RIGHT THINKING

Buddhism by the Numbers

Right Thinking

  • Thinking is the speech of the mind.
  • Right thinking leads to Right Action.
  • When we concentrate on our breathing, we bring body and mind back together and become whole.
  • Mindful breathing helps us stop being preoccupied by sorrows of the past and anxieties of the future. It helps us to be in touch with life in the present moment.

Four Practices Related to Right Thinking

  1. Are you sure?
  2. What am I doing?
  3. Hello habit energy.
  4. Bodhichitta – Mind of love.

Based on the teachings of Thich Nhat Hahn

Right View

Buddhism by the Numbers

Right View

  • Right view is deep understanding of the Four Noble Truths
  • Where there is perception there is deception
  • Most of our suffering comes from wrong perceptions
  • It is impossible to have a subject without an object
  • Right view is the insight we have into the reality of life; a living insight that fills us with understanding, peace, and love.
  • The instrument for watering wholesome seeds inside of us is mindful living – mindful breathing, mindful walking, living each moment of our day in mindfulness.
  • Your conception or perception of reality is not reality.
  • To practice is to go beyond ideas, so you can arrive at the suchness of things. “No idea” is the path of non-conception. “No idea” means no wrong idea, no wrong conception.
  • Buddhism is a practice to hep us eliminate wrong views.
  • Right View is sometimes called the mother of all Buddhas, the energy of love and understanding that has the power to free us. When we practice mindful living our Right View will blossom.
  • Right View is both a cause and an effect of all other elements of the path.

Based on the teachings of Thich Nhat Hahn

To Loving Blackness

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During the time of Coronavirus I  took the opportunity to attend  an online Buddhist Seminar entitled : In the Footsteps of Thich Nhat Hanh. I consider Thich Nhat Hanh to be my guru. It was a five day summit, but since I was stuck at home I had plenty of time to attend. On the second day of the summit, at the end of the day, there was a short video that featured the writer bell hooks. Now bell hooks would be just about the last person in the world I would ever expect to encounter at a Buddhist seminar. Not there is any thing wrong with bell hooks. I like bell hooks. I know bell hooks. I’ve read several of her books and I have tremendous respect for her. I met her once in Philadelphia at a lecture she gave at the Free Library. I brought a book along with me for her to sign after the lecture, which she graciously did. When it came my turn I stood before her and smiled at her and told her that we shared the same name and that we both were from Kentucky. She liked that. She autographed my book with the following inscription: “To Loving Blackness.”

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It was an evening  I would not forget. Bell hooks is a woman with a fierce intellect and strong opinions and she is a woman who is full of rage.  She would be the first person to admit that. So, it was not without a little bit of surprise to run across this video of her at the summit. In the video she describes her encounter with Thich Nhat Hanh. She described how she was a little apprehensive about meeting the zen master.  She told him when she met him that she was filled with rage. He met that rage with loving kindness. He said that was OK. Hold onto your rage and use it for compost for your garden. Well, at moment, she had a little aha experience. And she was able to transform her anger, and that was the point of the video. Perfect!

White Lotus

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The lotus symbolizes the simultaneous nature of cause and effect or the laws of karma because it blossoms and produces seeds at the same time. We can create our own happiness under any circumstances. This is also symbolized by the lotus. The lotus grows and blossoms in a muddy swamp, yet remains utterly free of any defilement.

Suchness

The Nature of Reality

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Reality cannot be expressed by conceptual knowledge or by written and spoken language. A  person who has never tasted a mango cannot know its taste, no matter what and how many words someone uses to describe the experience. We can only grasp reality through direct experience.

The nature of all things is unconditioned and can be called “suchness,” or “Tathata.” Suchness is the nature of all things. From suchness the lotus arises. You and I arise from suchness. We can call someone who arises from  suchnessa a tathagata , or one who thus comes.

 

Teaching is from Old Path White Clouds by Thich Nhat Hanh,  Photograph by my me.