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One of the Best Decisions of My Life

September 23, 2017

 

Today is Vesak Day, and I am filled with gratitude for the things that I have lost through my practice of mindfulness and meditation. I cannot say it is a conscious practice but focusing on my breath and the present moment has helped me to let go of  fear in my thoughts, words and action and transformed my life.

 

The "wake-up" moment came to me when reading the book "For a Future to Be Possible: Buddhist Ethics for Everyday Life" by Thich Nhat Hanh. I found immense peace in the Five Mindfulness Trainings and Thay's teachings. The sense of peace lasted for days through some difficult conversations and enabled me to make one of the best decisions in my life which was to attend a mindfulness retreat where I started practicing mindfulness. 

 

The Work Retreat (organized by Loving Work Foundation) was the first mindfulness retreat I attended in Hoi An, Vietnam last spring and that experience set a key foundation for my practice of mindfulness. I understood that mindfulness and meditation did not have to be practiced in isolation or silence, and that it could be practiced through engaged compassion. I have since returned a second time to participate in the Mobile Retreat, and gained a deeper insight to the lives of dear friends in Vietnam, and through that a deeper insight to myself - my worries, fears, pain, suffering, joy and inspiration.  

 

In reflecting on my practice of mindfulness in the past year, I recognize that I have lost much fear and anxiety and that transformation has led me to be better at listening deeply to my loved ones and the people I meet with everyday.

In Gratitude (Plum Village Song)

In gratitude you have watered seeds of love in me in gratitude, 

In gratitude I will water seeds of love in someone too.

I know you're there for me, and I am so happy.

In gratitude you have watered seeds of love in me in gratitude,

In gratitude I will water seeds of love in someone too.

And when you suffer some, just call and I will come.

 

Joyce Lim, Loing Fearlessness of the heart, who practices with the joyful garden sangha in Singapore.

 

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