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Lions Roar : November 2017
what we feed it, so we need to know how to nourish and protect it. I was a young journalist working for BBC News when I first heard Thich Nhat Hanh teach that when you read a news- paper, magazine, or website, watch films or television, or even engage in conversa- tion, you are engaged in consumption. I’d never thought of it like that before. I’d thought of TV, magazines, radio shows, and music as ephemeral and optional. It was up to the viewer, reader, or listener to do with them what they will. I heard Thich Nhat Hanh speak with a fierce and solemn voice as he declared YOU MAY TAKE CARE of your body with a healthy and ethical diet, and per- haps a balanced program of exercise. But do you have a similarly intentional diet for your mind? We all want to master our mind, to tame its monkey-mind aspects. That’s why we practice meditation and mind- fulness. But it’s not just a question of willpower or skill. Our mind is made of FROM WHERE I SIT Food for Thought Just as you consume food, you consume media. And like food, some media is wholesome and some is unhealthy. SISTER TRUE DEDICATION on why you need to pay attention to what nourishes your mind. in a talk, “When we watch television and movies we consume, when we browse the internet we consume, when we listen to music or a conversation, we consume.” I remember his soft words booming through the loudspeakers: “And what we consume every day may be highly toxic. It may contain violence, craving, fear, anger, and despair.” I was shocked. Suddenly websites, radio shows, movies, music—and even conversations with close friends—struck me as strangely substantive and not so ephemeral after all. Maybe I wasn’t as free from them as I thought. CULTURE • LIFE • PRACTICE NAYDACOLLAZO-LLORENS,COMFORTABLYNUMB,2012–17.COURTESYOFTHEARTISTANDLMAKGALLERY,NEWYORK. SISTER TRUE DEDICATION is a monastic dharma teacher in the Plum Village tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh and a former BBC journalist. LION’S ROAR | NOVEMBER 2017 13