The following opening statement and questions were developed by the Community of Mindfulness, New York Metro. Congratulations on your decision to make a statement of aspiration to receive the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings in a formal ceremony. As you begin/continue the preparation phase, you may want to keep a Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings journal. It is also hoped that you will be able to arrange for regular meetings by phone or in person with your Dharma teacher(s) and other members of your Aspirant Support Team.
1. Why do I want to receive the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings?
2. Why have I decided to state my aspiration to receive the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings in a formal ceremony at this time?
3. How has my practice of mindfulness (understanding, love, and compassion) helped me to transform my suffering (anger, fear, depression, craving/neediness, despair, distractions; specific relationships and past and current experiences of suffering)?
4. What time and energy can I offer at this time and over the next few years to take responsibility for the well-being of the Sangha with whom I am involved?
5. Where am I with my relationships with: (a) my family, (b) OI and other Sangha members? Is there anyone with whom I feel in conflict or would like to be in better harmony? How am I practicing to transform these relationships in a beneficial direction? Is there anyone I would like to practice with and get to know better? How can I initiate this?
6. Where am I in relation to mindful consumption: (a) alcohol (as it is interpreted in Thay's tradition), (b) other consumption (intoxicants, food, TV, etc.)?
7. How long and in what contexts have I been practicing within Thay's tradition (local Sangha, Plum Village, retreats with Thay, retreats with students of Thay, reading Thay's books)?
8. What is my relationship with my "root" tradition(s)? Describe the connections in my life between my root tradition and Thay's practice and teachings.
9. How long and in what contexts have I been practicing with other meditation traditions? Describe how I integrate these experiences with Thay's practice and teachings.
10. How do I use the practice of mindfulness in the context of my workplace and livelihood? How would I like to do this even more?
11. What are my questions and concerns about joining the Order of Interbeing?
12. Other questions I have.