Heart quickening, palms sweating, I wonder – what’s wrong with me? It’s just a networking event. Other times the panic feels more justified as I stand on stage, anticipating the expectations of awaiting eyes.
Gift yourself bliss in less than 2 minutes. Take a break from whatever it is you’re doing. Find a comfortable chair, cushion or rug to sit on and watch this brief meditation. Breathe easily and freely focusing on your in-breaths and out-breaths. Absorb Thay’s words and the sound of the bell with each inhale, release all the tensions in your body with each exhale.
My 13 year old came home from school one day frustrated. Over the kitchen table he told me of his troubles but I was miles away. My mind raced between thoughts of my three children, husband and career.
In movies, love is romantic, overwhelming and above all else, provokes a willingness to give up everything, even oneself, to protect it. This framework births spectacular stories full of drama but the truth is, we cannot love another fully and sacrifice ourselves. We need to honor ourselves while honoring our loved one. True love creates freedom, abundance and joy.
In this six minute video, brother Thay Phap guides us through Thich Nhat Hanh’s meditation of the natural world within us. We acknowledge the freshness of our flower, the stability of our mountain, the stillness of our waters and the space within and around us to be free. Below is a transcription of the meditations, for your enjoyment.
Thich Nhat Hanh says the way to lessen our fear is to wrap it tightly in compassionate arms and squeeze. But before we can embrace our fear, we have to meet it. Yes - consciously call our fear up from the depths of hiding, to say hello.
Fear often comes with companions; anxiety, resistance, excuses. That’s ok. We can accept them too.
‘Tis the season of gatherings and gifts. Amidst pervasive consumer propaganda and busy schedules, it’s easy to forget the most precious gift in the universe: our loving attention. Below I’ve excerpted a passage from Thay’s book, True Love, on the practice of spending quality time with loved ones. Shared smiles, warm hugs and honest conversations will remain with us always, long after stylish sweaters and interesting gadgets are discarded.
The oldest human writing about how to live in the present moment is an instruction for how to live alone.
In it, the Buddha doesn’t talk of separation from friends and family – in fact, he considers community to be very valuable. Rather, he defines living alone as living in freedom, which is the only condition for happiness.