Mindfulness is remembrance of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. This is most easily done by saying and hearing the Buddha's name. Hence the practice of reciting the name has become widespread in the Buddhist world. Reciting the name when something happens, be it a good or a bad thing that has occurred, makes that thing into an offering. One does this rather in the spirit of thinking that the Buddhas know better than we what to do with these miscellaneous occurrences of life. We offer everything to them. This is not in order to get rid of it, nor to cleanse or purify ourselves, it is simply that this is what we have so this is what we can offer.

When we make an offering, the Buddhas bestow peace upon us. We can feel this peace in our physical being. However, we do not practice such mindfulness in order to acquire such peace - it is an incidental grace or blessing. Rather, we practise out of love for the Buddha and gratitude for the Dharma and Sangha. When such love is established in the heart, it is like a seed buried in the ground. Sooner or later it will burst forth into foliage, flowers and fruit. When practice is love it is for nothing, but results inevitably do come. These are then like miracles and carry infinite merit. Whereas if we practice in order to get something what we get is merely a worldly benefit of limited value.

The spirit of practice is love. It is unconditional. Everything that happens is made into an offering by the utterance of the Buddha's name and so we are liberated over and over again. Even my impure thoughts, words and deeds become material for the Buddha to use in his great work. Thus my foolishness is redeemed by his blessing and becomes easier to bear and life becomes full of sparkling stars that appear out of nowhere and encourage us to dance. 

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I think the last sentence is just beautiful! It evokes in me images of a gentle but nimble weightlessness and light and I will share it with my sangha next week.  Thank you. Mx

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