Category Archives: Thich Nhat Hanh

This Moment

“Present-moment living, getting in touch with your now, is at the heart of effective living. When you think about it, there really is no other moment you can live. Now is all there is, and the future is just another present moment to live when it arrives.” Wayne Dyer

The concept that the present moment has all that we need has been confusing to me. I am now, however, at peace with it.Thich Nhat Hanh‘s quote resonates  with me. “Find joy and peace in this very moment.”

If I didn’t have all that I need in this very moment, I would not be breathing. I would not be thinking. I would not be analyzing.  I would not be here writing.

I find great peace when I can be here.

I’m not worried about my loss yesterday. I’m not worried about what I need tomorrow.

Many years of practice have not perfected my ability to stay present. I don’t often look back, but I can easily leap into the future. I can plan. I can calculate. I can anticipate.

Nothing is better than this moment.

The Student

 

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Filed under Dr. Wayne Dyer, Paths to Progress, Point Seven - The Epicure, Self-examination, Thich Nhat Hanh

Right Here, Right Now

footsteps in the sand“To live in the present moment is a miracle. The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green Earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now.” Thich Nhat Hanh

I was making conversation when walking with my teenage friend in Mexico.

It was my last day there and I was recalling other years when I returned to find friends who had seemed children to me, were married with a small child. Each visit I am relieved when I return to find this young woman still in school.

“Do you think about what you want to do when you grow up?” I asked in Spanish.

She looked puzzled and my Spanish is often questionable,  I tried to rephrase.

“No”, she replied when she understood. “I don’t think about the future. I just live today.”

My first instinct was dismay. What? No concern? No plan?

Then I realized that her (and the other villagers’) way of being in the world is exactly what draws me to this place. Knowing what they need to do to have what they need to have. Not fretting about having more. Not agonizing when they have a bit less. Being content. Having joy in the moment.

I have paid many gurus well to teach me how to live in the moment. Perhaps I should have paid her for the hour we spent together.

Life Student

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Filed under Quotations, Thich Nhat Hanh

Listening with the Heart

Thich Nhat Hanh is talking on Super Soul Sunday about Deep Listening as a relief for suffering.

Such a beautiful concept.  It is the perfect cure for my normal “Quick to Fix” attitude.

The only time I ever practiced this…and it was purposeful and difficult…was with my mother in her last years.  Why haven’t I remembered how effective that was?

Mother had difficulty in letting go of the pain of her divorce from my father.  After 40+ years she still talked about it incessantly.  I was so tired of hearing it.  At the same time, she complained that no one listened to her.

No matter how many times I tried to relieve her suffering by offering every word of wisdom I could summon, she continued to talk.  I dreaded every visit with her and always left feeling disgruntled and irritated. Ultimately, I told her that I didn’t want to hear anymore.  I cut her off when she would begin.

Then came a time in my life (way too late) when I determined that I should be treating my mother in a way that I must treat a mother if I were to be the person I wanted to be.

On my next visit, I let her know that she could talk to me about anything and I wouldn’t object.  And (finally acknowledging futility) I determined that I would never offer her solutions or opinions.  I would simply listen.

It was excruciating.  It was boring.  At times it was depressing and overwhelming.

And over her last years our relationship changed.  I developed compassion for her.  She was light-hearted when we were together.  Although she admitted her incapacity to love deeply, she expressed her love for me and shared thoughts and memories about herself that I had never heard.

Thank you, Thich Nhat Hanh for reminding me of this profound way to manifest love.

The Student

This post was written for and originally posted on Vision and Verb on June 4, 2012

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Filed under Buddhism, Step 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves., Step 5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs., Super Soul Sunday, The energy we put into the world comes back to us, Thich Nhat Hanh, You Become What You Believe