenation
for your earthly body and human mind
as you awaken to
your Universal body and Divine mind.

you can do it.
It is your birthless birthright.
It is your deathless inheritance.

So, my beloved,
can you drop the story,
drop the delusions?
Can you let go of
self-hate, shame and unworthiness?
Are you willing to relax your hold
on control and manipulation?
Are you willing to loosen your grasp
on false securities from false fears?

It only takes one breath,
one step,
in mindfulness,
my dear.

In just one moment of enlightenment,
you can awaken from the illusions of time,
pressure, guilt, failure and regret.

You can awaken to
the eternal and timeless
here and now --
to peace and love and wisdom,
to true strength and true joy and true beauty,
to the Buddha that I am in you and in all beings,
to the Ultimate dimension of all things --
the Divine All in all:

Dew drops on an autumn leaf . . .

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