“Suppose there is someone who lives very mindfully…She comes home, goes out, stands, sits, speaks, chops vegetables, washes pots, carries out all the activities in daily life in mindfulness and concentration. In all of her actions of body, speech, and mind she shines the light of mindfulness. When others encounter her, they are able to get in touch with that mindfulness, and they are influenced by it. Touched by the light of her mindfulness, the seed of mindfulness in their own consciousness begins to sprout, and naturally they also begin to cultivate mindfulness in their activities as she does. This is a true miracle that any one of us can realize.
The light of mindfulness of those around us, a brother or sister, parent or teacher, partner, or spouse—shines out onto us, and thanks to that we also begin to cultivate mindfulness and shine it out towards others. What is a Buddha? A Buddha is nothing other than the light of mindfulness, and that light, wherever it shines, is able to show us the wonderful truth, the ultimate dimension of whatever it illuminates. Those who are touched by the light of mindfulness in turn shine the light of their mindfulness upon other people and objects…When we live mindfully we shine that light broadly all around us and help others get in touch with and shine their light of mindfulness as well.
Our one small, ordinary life does matter. Our way of being has an effect on our situation, our environment, and the lives of all those around us; we have the capacity to affect many beings and lives. When we light the lamp of mindfulness within ourselves and let it shine, everyone around us will also benefit. In community (sangha) life, if even one person has mindfulness, the light of that mindfulness benefits the entire community. One person gives rise to mindfulness, and then the light of that mindfulness touches another person, and their mindfulness illuminates another, and so on…In this way, we can create a world of light right here on Earth.”
This is from Opening the Heart of the Cosmos, by Thich Nhat Hanh
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