1. The energy of mindfulness


    Anger is… energy number one. By practicing mindful breathing or mindful walking, we generate the energy number two: the energy of mindfulness. We call it in Buddhist terms: mindfulness of anger. Mindfulness is always mindfulness of something. When you drink your water mindfully, that is called mindfulness of drinking. When you eat mindfully, that is called mindfulness of eating. When you breathe mindfully, in and out, that is called mindfulness of breathing. When you walk mindfully, it is called mindfulness of walking.

    So, when you recognize your anger, embrace your anger tenderly with that energy of mindfulness, it is called mindfulness of anger, mindfulness of despair, mindfulness of fear. We should be able to learn and help the young people to learn how to do it. It’s very important.

    The Buddha offers us very concrete and simple exercises in order to become mindful. The first exercise on mindful breathing is: Breathing in–I know I am breathing in. Breathing out–I know I am breathing out. You can reduce the length of the sentence to one word. In. Out. While you are breathing in, you just recognize that this is your in breath, and you use the word, in. And you are wholly concentrated on your in breath. Nothing else.

    You become your in breath. You’re not thinking of anything. You’re not thinking of the past, of the future, of your projects. You release everything. You just follow your in breath, and you become one with your in breath. And the energy of mindfulness is generated together with the energy of concentration. ~Thich Nhat Hanh