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The Power of Diligence

Hanh says we are capable of going back to our best selves but we must maintain this practice of diligence.

He says there are two kinds of consciousness - the open consciousness (the living room) and store consciousness (the basement).  But the store consciousness is described also as the land where seeds lay underground that we don't pay much attention to until something happens to remind us of those seeds.

In most people's lives, there have been times when we have felt threatened, angry, victimized and in despair - not knowing where to turn next. These feelings are seeds, hidden underground, when we are happy and life is good, but when fears arise we feel those seeds lying there, and must decide whether to water them or let them dry up.

There are four aspects of diligence: first - when negative emotions haven't manifested in your mind, you don't give them a chance to manifest; second - is calming and replacing negative seeds (anger, hate, fear, despair) in your conscious mind; third - is to always invite good seeds to manifest (love, forgiveness, joy, peace, happiness); fourth - is trying to keep a good mental formation such as compassion, joy, peace, by nurturing it.

Last night it took me awhile to get to sleep, so rather than water the seeds of frustration, I lay in bed thinking about how comfortable it was listening to the rain outside.  Focusing on positive emotions I turned on the light and began reading Naomi Beth Wakan's book The Way of Haiku, marvelling at the beautiful language there and the culture that has enabled us to create poetry. Filled with gratitude I eventually went to sleep.

Yes I know that beautiful thoughts and words can't defend us against guns and bombs, but they do inspire us and other people to act on behalf of peace and justice.


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