Day 34: Thich Nhat Hanh
What suffering is caused by the violence in our thoughts, words, and actions?
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Thich Nhat Hanh: Mindful consumption
The Buddha said that we cannot only talk about doing what is beneficial, we have to put it into practice. By practicing [the Five Mindfulness Trainings], we gain more awareness of the suffering caused by the violence in our thoughts, words, and actions. . . .
The Fifth Mindfulness Training is mindful consumption: Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I vow to cultivate good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking, and consuming. I vow to ingest only items that preserve peace, well-being, and joy in my body, in my consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family and society.
I understand that a proper diet is crucial for self-transformation and for the transformation of society. I am determined not to use alcohol or any other intoxicant or to ingest food or other items that contain toxins, such as certain TV programs, magazines, books, films, and conversations.
I am aware that to damage my body or my consciousness with these poisons is to betray my ancestors, my parents, my society, and future generations. I will work to transform violence, fear, anger, and confusion in myself and in society by practicing mindful eating for myself and for society. (Creating True Peace , Free Press)
1. What unintended violence do you cause by your thoughts, words, and actions?
2. Does this concept of mindful consumption lead to self-transformation? How so?
3. How does reading this Buddhist reflection add to your Lenten practice in these 40 days?
Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk and world-renowned writer, poet, and scholar.