"If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace.' ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Last night I went went to my Buddhist sangha. For those don't know, as I didn't, a sangha is a group or community. This particular sangha meditates and discusses Zen teachings of Buddha and Thich Nhat Hanh, who is a Vietnamese monk/peace activist whom I find amazing!
I started attending meditation sessions here at the beginning of the year because the philosophies rang true for me, and were what I've believed all my life, without realizing they were also deemed 'Buddhist'. I had taken some time off of going lately due to all the training committments, but then went back last week. I love going there as it keeps me grounded and I always learn something. Not to mention the people in the group are wonderful.
Yesterday was one of those anxious days. I had some thoughts about work mulling about my brain and some excitement/anxiety about the race. Totally normal stuff as we get closer to 'THE DAY'.
In the past, I would have let this butterfly stomach go on and on much to the detriment of my health. Now when it happens I know the key to getting rid of it - stay in the present. One of the tricks I use to do that is sitting meditation.
I find it very difficult to sit on my own (meditating, much less just sitting still in one spot!), so I attend sangha on Monday nights where I meditate with other members of our group. The energy that floats around us is amazing and it always helps me to sit still and keep my mind clear and calm.
After our 25 minutes of sitting I felt amazing - no more butterfly's in my belly. As we normally do after meditating, we started into our dharma talk. We talk about the dharma teachings and how we use them in daily life as well as sharing our experiences.
After our chatour group leader , Tracey, brought up a really great dharma topic for next week: how meditate and be mindful in our activities. She knows I apply all I learn to my triathlon, and their are others who practice tai chi, rock climbing, trekking etc. We agreed this would be a fun thing to do. Then she told a story that I loved so much I wanted to share it with you...
The story goes to tell of a Buddhist nun who used to be very active before she became a nun. One day she went up to Thich Nhat Hanh and said she wanted to run again. He said that would be fine, but asked that she do the following in order to stay mindful during her run. With her footfalls she would repeat 'Peace, peace, love, love, peace, peace, love, love.' That way she'd not only be running and be mindful, but she'd also cultivate peace and love.
So off she went running from one hamlet at the bottom of the hill, to the other hamlet at the top. As she ran she'd chant 'peace, peace, love, love'. When she'd finish her run she was full of peace and love and exuded this energy to others. Everyone around her and in both the hamlets benefited from this.
As the story finished I realized I had another mantra to add to my list! As I ran the marathon I would chant (in my head of course cause otherwise I might drive those running near me bonkers...) 'peace, peace, love, love'. And just in case I forget that mantra I will stick a note in my special needs bag on the run!
My thoughts are if I do this not only will I remain mindful and calm, but perhaps others will feel that energy from me and also benefit from it in their race. It's a nice thought I think.
Peace out my beautiful bodhisattvas!