My Films

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Daily Schedule of Mindful Practice

Our daily schedule consisted of waking by 5am, meditating for an hour, eating silently at 6, leaving for the temple by 7. At 8, Thay would give a two hour Dharma talk in Vietnamese (graciously translated into English and French by the sisters). In Hue, at Thay’s root temple (where he was a novice monk) we would practice walking meditation with him around the temple grounds. After lunch, we would rest for a couple of hours before listening to dharma talks and participating in dharma discussions. We would dinner at five and then return to our accomodations for a quiet evening.

Here is a gatha ( a short meditative poem) that I recited as part of my mornig ritual. I think it is just equisite! (With a 5am morning shot of Saigon out our hotel window)

Waking Up

Waking up this morning, I smile.
Twenty-four brand new hours before me.
I vow to live life fully in each moment
and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.

Walking Meditation is a beautiful practice in which we walked slowly together through the temple grounds. Its purpose is to be in touch with the present moment by being aware of our breath and enjoying each step.
The blessings I have of my beautiful university campus is that is big and green and has many wonderful paths in which I can practice walking meditation every day for fifteen minutes.

We would then eat lunch at 11 am perpared by the monks and nuns. We would eat with our family groups, often in silence. The practice of eating mindfully is to be fully aware and grateful for the food before you. When eating, I chew slowly in order to really enjoy the various flavors of the Vietnaemese vegitarian dishes. The following gatha is often recited before eating.

The 5 contemplations to eat in mindfulness

This food is gift from the whole universe,
the earth, the sky, and much mindful work.
May we eat in mindfulness so as to be worthy of it.
May we transfrom our unskilfull states of mind and
learn to eat in moderation.
May we take only foods the nourish us and prevent illness.
May we accept this food to realize the path of understanding and love.

To read about how these practices have touched my life, click here.

No comments: