When I became a novice monk, I lived in a temple where the atmosphere was quite like in a family. The abbot is like a father and other monks are like your big brothers, your small, younger brothers. It is a kind of family.
We are looking for happiness and running after it in such a way that creates anger, fear and discrimination. So when you attend a retreat, you have a chance to look at the deep roots of this pollution of the collective energy that is unwholesome.
We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.
It is possible to live happily in the here and the now. So many conditions of happiness are available - more than enough for you to be happy right now. You don't have to run into the future in order to get more.
People sacrifice the present for the future. But life is available only in the present. That is why we should walk in such a way that every step can bring us to the here and the now.
With mindfulness, you can establish yourself in the present in order to touch the wonders of life that are available in that moment.
In Buddhism, we talk of meditation as an act of awakening, to be awake to the fact that the earth is in danger and living species are in danger.
We need enlightenment, not just individually but collectively, to save the planet. We need to awaken ourselves. We need to practice mindfulness if we want to have a future, if we want to save ourselves and the planet.
Enlightenment is always there. Small enlightenment will bring great enlightenment. If you breathe in and are aware that you are alive - that you can touch the miracle of being alive - then that is a kind of enlightenment.
Freedom is not given to us by anyone; we have to cultivate it ourselves. It is a daily practice... No one can prevent you from being aware of each step you take or each breath in and breath out.
True self is non-self, the awareness that the self is made only of non-self elements. There's no separation between self and other, and everything is interconnected. Once you are aware of that you are no longer caught in the idea that you are a separate entity.
Breathing in, I am aware of my heart. Breathing out, I smile to my heart and know that my heart still functions normally. I feel grateful for my heart.
I love to sit and eat quietly and enjoy each bite, aware of the presence of my community, aware of all the hard and loving work that has gone into my food.
True self is non-self, the awareness that the self is made only of non-self elements. There's no separation between self and other, and everything is interconnected.
Every thought you produce, anything you say, any action you do, it bears your signature.
Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.
If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace.
People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?
We fear that this moment will end, that we won't get what we need, that we will lose what we love, or that we will not be safe. Often, our biggest fear is the knowledge that one day our bodies will cease functioning. So even when we are surrounded by all the conditions for happiness, our joy is not complete.
In true dialogue, both sides are willing to change.