There are two things: to be and to do.
Don't think too much about to do - to be is first.
To be peace. To be joy.
And then to do joy, to do happiness - on the basis of being.
Being fresh. Being peaceful. Being compassionate.
This is the basic practice.
It's like a person sitting at the foot of a tree.
The tree does not have to do anything, but the tree is fresh and alive.
When you are like that tree, sending out waves of freshness,
you help to calm down the suffering in the other person.
~ Thich Nhat Hahn
Last night I was at a meditation with over 50 other people. It was a
lovely experience. I think what impressed me most was this idea of
"being." We sat sending out waves of just being. The calm peacefulness
in that room was palpable. An amazing side effect for me was a deep,
restful sleep; one the best I've had in years!
I like the image of being like a tree. They are strong and grounded.
They can endure extremes in the weather and they move gracefully
with the wind. They have the uncanny ability of bringing joy and
equanimity to those who gaze upon them with gratitude. Buddha
found enlightenment under a tree. Mary Oliver, Wendall Berry, Rainer
Maria Rilke, and many others write beautiful poetry to trees.
Such grace to be like a tree...