The 5th Mindfulness Training - Nourishment and Healing

Updated: Jul 7, 2019

We completed our look at the 5 Mindfulness Trainings by considering the 5th training, Nourishment and Healing. 

Traditionally, this training addresses alcohol consumption. But Thich Nhat Hanh’s translation helps us experience the freedom and transformation possible when we look deeply into everything we consume. 

We’ve seen from our practice of the Four Noble Truths that our suffering or liberation in the present is the result of seeds we have watered in the past. The 5th Mindfulness Training invites us to become good gardeners by observing which seeds grow into beautiful flowers and which seeds become invasive weeds. When we nourish the beautiful seeds, we create a better world not only for ourselves but for many others.

Our three-step practice this week fosters awareness of consumption:

Identify one thing you consume that you know waters seeds of unhappiness. This could be something you eat, an idea or emotion you hold, media you consume, or a habitual behavior.

Watch closely as you consume this item. What does consuming it feel like? Is there a benefit you’re pursuing? Does it pay off like you’d hoped? How does consuming this item impact your mind, your body, and the world around you, now and in the future?

Refrain from consuming this item. What does restraint feel like? Is there a sense of freedom? How does not consuming this item impact your mind, your body, and the world around you, now and in the future?

You may enjoy this short article by Sister True Dedication on the art of watering good seeds:

Sister True Dedication

Next week, July 9th, we’ll enjoy a Dharma talk by guest teacher Steve Wilhelm. Steve is the editor of the NW Dharma News and a long-time practitioner in the Tibetan and Insight Meditation traditions. His talk will give us a peek into the wider world of Buddhist practice.

The Fifth Mindfulness Training: Nourishment and Healing

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 am determined not to use alcohol or any other intoxicant or to ingest foods 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 a diet for myself and for society. I understand that a proper diet is crucial for self-transformation and for the transformation of society.

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