Why the Buddha kept Meditating Even after being Enlightened
When I was a young monk, I wondered why the
Buddha kept practicing mindfulness and meditation even after he had already
become a Buddha. Now I find the answer is plain enough to see.
Happiness is impermanent, like everything
else. In order for happiness to be extended and renewed, you have to learn how
to feed your happiness. Nothing can survive without food, including happiness;
your happiness can die if you don’t know how to nourish it. If you cut a flower
but you don’t put it in some water, the flower will wilt in a few hours.
Even if happiness is already manifesting, we
have to continue to nourish it. This is sometimes called conditioning, and it’s
very important. We can condition our bodies and minds to happiness with the
five practices of letting go, inviting positive seeds, mindfulness,
concentration, and insight.
... Mindfulness helps us not only to get in
touch with suffering, so that we can embrace and transform it, but also to
touch the wonders of life, including our own body. Then breathing in becomes a
delight, and breathing out can also be a delight. You truly come to enjoy your
When we practice mindful breathing or mindful
walking, we bring our mind home to our body and we are established in the here
and the now. We feel so lucky; we have so many conditions of happiness that are
already available. When we practice mindful breathing or mindful walking, we
bring our mind home to our body and we are established in the here and the now.
We feel so lucky; we have so many conditions of happiness that are already
available. Joy and happiness come right away. So mindfulness is a source of
joy. Mindfulness is a source of happiness.. Joy and happiness come right away.
So mindfulness is a source of joy. Mindfulness is a source of happiness.
It requires first of all that we come home to
ourselves, that we make peace with our suffering, treating it tenderly, and
looking deeply at the roots of our pain. It requires that we let go of useless,
unnecessary sufferings and take a closer look at our idea of happiness.
Finally, it requires that we nourish happiness daily, with acknowledgment,
understanding, and compassion for ourselves and for those around us. We offer
these practices to ourselves, to our loved ones, and to the larger community.
This is the art of suffering and the art of happiness. With each breath, we
ease suffering and generate joy. With each step, the flower of insight blooms.