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Tag Archives: Thich Nhat Hanh

Planting Chant

Both sides of our family descend from farmers. Farmers and indigenous people have affection for the land and its properties. They share the land with their sentient and non-sentient neighbours and step gently leaving a footprint that can be wiped away.

The Osage celebrated planting crops with the following chant. As I read the chant, I understood that planting belongs in all seasons. When humans plant and harvest in sustainable ways, we prosper, laughter fills homes, and we leave a small footprint.

Thich Nhat Hanh proposed humans “walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the Earth. Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” When we walk on the Earth in this way and leave an imprint as a kiss, we act as stewards for future generations. When we live in harmony with nature, we form a sacred covenant with nature and future geneations.

I made a footprint: it is sacred.
I made a footprint: small green specks push through it.
I made a footprint: new green blades push upward.
I made a footprint: above it, blades wave in the breeze.
I made a footprint: over it grow new stalks.
I made a footprint: above it the blossoms lie gray.
I made a footprint: smoke rises from my house.
I made a footprint: there is laughter in my house.
I made a footprint: my family lives in good health.

Walking Meditation With Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh wrote about an experience while visiting Seoul, South Korea. He walked with a large crowd and felt tired. When he meditated on his walking and the earth beneath his feet, he felt lighter. The earth supported him and he walked tirelessly. Tess Gallagher writes about a similar experience.

I often take for granted people and things that give me comfort and support. I take for granted the earth and how it effortlessly supports me as I walk, but I also take for granted the steps I take in moving the mountain.

Through mindfulness and attention, I live with the ebbs and flows of energy that I experience in daily life. We become part of the world and it becomes part of each of us.

Fifty of us follow him loosely
up the mountain at Deer Park Monastery.
We are in the slow motion of a dream
lifting off the dreamer’s brow. Steps
into steps and the body rising out
of them like smoke from a fire
with many legs. Gradually the flames
die down and the earth is finally under us.
Inside the mountain a centipede crawls
into no-up, no-down.

Our meditations
waver and recover us, waver
and reel us in to our bodies
like fish willing at last to take on the joy
of being fish, in or out of the water.
When we gather at last at the summit
and sit with him
we know we have moved the mountain
to its top as much as it carried us
deeply into each step.

Going down is the same.
We breathe and step. Breathe,
and step. A many-appendaged being
in and out of this world. No use
telling you about peace attained.
Get out of your feet.
Your breath. Enter
the mountain.

Freedom…

Life in itself is an empty canvas, it becomes whatsoever you paint on it. You can paint misery, you can paint bliss. This freedom is your glory.                ~ ` ~  Osho &nbs…

Source: Freedom…

There are series of pictures and quotes in this post about freedom. Life happens to us and there is no question of that. When we have freedom, we respond to what happens.

Others’ freedom depend on our love in ways that they know they are free. Love does not place conditions. Thomas Merton argued we call it falling in love because we open up, make ourselves vulnerable, and risk being hurt. The opposite is also true. When the love is returned without condition to us, it is a great gift.

With the gifts of love and freedom intertwined, we fly with the wings we receive. We attend to and mind the others in our lives and even those we do not meet. Love and freedom resonate beyond our horizons.

Today, Like Every Other Day

For me, there are poets, like Rumi, whose poetry stand the test of time. After almost a century, the poetic text lives and remains ambiguous searching for meaning.

Now, I don’t play a musical instrument. I sing poorly. I have two left feet, so dancing is out of the question. What Rumi calls on each of us to do, in our particular and unique fashion, is to express ourselves and be creative.

Thich Nhat Hanh said that the extraordinary is found in the ordinary, the ordinary tasks such as doing dishes and enjoying a cup of tea. As we do, we meditate about those who enrich our lives through their efforts. We celebrate people who contribute to our lives in a human and humane manner.

Yes, I do wake up empty, but it is an emptiness that can be filled with each way I celebrate my humanness.

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty

and frightened. Don’t open the door of your study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.

Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

We dance for…

Photo post by @jamesscarberry.

Source: We dance for…

Albert Einstein is one of my favorite sources for quotes. What do we dance for today? Dancing is a creative movement that signals powerful human emotions are at play in a particular event.

Natalie shared a quote that reminds us humans dance in sad moments, as well. On a day, when a few attacked, killed, and injured their fellow humans, our dance should dance away the fears and tears and create dreams filled with hope. It is important to remember hateful words and actions against others is wrong.

Dancing is an integral part of human life. Even Friedrich Nietzsche,who was not considered a happy person and religious person, reminded us that “we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.” In fact, he argued he “would only believe in a god who could dance.”

I believe that a God we all believe in is one who joins the human community in dance in moments such as today. Thich Nhat Hanh suggested “the pain of one part of humankind is the pain of the whole of humankind.”

 

 

Thought for Today

“The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” –Thich Nhat Hanh

Source: Thought for Today

Genie shared this quote from Thich Nhat Hanh about what our mindfulness means for others. When we do not offer our undivided attention to other, it diminishes who they are.

However, a risk is we diminish mindfulness and it becomes a clichéd word that loses its full meaning. Occasionally, I read articles that suggest mindfulness is a “business tool” that we turn off and on as a calculated choice. When someone is truly mindful, they attempt to be present in every moment, realizing that is not humanly possible.

When I am present to the other, it means I give my attention as an unconditional gift with no advance calculation. Mindfulness is not a business calculation. When we are mindful, we attend to each word, not seeking to answer, but to hear what the other says to us.

Capturing Life’s Precious Moments

Yesterday at work I was given the privilege to escort an elderly gentleman from one of our treatment rooms to the waiting room where his sweet wife was waiting patiently for him.  The couple’…

Source: Capturing Life’s Precious Moments

Whatever our job, it should inspire us in extraordinary ways. Tina‘s post makes that point so well.

Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us that we find the extraordinary in the ordinary. When we pause, enjoy the moment, and our mindful, we share what is important to us with others. We make the world a better place.

When I taught, I loved being in the classroom with students and sharing with them in many ways. What I found important was that, when I enjoyed what I was doing, they enjoyed it, as well. One student told his mother that he could not understand why he enjoyed Social Studies that year as he had not before. She answered, “When the teacher is enthusiastic and lets you sense that, that is what happens.”

 

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