Abide in your Time Home

Thich Nhat Hanh suggests an interesting, very inspiring translation/ interpretation of this famous answer by the Buddha…
When he was asked what the core of his practice was, the usual answer we come across after having said ‘I sit, I eat, I walk’, is :
‘When  I sit, I sit
When I eat, I eat
When I walk, I walk’


Thich Nhat Hanh translates this as :
“When I sit, I know I am sitting
When I walk, I kow that I am walking,
When I eat, I know that I am eating


The usual translation emphasizes the need for the practitioner to do nothing else but precisely what they are doing.
Thay dusts off an extra layer of wisdom by highlighting the practice of ‘knowing’.

This is a reference to sitting meditation and the extension of the practice beyond sitting.
In zazen, we are familiar with this typical perspective occurring between the observer and the observed, literally saving the practitioner from the inferno of their trail of mental / psychological/ emotional activity.

This is what is contained in the verb ‘know’ : ‘I know I am eating’ means the practitioner resides in knowing and not only in eating as the usual translation would lead us to believe.

Therefore, Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us the disciple of the Buddha has an inclusive approach rather that an exclusive.
Inclusive : I know I am eating.
Exclusive : When I eat, I eat : (everything else being blocked out)

Into the ever-widening consciousness
Identification, judgmental, emotional processes stir an ever-decreasing amount of material.

Let us go about our daily tasks now
And truly know we are doing what we are doing
Abide in your true home
That is deep wisdom 

©FJ Nov 2021
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