The dharma is beautiful at the beginning, beautiful in the middle, and beautiful at the end.The Buddha
Mindfulness – present moment awareness, bare attention, or nonjudgmental awareness – is a key aspect of meditation. As soon as we settle into a meditative posture, tune into the breath, and allow present moment experience to come into view, we are practicing Mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the reality of how things truly are, and it is a practice that helps us see reality – how things truly are – more and more clearly.
What about when that reality includes suffering?
It’s common to live our lives trying to avoid suffering. Yet that avoidance is a root cause of suffering: craving, aversion, wanting things to be different than they are.
The earliest Buddhist teaching points to this human condition: There is suffering. We are caught in false views of self and world, in the delusion, the dis-ease of separation. The wheel is off its axis, out of alignment, unable to turn freely.
This is the first ennobling truth, the beginning of the dharma. The Buddha calls it beautiful.
What an invitation! Not just to turn towards what we habitually turn away from, but to see it in a new light. To see, allow, accept – to love. Love with no opposite.
The portal to compassion can open wide when we see just one thing as it truly is. One sound, one sensation, even one thought. When this happens, the separate self falls away. Our hearts break open and the whole world comes rushing in. Beautiful at the beginning, beautiful in the middle, beautiful at the end.