Red lights and mindfulness

When we are driving, we tend to think of arriving, and we sacrifice the journey for the sake of the arrival. But life is to be found in the present moment, not in the future. In fact, we may suffer more after we arrive at our destination. If we have to talk of destination, what about our final destination, the graveyard? We do not want to go in the direction of death; we want to go in the direction of life. But where is life? Life can only be found in the present moment. Therefore, each mile we drive, each step we take, has to bring us into the present moment. This is the practice of mindfulness.

When we see a red light or a stop sign, we can smile at it and thank it, because it is the bodhisattva helping us to return to the present moment. The red light is the bell of mindfulness. We may have thought of it as the enemy, preventing us from achieving our goal. But now we know the red light is our friend, helping us to resist rushing and calling us to return to the present moment where we can meet with life, joy and peace.–Thich Nhat Hanh, “Present Moment, Wonderful Moment”

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