I was reading the Treeleaf Zendo forums earlier today and came across a great mindfulness practice that I thought I'd share.
Treeleaf Zendo is an "online sangha" targeted at Zen Buddhists who don't have a local group to participate in. I read (but don't participate) because it's interesting reading! Anyhow, Jundo sensei there describes a practice based on Thich Nhat Hanh's teachings that he calls "Nurturing Seeds".
At risk of overquoting, here's how Jundo describes the practice in a nutshell -- er, a seed casing:
Traditional Buddhist psychology describes our thoughts, emotions and actions as arising from a kind of "Seed Consciousness" within us, which is said to hold the "seeds" of all our emotional and thought reactions to experiences (and our actions that arise from those) ... love, hate, peace, violence, calm, irritability, confidence, fear, you name it. Whether we take these "seeds" as literally existing, or (just as fine) merely as symbolic descriptions for the workings of the mind, each serves as a surprisingly elegant image for how thoughts and emotions arise within us. For example, when we are feeling anger in a particular situation or in reaction to some person, an "angry seed" might be said to be sprouting within us. If we water that seed, and allow it to take root and bloom, anger thus blooms. However, if we can instead replace that "angry seed" with, for example, a "loving kindness seed" and a "tolerance seed" ... watering those inner seeds instead, actually summoning such emotions within ourself ... then we may react to the very same situation and person with compassion and patience instead of anger.
Simple as that.
The entire post about the practice can be found here.
Deep gassho to Jundo for this.
[Image: youth by wemooninthewoods on flickr, used under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0 license.]