Diane Bell [00:00:01]:
Hello Gorgeous soul.
Diane Bell [00:00:02]:
I'm Diane Bell and this is the Aim from the Heart podcast. Your weekly dose of tips, techniques, strategies and inspiration to help you live a life beyond your wildest dreams. If you're ready to use the art of intentional manifestation to create more freedom, more joy, more abundance, and more bliss in your life, you are in the right place. S grab a cup of tea, pull up a chair and let's have some fun. I am so glad you're here today. Let's do this.
Diane Bell [00:00:31]:
Hello Gorgeous soul, and welcome to episode Ten of the Aim from the Heart podcast. How are you today, my friend? I hope you are doing really well here in citrus, Spain. The sun is shining, it is so beautiful. I just feel so lucky to live here. I'm sitting here in my office looking at the Mediterranean Sea and glistening and it's just gorgeous. I wish I could share the view with you. Join me on Instagram and you'll see it, no doubt, because I'm always sharing views on Instagram. So today is our 10th episode and I want to start a new tradition.
Diane Bell [00:01:07]:
In this podcast, which is every ten episodes, I'm going to share a session on one of my teachers, on somebody who has taught me, mentored me, given me something, expanded me in some way. And so some of these people will be people who were direct teachers of mine, but some of them will be people who I read a book off. Some of them will be somebody I listened to podcasts from, or I did some courses with or all kinds of things. Because what I know to be true is I am so grateful to all my teachers and there are so many in my life that I want to pay homage to. So I suspect we're going to have to go to like 1000 episodes at least before I run out. If we do one every ten episodes, we'll do my teacher episode. Yeah, we're going to have to go a long way. We're going to have to keep doing episodes for a long time because I have a lot of people that I feel so grateful to and that I want to share my love and my gratitude of their work with you because there's so many good people to learn from in this world.
Diane Bell [00:02:17]:
Naturally. WhEn I was thinking, who should I begin with? I almost thought to start with Annie Maverica, because I just shared a picture of this extraordinary woman on my Instagram page the other week. Go check it out. If you go to my feed on my Instagram and scroll down, you'll see a black and white picture of a woman. And I don't know what caused me to share. Oh, you know what caused me to share that that day? So it was actually when I was doing a breath work session recently. And if you haven't done any breath work, you've got to try it. It's incredible.
Diane Bell [00:02:50]:
And while I was doing this breathwork session, and it was very transcendental. I mean, I was in an altered state of consciousness. I was being visited by a lot of different people. And Annie was one of the people who materialized for me during this particular breathwork session. And it was because of that that I looked up a picture of her and shared on my Instagram account and wrote about her. And I am going to share about her very soon and the stories that I have to tell about her. And this is the thing. Our teachers can be people like Annie, who.
Diane Bell [00:03:20]:
Annie is not a famous woman at all. She was a Buddhist nun, and she was my first meditation teacher in real life, in person. I will definitely be sharing about her because she's a spectacular woman and a huge influence on my life. I'm so deeply grateful to her. I don't know that I would be here and be who I am if I had not met her. But I wanted to start today, the first session about one of my teachers, by talking about Han. And if you know anything about my relationship with Annie, you'll know it's because of Han actually met her. Now, some of you may have heard of Nat Han, and some of you might be like, who, dad? Who is she talking about? So, Tikna Han was a Vietnamese Zen monk.
Diane Bell [00:04:06]:
He's now passed away. And he, without doubt, is the biggest, single biggest influence in my life to date. I discovered his work around the year 1998, and it literally changed my life. So let me tell you how I got there. For a number of years in my was seeking some sort of spiritual practice. I was very unhappy for a lot of those years. In my early twenty s, I was very dislocated, very full of anxiety, a lot of things going on. And I had this calling.
Diane Bell [00:04:49]:
I had this desire to explore spiritual world. And I went to a lot of different meditation groups during this period. And some of them I would sit with for quite a while. I get quite involved, but usually at some point it just didn't feel right. Often they really wanted me to start to join the cult. I'm just not even going to dress that up any other way. We need you to commit and change your name and be part of us on this deeper level. And I was always like, I just don't want to, I don't want to sort of join some sort of dogmatic thing.
Diane Bell [00:05:24]:
I don't want a cult. I don't have to be spending a lot of money to go to it because I didn't have a lot of money. So a lot of the groups that I discovered, the meditation groups, didn't really fit me after a certain point. Now, around this time, I discovered yoga and I started to practice yoga. And yoga was like, oh my gosh, this is amazing. This is what I've been looking for. Because to be honest as well with the meditation groups that I had tried, and I'm not going to name the names because I don't want to disparage them after what I just said. But one of the things too, was that I found it difficult just to sit.
Diane Bell [00:06:03]:
I was a woman in my mid twenty s and I had a lot of energy and just sitting still, and I had a lot of anxiety too, and a lot of unresolved issues in my body, in my mind. So just sitting and breathing was really, really hard. But when I first went to a yoga class, it was like, wow, this is like a revelation. Because it was so physically hard for me that it forced me just to focus on my breath and I would get to the end of the hour of practicing yoga and be like, whoa, what just happened? That was like full on meditation because I literally wasn't aware of anything other than my breathing for that whole time. I was not thinking thoughts, I was actually just breathing. So I love the yoga and I really got into that and I was practicing regularly. And around this time I bought this yoga magazine. Now yoga magazines in 1998, and I think it was 98.
Diane Bell [00:07:00]:
It may have been 97. It's hard for me to know. It's not like now we can look up on your phone and see what the pictures were. I didn't take any pictures around this time, so it's hard to know exactly when things were. But I bought this yoga magazine. It was not like the kind of yoga magazines we have today. It was not a big glossy magazine with lots of ads and beautiful people doing exotic poses. It was not that.
Diane Bell [00:07:23]:
It was really like almost a fanzine for yoga, mostly black and white. I don't want to say it was stapled together, but I think it practically was. It was pretty basic, is what I'm going to say. And it was really sort of articles about yogic philosophy and the different limbs of yoga and this kind of thing. It wasn't, as I say, a glossy magazine at all, but in the pages of this yoga magazine. There was an excerpt from a book by the Monk, Tik Khan. And I read this excerpt from this book, and I was blown away. I just.
Diane Bell [00:07:59]:
This is. It's just beautiful. It just feels so true, what he's saying, and it's so on point. And it was about mindfulness. It was about waking up in the present moment and being mindful. And it was so simple what he was saying. The language he used was so simple, a child could have understood it. But it felt like taking a drink of cool water on a hot day.
Diane Bell [00:08:20]:
It felt so soothing to read his words. So I wrote down his name, and I went to my local bookstore in Edinburgh. This was in Scotland. And I found the books that he had written. There was a whole shelf full of them. I was like, wow. I was amazed to discover he was pretty prolific already at that point. And there was a whole bunch of his books, and I pulled one of them out.
Diane Bell [00:08:45]:
It was the miracle of mindfulness. And when I opened it up, a little piece of paper fell out of that book. And the piece of paper said, if you want to meditate in the tradition of Nat Han, call this number. IT WAS HANdwrITTEn. SO I PUT THAT BACK IN THERE. I BOUGHT THE BOoK, I TOOK IT HOME, AND I STARtED READING THE BOoK, ANd I WAS JUST LIKE, THIS IS INCReDIBLE. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR. It's so simple, so on point, so much about what it's really about, being awake, being present, being mindful.
Diane Bell [00:09:18]:
And I called the number, and this woman named Maverika answered the phone. SHE TOLD ME WHERE TO COME. And so within a week, I went to sit and practice meditation with this group that she ran based on Tiknahan's teachings. There was a small group. I mean, there was usually maybe five people there, six people, something like that. And we would practice first a guided meditation for like, 20 minutes, one walking meditation that would take like, 1520 minutes, and then one silent meditation again, about 20 minutes. SO IT'D BE AN HOUR PRACTICE IN TOTAl, AND THEN THERE WOULD BE MINDFUL SHARING At THE END OF THAT. I WENT ALONG TO THIS, AND I JUST IMMEDIATELY WAS LIKE, I LOVE THIS PRACTICE.
Diane Bell [00:10:02]:
I LOVE THIS GROUP. THERE WAS ABSOLUTELY NO PRESSURE TO JOIN ANYTHING. THERE WAS NO RELIGION, IN A SENSE. And something that I found really fascinating about Han and his community as I got deeper into over the years was Han would often say, don't become a. YOU KNOW, IF YOU'RE FROM ANY OTHER RELIGIOUS TRADITION, THIS IS MEAN. CHRISTIANS ARE CONSTANTLY LIKE, YOU GOTTA BECOME A CHRISTIAN. YOU GOTTA JOIN US. IF YOU DON'T JOIN US, YOU'RE GOING TO GO TO HELL.
Diane Bell [00:10:32]:
But here was this man, this beautiful monk, who would say, don't become a Buddhist. GO BACK TO YOUR OWN TRADITION. HE WOULD SMILE SO GENTLY WHEN HE WOULD SAY THAT, BUT THERE WAS NO, YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE THIS. YOU HAVE TO DO THIS. IT WAS REALLY JUST, COME AND PRACTICE THE PRACTICE. COME AND DO THE SITTING TOGETHER, COME AND DO THE WALKING TOGETHER, COME AND DO THE BREATHING TOGETHER, COME AND BE MINDFUL TOGETHER. ANNIE USED TO ALSO ORGANIZE THESE DAYS OF MINDFULNESS, WHERE WE WOULD GET TOGETHER AT NINE IN THE MORNING AND SPEND THE WHOLE DAY TOGETHER. AND WE WOULD PRACTICE MEditation.
Diane Bell [00:11:06]:
We would read some of the sutras or read from one of his books. We would eat mindfully, have a mindful meal, which was the most extraordinary experience, and just spend a whole day in mindfulness. And after those days, I would just feel so cleansed, so clear, so light, so like how I'd always wanted to feel, but really never since I had become a teenager. And it was really a lifeline. And so that became my life at that point in Edinburgh. Now, Tigna Khan, the reason that his teachings were so beguiling to me, yes, he is a Zen Buddhist monk from Vietnam, but his teachings are so universal and they transcend Buddhism. And what he has to share is, for you, whether you are Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, it really doesn't. What Tigna teaches, what he taught, what his whole life was devoted to, was peace, was, how do we create peace inside ourselves so that we can have peace inside our families, so that we can have peace in our communities, so that we can have peace in our societies, in our countries, and then the world.
Diane Bell [00:12:21]:
And he was very clear that we could not have peace in the world unless we have peace in ourselves. There is no way to peace. Peace is the way. In a nutshell. That is his teaching. He teaches you how to be peace. Not how to attain it, not how to chase it, not how to create it, but how to actually be it. Now, after I had read the miracle of mindfulness and started sitting with this group and started to feel very good sitting with this group, because I realized, oh, there's actually people here of different religious faiths.
Diane Bell [00:12:55]:
There's no pressure to be something. You get to be. You sit with this group. This is amazing. And so, as I was getting deeper into it, within a few weeks, and he said to me, Tekna Han is going to be in London. Do you want to come down to see him? So just a month or so after I discovered this monk's work. I went down to see him speak in London. It was an event that lasted a couple of days, where you went to see him speak, and then he did a mindful walk, and it was beaUtiful.
Diane Bell [00:13:25]:
And the whole Sangha was joined. So the Sangha is the Buddhist community who are devoted to his teachings. And the moment that I saw Tigna and I observed him, I watched him walk into the room and watched how he spoke and watched how people were with him, I was immediately aware that I was seeing somebody like I'd never seen in my entire life. That he didn't just talk the talk, he was walking the walk. Everything that he wrote about, he embodied to the millionth degree. And over the years that followed that I had many opportunities to be in his presence. I was so blessed. I ended up going to see him many times in Edinburgh, in London, in Los Angeles, and spending time at his monasteries in Plum Village in France, and also in Deer park in California.
Diane Bell [00:14:15]:
I ultimately also received my Dharma name from Han. This was a man who was absolutely humble, who would not have held himself up above anyone, but who, at the same time, had such a force of clear energy around him that he literally raised the level of consciousness in any room that he walked into. And that is an extraordinary thing, because something I'm always fascinated by is how darkness, or negative energy, is very strong. And it's very easy for somebody with very powerful negative energy to quickly shift the energy of a room. Like, one person angry can walk into a room and bring the vibe down for everybody in minutes. But it's very hard for one person to walk into a room and bring the vibe up. But that's exactly what TikTok would do. I mean, just his presence seemed to elevate people, bring out best in people.
Diane Bell [00:15:11]:
It was such a beautiful thing, and I could feel it myself. I would feel myself just lift and open in his presence and feel about 20%, at least more present than I before, like, 20% more awake, maybe even more than that. At times, just suddenly this lifting effect, and it was just beautiful. And so, from the first time that I saw him speak, I just knew that this was somebody that had a lot to teach me, that I was like, I was signed up. I want to learn everything I can from this human being. I want to be in their presence as much as I can. I want to soak it up. I want to learn as much I can, because there's no doubt to me that this person is who they say they are.
Diane Bell [00:15:50]:
They're somebody who's devoted their life to what they're teaching, and they're somebody who has a lot to teach on this. Now, if you don't know anything about Han or his life, as I've mentioned, he's Vietnamese. He was actually in the United States as a young Buddhist monk teaching at Columbia University when the Vietnam War broke out. And essentially, he could not return to Vietnam. And he became a peace activist in that time. And I think that's really what pivoted him to his life mission, which, as I say, was really to spread peace, to teach peace, to help people be peace. And it came from war. It came from him being exiled from his home.
Diane Bell [00:16:31]:
Many of his friends were killed in the Vietnam War, and he suffered greatly. He campaigned vigorously for peace. He did not take sides because he was on the side of peace. He said, other people are not our enemy. Our enemy is fear, distrust, hatred. So for Tignat Han, he was exiled. He was in the United States. And actually, during that time, he formed a friendship with Martin Luther King Jr.
Diane Bell [00:16:58]:
Who actually nominated to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his peace activism and for his efforts to end the Vietnam War. After the war had ended, he was unable to return to Vietnam because he had not taken sides. He was not allowed to return. And so he was in exile. And during that time, somebody offered him some land in France, and he ended up creating a monastery, building a monastery in Bordeaux region of France, called Plum Village. And it's an extraordinary place. I mean, going there won't change your life. The energy of the practice and the way of life is so extraordinary.
Diane Bell [00:17:38]:
I cannot recommend visiting enough if you're drawn to this work and this practice at all. So he lived mostly there, writing his books, sharing his teachings. People would come and you could go and stay there and do retreats with where he would teach every day. Many of these retreats, many of their recordings are now available in different places. So if you're curious at all, I strongly recommend having a look at some of his talks. Listening to him, if you hear his voice, you'll hear what I'm talking about. Such a gentle, wise, but also fierce. You know, this is the thing with Ty.
Diane Bell [00:18:15]:
It's not that he's just this know, like, oh, just peace. There is a real rigor and a real discipline to him as well. There's a real balance between the masculine and the feminine, between the leaning back and the relaxing and the peacefulness, but also something very strong, very disciplined, and very much here for doing the hard work as well. And because of Thai, there was a phrase coined which was engaged Buddhism. So, by the way, I just called him Thai. And if you don't know, Thai means teacher in Vietnamese. So everybody who loves considers him their teacher. We call him Thai.
Diane Bell [00:18:57]:
So Thai. Thai was somebody who I think was one at the forefront of this idea of engaged Buddhism because a lot of Buddhist communities were seen know, oh, we're too spiritual. We're off just meditating in caves, so we don't have anything to do with the world. But Ty was absolutely about creating change in the world. He was not about retreating into a meditation camp or into your monastery and not having anything to do with the world at all. He was absolutely about using the tools of Buddhism to create lasting change in the world. And so it was very deliberate. It's funny, as I'm sitting here, I just looked down and I brought out a couple of my books of Ty's, and I have one on the desk and there's a picture of him on the back of the book and he's smiling at me.
Diane Bell [00:19:42]:
And honestly, if you've never seen his face before, you're going to have to go Google him after this and just see his beautiful face and his beautiful smile, because I have to say, his smile was one of the most beautiful smiles I ever saw on this planet. It's actually bringing a tear to my eyeS. So, Ty, please go check out one of his books. I'm going to say there's so many. If you're going to say, which one would you recommend? I would go just go and have a look and see which one calls to you. Because he's written about so many different things. The classic books to start with would be, for instance, the miracle of mindfulness, or peace is every step, which is subtitled the Path of Mindfulness in everyday life. And I have that book here before me, and I thought I would just read you a little thing from it, give you a taste of his words so you can feel his energy.
Diane Bell [00:20:32]:
Page 41. Hope as an obstacle hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today. But that is the most that hope can do for us, to make some hardship lighter. When I think deeply about the nature of hope, I see something tragic. Since we cling to our hope in the future, we do not focus our energies and our capabilities on the present moment. We use hope to believe something better will happen in the future, that we will arrive at peace or the kingdom of God. Hope becomes a kind of obstacle.
Diane Bell [00:21:09]:
If you can refrain from hoping you can bring yourself entirely into the present moment and discover the joy that is already here. Enlightened peace and joy will not be granted by someone else. The well is within us, and if we dig deeply in the present moment, the water will spring forth. We must go back to the present moment in order to be really alive. When we practice conscious breathing, we practice going back to the present moment where everything is happening. And I just love this so much because I think until I discovered the teachings of Nahan, so much of what I was exposed to was around this idea of hoping, of working to make a better future. But what Nahan taught me really was the present moment is all that we have. And in the present moment, we already have all the conditions to be happy.
Diane Bell [00:21:59]:
We have all the conditions to be peace. We have them right here, right now. And if we don't have them here now, we do not have, because the future does not exist, the past does not exist. And learning that and really dropping into this idea that in the present moment, everything exists for us to be happy was an absolute life changer for me. Now, here's another little one from Hep. So this is about actually our nourishment and how we're being nourished in different moments. One cold winter evening, I returned home from a walk in the hills, and I found that all the doors and windows in my hermitage had blown open when I had left earlier, I hadn't secured them, and a cold wind had blown through the house, opened the windows, and scattered the papers from my desk all over the room. Immediately, I closed the doors and windows, lit a lamp, picked up the papers, and ranged them neatly on the desk.
Diane Bell [00:22:54]:
Then I started a fire in the fireplace, and soon the crackling logs brought warmth back to the room. Sometimes in a crowd, we feel tired, cold, and lonely. We may wish to withdraw, to be by ourselves and become warm again, as I did when I closed the windows and sat by the fire, protected from the damp, cold wind. Our senses are our windows to the world, and sometimes the wind blows through them and disturbs everything within us. Some of us leave our windows open all the time, allowing the sights and sounds of the world to invade us, penetrate us, and expose our sad, troubled selves. We feel so cold, lonely and afraid. Do you ever find yourself watching an awful TV program, unable to turn it off, the raucous noises, explosions of gunfire, upsetting, yet you don't get up and turn it off. Why do you torture yourself in this way? Don't you want to close your windows? Watching a bad TV program.
Diane Bell [00:23:49]:
We become the TV program. We are what we feel and perceive. If we are angry, we are the anger. If we are in love, we are the love. If we look at a snow covered mountain peak, we are the mountain. We can be anything we want. So why do we open our windows to bad TV programs made by sensationalist producers in search of easy money, programs that make our hearts pound, our fists tighten, and leave us exhausted? Who allows such TV programs to be made and seen by even the very young? We do. We're too undemanding, too ready to watch whatever's on the screen, too lonely, lazy or bored to create our own lives.
Diane Bell [00:24:25]:
We turn on the TV and leave it on. Allowing someone else to guide us, shape us, destroy us. Losing ourselves in this way is leaving our fate in the hands of others who may not be acting responsibly. We must be aware of which programs do harm to our nervous systems, minds and heart, and which programs benefit us. Of course, I'm not only talking about television. All around us, many lures are set up by our fellows and ourselves in a single day. How many times do we become lost and scattered because of them? We must be very careful to protect our fate and our peace. I am not suggesting that we shut all our windows, for there are many miracles in the world we call outside.
Diane Bell [00:25:05]:
We need to sustain ourselves by choosing our surroundings carefully and nourishing our awareness. So I love this. I mean, I could read this whole book out to you. Maybe I should just start a whole podcast reading Han, because honestly, when I read his words, I just feel the truth of them. I feel this nourishment of them. He reminds me that in the present moment I have all the conditions to be happy. But more than that, he reminds me too that I have power over what I allow into my world and I have to be the chooser of that. I have to be cognizant of what is sucking away my energy, what is taking away my power and what is enhancing it.
Diane Bell [00:25:48]:
And Tignahan is very powerful in his advocation for us, making sure that we nourish ourselves in all the different ways. So yes, with our food, with our water, with also though our conversations, with what we're listening to. And I'm so grateful to you for listening to this today, because this is given to you in that spirit of something that will uplift you and strengthen you and uphold the kind of life you want to live rather than deplete you and make you feel anxious and take away from you. And so, becoming aware of what is helping us, and what is not is absolutely so key. Now, as I mentioned, as my years went on, where I was really such a devoted part of the Sangha, and there's so many stories I could tell you about being in community. I loved it so much. It was such an important part of my life for so many years. I sat meditation with the Sangha for over a decade of my life.
Diane Bell [00:26:44]:
So at least once a week, I was sitting with the group and then going on retreats as often as possible. Eventually, I actually had the incredible good fortune to receive the transmission of the five mindfulness trainings. So the five mindfulness trainings are, in Buddhist terms, they're kind of like the Ten Commandments, the basic teachings of the Buddhism and Tikna. Han rewrote them specifically for the 21st century, and he wrote them in such a beautiful way. And if you're curious about them, I would definitely go and look them up. The five mindfulness trainings from Tikna. Taken together, anyone who chooses to live according to those values is going to live a good life. I've mentioned this before, but to me, this has always been one of the driving questions, what does it take to live a good life? And I think Nat Khan definitely lays out a blueprint for that.
Diane Bell [00:27:38]:
His teachings lay out a blueprint for how to live well, how to live a good life, where you transform and heal whatever it is that you need to transform and heal, where you step into your power as a free and peaceful human being and you become a force for good in the world. And honestly, I will never, ever be able to him enough for his teachings and for the impact that they made on my life. The name that I was given by technology, compassionate joy of the heart. It brings me a little bit to tears to think of that, that this was a name. So the part of the name of the heart is like my family name within the community. So everybody who received the mindfulness trainings at the same time that I did receive the name off the heart. We're the off the Heart family. And I love that I'm off the heart because obviously, I feel like my teachings, the number one thing is about living from your heart.
Diane Bell [00:28:36]:
It's about being in your heart. It's about getting out of our heads and really connecting with the heart. So the fact that that is my Dharma name is incredible to me, and then compassionate joy is just beautiful. It's been a touchstone for me ever since I received it, that that's my name. So I received that name when I was actually pregnant with my older son, I was on retreat with an. And it was actually a really challenging retreat for me because it was in California. It was extremely hot, and I was in the early stages of pregnancy. I was in the first trimester, and I was staying in a tent by myself.
Diane Bell [00:29:21]:
But I did receive my Dharma name, and I'm so grateful for it. Compassionate joy of the home. So, in a nutshell, Tignat Han, if you've never heard from, I strongly recommend having a look at his books. If you're somebody who's curious about how to create more peace in your life, like what that would look like, Tignat Han gives practical tools to create that. He said, you know, you have right now all the conditions for happiness. You might not think it, but he said, have you ever had a toothache? Really bad toothache? Everybody's like, yes. He said, do you remember the joy you experienced when you didn't have toothache anymore? When it went away? It's like, yes. And he said, you know, you can experience that joy every day.
Diane Bell [00:30:10]:
Imagine the joy of not having toothache. And isn't that the truth right now, as you're listening to this, no matter what is going on in your life, no matter how hard some things might be, how challenging some things might be, how much grief there might be in this moment, I imagine also there are all these conditions, happiness. There are all these things to be grateful for. If you don't have toothache, it's something to celebrate every day. If you don't have a headache, if you don't have a pain in your left ear or in your right ear, what a blessing, what a beautiful thing. And so living our lives from this prism where we start to see how full our lives, how much there's already to be grateful for. Slowing down and choosing deliberately to only allow things into our lives. And that was that long passage that I read to you where it's like, close your windows, protect yourself, protect your energy, choose what you're going to let in.
Diane Bell [00:31:07]:
Don't just open the windows and let anything being deliberate about what we choose to nourish ourselves with. Because, as Nahan taught me, you have in you all the seeds. You have the seeds of happiness, but you have the seeds of suffering. You have the seeds of anger, because you have the seeds for joy. And you're watering those seeds every day. You're watering them through what you eat. You're watering them through the conversations you have. You're watering them with your habit thoughts.
Diane Bell [00:31:37]:
You're watering them with movies that you watch. You're watering them with the news. You're watering them with the social media. You're watering seeds. And the big question is, what seeds are you watering? Are you watering the seeds of love? Are you watering the seeds of peace? Are you watering the seeds of joy? Or are you watering the seeds of discord? Are you watering the seeds of envy? Are you watering the seeds of anxiety? And it's a choice that you are making. And some of these will be like habit choices. But when we wake up to this and realize that we have the power to choose which seeds we are watering within us, and we don't have to keep watering the ones that are making us feel terrible. We can choose to water the ones that will make us feel fantastic.
Diane Bell [00:32:20]:
Because no matter where we are in our life, we have all the seeds in our store. Consciousness. I'm going to leave you with this. A little reading I'm going to share from the book Awakening of the Heart, which was Tigna's commentaries on essential Buddhist sutras. This little segment is called the moon is always the moon, neither incReasing, decreasing. We worry because we think that after we die, we will not be a human being anymore. We will go back to being a speck of dust. We think we will be somehow diminished.
Diane Bell [00:32:53]:
But that is not true. A speck of dust contains the whole universe. If we were as big as the sun, we might look down at the earth and see it as insignificant as human beings. We look at dust in the same way. But the ideas of big and small are just concepts in our minds. Everything contains everything else. That is the principle of interpenetration. This sheet of paper contains the sunshine, the logger, the forest, everything.
Diane Bell [00:33:19]:
So the idea that a sheet of paper is small or insignificant is just an idea. We cannot destroy even one sheet of paper. We are incapable of destroying anything. Those who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Hope to reduce them to nothingness. But these people continue to be with us, perhaps even more than before, because they continue in other forms. We ourselves continue their being. So let us not be afraid of diminishing.
Diane Bell [00:33:45]:
We are like the moon. We see the moon waxing and waning, but it is always so. I just wanted to leave you with that thought. I hope that this has wet your appetite to explore the work of Nat Han some more. I am so grateful for his teachings. I feel so blessed. I had so many opportunities to be in his presence and to learn directly from. And when he died, which was just a couple of years ago, that he passed.
Diane Bell [00:34:19]:
Preceding that, he'd had a stroke and he was not teaching for quite a number of years. I did feel great sadness, but I also felt the truth of what he always said. Which is he said, there's no death and there is no fear. He always used to say when people would ask, what are we going to do when you pass away? You would say, there is no end of me. Whenever you see a yellow flower, you will see me. And to this day, whenever I'm out walking and I see a yellow flower, I stop and I smile and I say thank you time. Thank you so much for listening to this podcast today. I hope it's given you some ideas, some new ideas and something new to go and explore and I'll see you again next week.
Diane Bell [00:35:08]:
Thank you so much for listening to this podcast today. If you enjoyed it, could you do me a favor?
Diane Bell [00:35:13]:
Please leave it a little review wherever.
Diane Bell [00:35:15]:
You'Re listening to it, or screenshot it and share it on your social media and tag me so I can see it. I would be so appreciative. Thanks so much. I love you and I'll see you soon. Bye.