The Buddha was born under a tree, sat on the Earth when we woke up and walked on the Earth wherever he went. When doubt challenged him, he touched the Earth with his right hand inviting the Earth to be his witness to his awakening. At Deer Park Monastery we celebrate Vesak, the birth of the Buddha today. Our gratitude and respect for the example and teaching the Buddha offer us can be expressed in the way we interact with the Earth, our way of walking and our way of living.
The Buddha teach us that life is available only in the present moment, to come back to our breathing and our footsteps will help us be more deeply in contact with life, the wonders and the suffering. By living in the present moment we also discover that we already have more then enough conditions to be happy, our craving and grasping can be released. By dwelling in the here and now we are able to nourish and heal ourselves. Our Teacher Thay emphasizes that the greatest gift we can offer our loved one is our true presence.
When we are happy and at peace, we can more easily come together with others in a spirit of togetherness and harmony.
When we come together as a community, as a spiritual family, our collective energy of mindfulness, compassion and insight can be powerful. This will enable us to speak out against situation of injustice, not blaming or condemning, but speaking with love and understanding. Today we can also look deeply into how we can wake up as responsible children of the Earth and be a worthy continuation of the Buddha.
This video offers an introduction to walking meditation: