Quote of the day: TELEPHONE

May 8, 2010

TELEPHONE

“Telephone Meditation”

Every time the telephone rings, or your beeper makes a sound, take it as the bell of mindfulness, a reminder to practice conscious breathing. When you hear the sound, stay where you are and practice breathing in and out. You can afford to do that because if the person calling you has something really important to tell, she will wait. She will not hang up before the second or third ring. “Breathing in, I am aware that I am breathing in. Breathing out, I am aware that I am breathing out.” That’s what you do while you listen to the bell. And when you go to the telephone during the third ring, still practice breathing in and out. Now when you pick up the telephone, you are fresh. You are calm. You are present. There is a gatha (teaching) that says, “Words can travel thousands of miles. They are to build up more mutual acceptance and understanding. I vow that my words will be like gems. I vow that my words will be fresh like flowers.” You may write down these lines and stick them to your telephone. Every time you go to make a call, touch the phone with your left hand and practice breathing in, reciting one line silently. Breathing out, recite the second line. After you finish the gatha, you have breathed in and out twice. Now you are qualified to make a telephone call.

— Thich Nhat Hanh

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