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At home in the present moment The present moment is your home. Do you feel at home in the present moment?

October 7, 2010

“I HAVE ARRIVED, I AM HOME” is the practice of being, rather than doing. This means you don’t put something in front of you as an object of pursuit. What you are looking for is already here. You already are what you want to become. Don’t try to be someone else. You are wonderful as you are. You are always looking for something outside of yourself. You are always looking for happiness in the future. You are not capable of finding it in the present moment. You have to learn the art of living happily in the present moment. If you cannot be happy now, you will not be able to be happy later, because later always comes as now!

Take a piece of paper and write down all the conditions for your happiness that are already present. There is a paradise of sounds, colours and shapes all around you. But you don’t treasure these existing conditions of happiness. You are looking for other conditions of happiness like money, wealth, success, fame etc. You don’t have to go anywhere else to be happy. Conditions for your happiness are all around you. You just need the eyes to see them.

Happiness is here and now – not a distant goal in future. Our true home is in the present moment. To live happily in the present moment is a miracle. If you can breathe in and out and live in the spirit of “I have arrived, I am home, in the here and in the now”, you will notice that you are becoming more solid and more free. You have established yourself in the present moment, at your true address. Nothing can push you to run anymore, or make you so afraid. You are free from worrying about the past, and you are free from your worries about the future. Only a free person can be a happy person. The amount of happiness that you have depends on the amount of freedom that you have in your heart.

“I have arrived, I am home.” You have the capacity of living happily in the present. You know that life is only available in the here and now. You are content in the present moment. The energy that used to push you to the future, or to pull you back to the past is no longer an obstacle. Your happiness is here and now, not in the future. When you are present, you become present to life, in touch with life, inside and outside. You become fully alive. And to be alive is the greatest miracle. Breathing in, you can touch the miracle of life. Breathing out, you can touch the wonders of life all around you.

You can touch the Kingdom of God, the Pure Land of the Buddha here and now. You can touch it now – you don’t have to go to the future, you don’t have to wait until you die. Peace, immortality, nirvana is found in the present moment. This is it! If you have enough freedom and insight, you can touch the Kingdom of God, the Pure Land of the Buddha. You don’t have to go anywhere. Everything you are looking for is right here, right now. Nirvana is not meant to be a separate place – it is here and now. Heaven / the Kingdom of God / the Pure Land of the Buddha is not a separate place – it must be found on this earth.

– Extract from: Thich Nhat Hanh teachings during the Breath of the Buddha Retreat, June 2006 at Plum Village Monastery in France

Article by Leela Verity, director of Sat Chit Anand Retreat Centre, Plettenberg Bay.

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