On retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh for seven days and it is a wonderful experience breathing in and out with 400 people. There are dharma talks every day conducted by Thay himself. What I have taken from these talks have moved me so much. That my grandparents and parents are in every cell of my body and I can write to them (three of my grandparents are deceased). That craving is at the root of my desire to shop and drink and being mindful is one way of stopping these cravings. I finally understand manas the concept of ego roughly translated which stops us from reaching nirvana and the pure land the realm of no self. The four practices of diligence and the four noble truths I am absorbing into my psychology practice and I have vowed to try and be more mindful every day. Every breath is a miracle, life is a miracle and present moment is a wonderful moment. The pure land is right here right now.
Just read a transcript of a dharma talk by Thich Nhat Hanh about our continuation with our ancestors. His talks can be accessed at www.plumvillage.org
What he said made a lot of sense to me. He said that Western psychology is centred around the self which means it can only heal up to a certain point. Buddhist psychology encourages the concept of no-self – the connection of you to your ancestors and other beings so you go beyond yourself. I came to this conclusion while on retreat with Thay in Vietnam- that it did not matter who I was (i had been wondering what and who I was for sometime) but my interconnection with all beings made me who I am.
I have found so far with some of my clients that I see that they take to viewing their thoughts as being outside of themselves very readily. I have not yet taken that step of trying to teach mindfulness but I will soon.