I continue to be filled with thoughts of lovingkindness for our wonderful teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh. I remember reading the Miracle of mindfulness the first time, the little book on Mindfulness practice. It felt like he was giving me personally so much guidance on how to deal with all the frantic thoughts that were continually attacking my mind/heart… Like this:
“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.”
So simple.. use your breath to take hold of your mind again. When the mind runs away with itself and takes the heart with it, come back to the breath… deep breath in… deep breath out. As many times and necessary until the mind is calm and centered again. Do that as much as you need to. Make this a habit instead of the habit on chasing my thoughts.
Following is the email sent to the larger Sangha from Plum Village regarding the death of our Beloved Teacher:
Plum Village, France10:30pm 21st January, 2022
Dear Beloved Community, With a deep mindful breath, we announce the passing of our beloved teacher, Thay Nhat Hanh, at 00:00hrs on January 22, 2022 at Từ Hiếu Temple in Huế, Vietnam, at the age of 95.
Thay has been the most extraordinary teacher, whose peace, tender compassion, and bright wisdom has touched the lives of millions. Whether we have encountered him on retreats, at public talks, or through his books and online teachings–or simply through the story of his incredible life–we can see that Thay has been a true bodhisattva, an immense force for peace and healing in the world. Thay has been a revolutionary, a renewer of Buddhism, never diluting and always digging deep into the roots of Buddhism to bring out its authentic radiance. Thay has opened up a beautiful path of Engaged and Applied Buddhism for all of us: the path of the Five Mindfulness Trainings and the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings of the Order of Interbeing. As Thay would say, “Because we have seen the path, we have nothing more to fear.” We know our direction in life, we know what to do, and what not to do to relieve suffering in ourselves, in others, and in the world; and we know the art of stopping, looking deeply, and generating true joy and happiness.
Now is a moment to come back to our mindful breathing and walking, to generate the energy of peace, compassion, and gratitude to offer our beloved Teacher. It is a moment to take refuge in our spiritual friends, our local sanghas and community, and each other.
We invite you to join our global community online, as we commemorate Thay’s life and legacy with five days of practice and ceremonies broadcast LIVE from Hue, Vietnam and Plum Village, France, starting on Saturday January 22nd. Please see our website for more details coming shortly: www.plumvillage.org/memorial
Let us each resolve to do our best over the coming days to generate the energy of mindfulness, peace, and compassion, to send to our beloved Teacher.
Over the coming hours on the Plum Village website, we will publish some inspirational chants, texts, and mindfulness practice resources, to support you to come together with your local sangha to generate a collective energy of mindfulness and compassion, and create your own ceremony or session in tribute to our Teacher. As Thay has always taught, nothing is more important than brotherhood and sisterhood, and we all know the power of collective energy.