Aimlessness
Thich Nhat Hanh

  

In the West, we are very goal oriented.  We know where we want to go, and we are very directed in getting there.  This may be useful, but often we forget to enjoy ourselves along the route.

There is a word in Buddhism that means "wishlessness" or "aimlessness."  The idea is that you do not put something in front of you and run after it, because everything is already here, in yourself.  While we practice walking meditation, we do not try to arrive anywhere.  We only make peaceful, happy steps.  If we keep thinking of the future, of what we want to realize, we will lose our steps.  The same is true with sitting meditation.  We sit just to enjoy our sitting; we do not sit in order to attain any goal.  This is quite important.  Each moment of sitting meditation brings us back to life, and we should sit in a way that we enjoy our sitting for the entire time we do it.  Whether we are eating a tangerine, drinking a cup of tea, or walking in meditation, we should do this in a way that is "aimless."

Often we tell ourselves, "Don't just sit there, do something!"  But when we practice awareness, we discover something unusual.  We discover that the opposite may be more helpful:  "Don't just do something, sit there!"  We must learn to stop from time to time in order to see clearly.  At first, "stopping" may look like a kind of resistance to modern life, but it is not.  It is not just a reaction; it is a way of life.  Humankind's survival depends on our ability to stop rushing.

"Stopping" is not only to stop the negative, but to allow positive healing to take place.  That is the purpose of our practice--not to avoid life, but to experience and demonstrate that happiness in life is possible now and also in the future.

The foundation of happiness in mindfulness.  The basic condition for being happy is our consciousness of being happy.  If we are not aware that we are happy, we are not really happy.  When we have a toothache, we know that not having a toothache is a wonderful thing.  But when we do not have a toothache, we are still not happy.  A non-toothache is very pleasant.  There are so many things that are enjoyable, but when we don't practice mindfulness, we don't appreciate them.  When we practice mindfulness, we come to cherish these things and we learn how to protect them.  By taking good care of the present moment, we take good care of the future.  Working for peace in the future is to work for peace in the present moment.

    


   
Lucidly and beautifully written, Peace Is Every Step contains commentaries and meditations, personal anecdotes and stories from Buddhist Nhat Hanh's experiences as a peace activist, teacher, and community leader. It begins where the reader already is (kitchen, office, driving a car, walking in a park) and shows how deep meditative presence is available now. Nhat Hanh shows how to be aware of relationships with others and of the world around us, its beauty and also its pollution and injustices. Through deceptively simple practices, Peace Is Every Step encourages the reader to work for peace in the world as he or she continues to work on sustaining inner peace by turning the "mindless" into the mindful.

  

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.  Let me
learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart.  Let me
not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so.  One
day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face into the
pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and
want, more than all the world, your return.


Mary Jean Irion

  


  
welcome page - contents - gallery - obstacles - quotations
 the people behind the words - our current e-zine
 articles and excerpts - Daily Meditations, Year Two - Year Three
     

Sign up for your free daily spiritual or general quotation

   

  

All contents Living Life Fully, all rights reserved.

   

HOME - contents - Daily Meditations - abundance - acceptance - achievement - action - adversity - advertising - aging - ambition
anger - anticipation - anxiety - apathy - appreciation - arrogance - art - attitude - authenticity - awakening - awareness - awe
balance - beauty - being yourself - beliefs - body - brooding - busyness - caring - celebration - challenges -
change - character
charity - children - choices - Christianity - coincidence - commitment - common sense - community - comparison - compassion
competition - complaining - compliments - compromise - confidence - conformity - conscience - contentment - control - cooperation
courage - covetousness - creativity - crisis - criticism - cruelty -  death - decisions - desire - determination - disappointment
discipline - discouragement - diversity - doubt - dreams - earth - education - ego - emotions - encouragement - enlightenment
enthusiasm - envy - eternity - ethics - example - exercise - experience - failure - faith - fame - family - fate - fathers - fault-finding
fear - feelings - finances - flowers - forgiveness - freedom - friendship - frustration - fun - the future - garden of life - gardening
generosity - gentleness - giving - goals - God - goodness - grace - gratitude - greatness - greed - grief - growing up - guilt - habit
happiness - hatred - healing - health - heart - helpfulness - home - honesty - hope - hospitality - humility - hurry - ideals - identity
idleness  - idolatry - ignorance - illusion - imagination - impatience - individuality - the inner child - inspiration - integrity - intimacy
introspection - intuition - jealousy - journey of life - joy - judgment - karma - kindness - knowledge - language - laughter - laziness
leadership - learning - letting go - life - listening - loneliness - love - lying - magic - marriage - materialism - meanness - meditation
mindfulness - miracles - mistakes - mistrust - moderation - money - mothers - motivation - music - mystery - nature - negative attitude
now - oneness - open-mindedness - opportunity - optimism - pain - parenting - passion - the past - patience - peace - perfectionism
perseverance - perspective - pessimism - play - poetry - positive thoughts - possessions - potential - poverty - power - praise
prayer
- prejudice - pride - principle - problems - progress - prosperity - purpose - reading -recreation - reflection - relationships
religion - reputation - resentment - respect - responsibility - rest - revenge - risk - role models - running - ruts - sadness - safety
seasons of life - self - self-love - self-pity - self-reliance - self-respect selfishness - serving others - shame - silence - simplicity
slowing down - smiles -solitude - sorrow - spirit - stories - strength - stress - stupidity - success - suffering - talent
the tapestry of life - teachers - thoughts - time - today - tolerance - traditions - trees - trust - truth - unfulfilled dreams - values
vanity - virtue - vulnerability - walking - war - wealth - weight issues - wisdom - women - wonder - work - worry - worship
youth - spring - summer - fall - winter - Christmas - Thanksgiving - New Year - America - Zen sayings - articles & excerpts
Native American wisdom - The Law of Attraction - obstacles to living life fully - e-zine archives - quotations contents
our most recent e-zine - Great Thinkers - the people behind the words

 

We have some inspiring and motivational books that may interest you.  Our main way of supporting this site is through the sale of books, either physical copies or digital copies for your Amazon Kindle (including the online reader).  All of the money that we earn through them comes back to the site in one way or another.  Just click on the picture to the left to visit our page of books, both fiction and non-fiction!

   

  

Now you can have almost 4,000 quotations from our extensive collection to take with you wherever you go, for just 99 cents.  For less than one dollar, you can have this collection on your Kindle or your laptop (when you download the Kindle for PC program)--and have the wisdom of the ages with you for your perusal at any time you  may want or need it.  This is priceless content that can add incredibly positive thoughts to whatever kind of day or week you may be going through. . . helpful advice always will be just a couple of clicks away!