Nirvana Is Here Today, And You Can Have It
When I hear the word “nirvana”, I used to think it was something massive, cosmic, and unattainable by mere mortals. But now, I see it as something I can touch daily.
Nirvana exists in the nooks and crannies of daily life. All I have to do to experience nirvana is to pay attention to these small things and tell myself:
“This is no small thing, it is the greatest gift, if only I treat it as such.”
And you don’t have to be a Buddhist to be transformed by this practice.
I came to this radical redefining of nirvana through the words of Ajahn Buddhadasa, a Thai Buddhist monk whose life work continues through the Suan Mokkh International Dharma Hermitage:
Anyone can see that if grasping and aversion were with us all day and night without ceasing, who could ever stand them? Under that condition, living things would either die or become insane. Instead, we survive because there are natural periods of coolness, of wholeness, and ease. In fact, they last longer than the fires of our grasping and fear. It is this that sustains us. We have periods of rest making us refreshed, alive, well. Why don’t we feel thankful for this everyday Nirvana?
It just depends on your perceptions. Say you have ten minutes to wait for your children at the end of the school day. You can wait, impatient for them to arrive so you can get on with your day. Or you can quieten your busy brain for a moment and tell yourself, “This is nirvana. I recognize it as such, and it is a great privilege to rest in it for a few moments.”
The smile of your partner.
The feeling of enjoyment from a good movie.
A sunny day and a brisk wind.
Nirvana is here today, and you can have it.
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