Fullness of Mind vs Mindfulness

by Anna

What on earth possessed me to spend a week at a Buddhist monastery somewhere in France?

Do you really want to know?

It was a simple smile from an Asian woman on a page in a magazine, that touched my heart and stirred something inside of me, that was serenely humble and yet still a little fragile at that point. In fact, her smile had such an impact on me, that I not only had to include her on my vision board collage that I was creating at that time  (read about it here), but also looked her up and upon realising that she had created Plum Village, a Buddhist retreat, together with Thich Nhat Hanh, a well known peace activist and author of a hundred books, I booked myself in straight away.

Looking at this collage again now, two months later, after having experienced the wonders of Plum Village, I see that basically all the word snippets around the smiling Chân Không describe what I found during my stay at Plum Village! To start with, the moon was exactly like pictured, slowly increasing. There was a lotus lake and though there were no lotus blossoms yet, I found a card with the photo of a lotus flower that spoke to me with the saying “No mud, no lotus.”, which has a profound meaning to me.

During that week, my mind became indeed “luminous and empty”, I meditated on a mat pretty exactly like the one on the collage, even the same colour, believe it or not! Intentional change, path of peace, life’s journey… very vague, but apt. Plenty of Buddha statues, and roses and feelings and love.

“A life free of fear, pain, insecurity and doubt is not only possible, it’s our birth right.” This peacefulness I found at Plum Village. It was my “season of awakening”.

I would like to share my path to mindfulness with my mind ever so full of stuff that didn’t serve it anymore. Read on if you would like to join me on this liberating journey to peace of mind!