The Buddha taught: “Just as the footprints of all legged animals are encompassed by the footprint of the elephant, and the elephant’s footprint is supreme; in the same way, all skillful qualities are rooted in mindfulness, lie gathered in mindfulness, and mindfulness is supreme.”
Everyone fits into the supreme ‘footprint’ of loving awareness. It is our home. With each step of mindful walking, our feet can know this — we touch the earth. We belong right here. We touch the truth of who we are in this particular moment in all eternity. Right now, can we simply trust what we see, hear, taste, touch, smell, feel, without doubt?
Grounded in this way of being, how might this illumine the way you respond to a girl who is dying, or to a baby, fresh and new? How do you experience someone falling in love with you, someone leaving you, getting up in the morning, going to sleep at night? My first teacher used to look intensely at us twenty-somethings, and laugh, saying, “Soon dead.” How do we relate to this inconceivable truth?
I’m grateful to my teachers, and to all of you, friends along the Way. Every day, you remind me of what we deeply know. With mindfulness and metta (lovingkindness), we learn how to drop into the ground of our being, moment by moment. Here, we are held in the larger footprint of the cosmos, where we have perhaps a newfound sense of our very right to exist; where we can enjoy life and love; where we have a right to our own knowing, and can trust and be confident in that. We are the Happy Ones, said the Buddha. We’re fortunate, indeed.