Taking The First Step Of The Day! by Thich Nhat Hanh

Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion. If you really know how to live, what better way to start the day than with a smile? Your smile affirms your awareness and determination to live in peace and joy. The source of a true smile is an awakened mind.

Just smile
How can you remember to smile when you wake up? You might hang a reminder – such as a branch, a leaf. A painting, or some inspiring words – in your window or from the ceiling above your bed, so that your notice it when you wake up. Once you develop the practice of smiling, you may not need a sign. You will smile as soon as you hear a bird sing or see the sunlight stream through the window. Smiling helps you approach the day with gentleness and understanding.

The last line of this gatha comes from the “Universal Door” chapter of the Lotus Sutra. The one who “looks at all beings with eyes of compassion” is Avalokitesvara, the bodhisattva of compassion. In the sutra, this line reads: “Eyes of loving kindness look on all living beings.” Love is impossible without understanding. In order to understand others, we must know them, “be inside their skin.” Then we can treat them with loving kindness. The source of love is our fully awakened mind.

Being alive
Walking on the Earth is a miracle! Each mindful step reveals the wondrous Dharmakaya. We do not have to walk in space or on water to experience a miracle. The real miracle is to be awake in the present moment. Walking on the green Earth, we can realise the wonder of being alive. If we make steps like this, the sun of the Dharmakaya will shine.

Opening the window, I look out onto the Dharmakaya. How wondrous is life! Attentive to each moment, my mind is clear like a calm river.

After you wake up, you probably open the curtains and look outside. You may even like to open the window and feel the cool morning air with the dew still on the grass. But is what you see really “outside”? In fact, it is your own mind. As the sun sends its rays through the window, you are not just yourself. You are also the beautiful view from your window. You are the Dharmakaya.

With you, forever
Dharmakaya literally means the “body” (kaya) of the Buddha’s teachings (Dharma), the way of understanding and love. Before passing away, the Buddha told his disciples, “Only my physical body will pass away. My Dharma body will remain with your forever.” In Mahayana Buddhism, the word has come to mean “the essence of all that exists.” All phenomena – the song of a bird, the warm rays of the sun, a cup of hot tea – are manifestations of the Dharmakaya. We too are of the same nature as these wonders of the universe.

When we open the window and look out onto the Dharmakaya, we see that life is infinitely marvelous. At that very moment, we can vow to be awake all day long, realising joy, peace freedom and harmony throughout our lives. When we do this, our mind becomes clear like a calm river.
source and credit:speakingtree

Recent Stories