The Next Buddha is Sangha

Welcome back from our short Summer vacation.  I trust you enjoyed the beautiful weather we have had and that the activities in which you engaged were supportive of your inner peace and happiness.

The transition from Summer to Autumn is a reminder of the instruction that “beginning again” is the essence of our meditation—each time the mind gets lost in the past or the future, in fear, anxiety or fantasy, we remember to come back to the present moment, and in doing so, we see the simplicity and depth of the practice.  In being mindful of the moment—starting with walking, sitting, cleaning, showering, reading poetry, the mind is less distracted.  As our mindfulness grows, we can be mindful internally of thoughts and emotions as they arise and ultimately, mindful externally of the lawful unfolding of life.

Of course, we sometimes hear about “staying with the moment” or “returning to the moment” as a rigid injunction.  If it is taken as such, you may lose the art of living in a free flowing way.  Rather, we can commit to beginning again, each time the mind “forgets” and flits.  In this simple movement of beginning again, we learn to be more focused and grounded.  Thus, the habit of the roaming mind gives way to a more centered way of being where concentration develops, allowing mindfulness without desire, aversion, judgments, likes and dislikes to be developed, with deepening inner silence or equanimity.  Remembering that we can begin again reminds us to be alert and sensitive to what is happening around us, to know things just as they are.  In seeing thus, we truly begin again.

With metta,
Gina Sharpe
Guiding Teacher