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Lama Yacana’s Class

By Lama Sakadagami

Lama Yacana Mindfulness

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Mindfulness of the Present.

Students gathered in the morning for Lama Yacana’s daily teachings. His class is smaller than normal today and consisted of only four students.


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His students today are…

Vadana who is Lama Yacana’s younger brother, a music teacher, and a gifted Dranyen player. His music is well known in Anderan.

Kalpana a talented artist and the daughter of a popular baker in Anderan.

Bodhi Dukkhan is the son of a farmer, which makes him a farmer too. Bodhi, a former student of Vadana, is now known as the best dranyen player in Anderan.

Smirti is the son of a metal worker in Anderan, his father created the copper gong that is in the temple. Smriti is known for having a great memory. He can accurately remember details of past events with ease.

Lama Yacana noticed that not only his students today, but many people in their village of Anderan had grown restless and unfocused lately.

The lesson for today would be mindfulness of the present moment.

Lama Yacana started his class with the usual meditation, but today he decided to do something a little different. Normally he would lead his students into meditation by having them focus their attention on their breathing and reminding them several times during meditation to keep their awareness on their breath.

This time he asked his students to close their eyes and focus on their breathing once without reminding them again.

Lama Yacana slowly and gently banged the large copper gong that hung in his temple as he observed his student’s reactions while they sat quietly with their eyes closed.

He could see by his student’s facial twitches and bodily reactions that they were focused on everything but their breath going in and out of their lungs.

After the brief meditation exercise, Lama Yacana asked his students to open their eyes and return their awareness to his temple, and the present.

He told his students, “I could see by your reactions today, you were not focused on the present moment, so I would like each of you to share with us where your mind drifted off to during meditation practice today.”

“You appeared to be distracted today. Where did your mind go during meditation Vadana,” Lama Yacana asked?



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“My brother, I do respect you, and your teachings, but I must admit my mind drifted away, and I was thinking about playing my dranyen, and about the upcoming fair,” Vadana said.

“How about you Kalpana,” Lama Yacana asked.

“I was thinking about an elephant in the forest that is pregnant, she is quite large now, and I am almost finished with my drawing of her, “ Kalpana said.

“Bodhi Dukkhan, where did your mind drift away to?”

“My mind was focused on the honey biscuits made by Kalpana’s mother. As I was walking here today I saw a bee on a flower. That made me think of honey, then I thought of the sweet treat I enjoy so much. I also thought about playing my dranyen with Valdana at the Anderan fair that will be here soon,” Bodhi said.

“Smriti, your facial expressions, and slightly cocked head position during meditation showed your mind was preoccupied,” Lama Yacana said.

Smriti thought to himself, “I was thinking about the lovely Kalpana, the most beautiful woman in all of Anderan. How can I be expected to concentrate on anything else when I am in the same room as her?”

Smriti had taken a little longer than he thought thinking about Kalpana, and how long he had known and admired her. He was abruptly brought back to present reality by Lama Yacana’s stern voice, “Smriti, are you with us today?”

“Yes Lama Yacana, I was just taking a moment to prepare my answer. My awareness drifted off to the fair of Anderan, and about how much fun we all had last year. I remember Vadana and Bodhi played their dranyens, you gave an enlightening speech to lift the spirits of everyone, and food from the local farmers and bakers was so good.”

“Sorry Lama Yacana, my mind drifted off to the past, and I thought about an equally enjoyable experience in the future,” Smriti said as he nonchalantly glanced over at Kalpana to see if she was listening.

“It seems every one of you focused your awareness away from the present moment,” Lama Yacana said.

“Smriti your mind started off thinking pleasant thoughts about the past, and you tried to project them into the future in hopes of a similar outcome,” Lama Yacana said. “Many people focus on negative thoughts about the past, and they worry about things in the future that haven’t even happened yet.”

“This is the cause of much of our suffering. We think about a past that cannot be changed no matter how much we regret, desire or obsess over it. We can only accept and learn from our mistakes in the past.”

“The future has not been created yet, it is just a probable reality that can only be guided from the present. All we have is right now. The only moment of our lives we can direct and be mindful of is here in the present.”

“Our monkey minds will lead us astray, but we must consciously choose to bring our awareness back to the present, and focus our attention on that which is uplifting and will bring us happiness in the present moment.”

“Our friend Smriti was thinking about pleasant thoughts from the past, but even happy thoughts from the past are not as beneficial as our peaceful thoughts in the present.”

“It is difficult to tame our monkey mind which is why we practice every day. When we choose to be mindful of the present moment we are more focused on what we are doing, and will complete our daily tasks more passionately and with greater success.”

“When you leave here today do not focus your thoughts on the coming fair,” Lama Yacana said with a smile. “Be mindful of everything around you. Look up at the sky and notice the clouds as you feel the sun on your face. Be like our friend Bodhi who was aware of a bee on a flower today. Notice the sounds and activity of everything around you.”

“Have a pleasant day. May the light within you always smile.”


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