Tribute to Thich Nhat Hanh
"We invite our global spiritual family to take a few moments to be still, to come back to our mindful breathing, as we together hold Thay in our hearts in peace and loving gratitude for all he has offered the world."
*All quotes are from Plumvillage.org
1. Mindful Breathing
"Mindfulness is a kind of energy that we generate when we bring our mind back to our body and get in touch with what is going on in the present moment, within us and around us. We become aware of our breathing and come home to our body, fully present for ourselves and whatever we are doing."
In this delightful 7 minute video, Thich Nhat Hanh shows us how to deal with conflicting emotions using the music of our mindful breathing. The analogies of a violin and gardening are skillfully used to give us an appreciation of how it all works.
2. Mindful Hugging
"When we hug, our hearts connect and we know that we are not separate beings. Hugging with mindfulness and concentration can bring reconciliation, healing, understanding, and much happiness.
The practice of mindful hugging has helped so many to reconcile with each other- fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, friends and friends, and so many others. We may practice hugging meditation with a friend, our daughter, our father, our partner or even with a tree.
To practice, we first bow and recognize the presence of each other. Then we can enjoy three deep conscious breaths to bring ourselves fully there. We then may open your arms and begin hugging. Holding each other for three in-and-out breaths.
With the first breath, we are aware that we are present in this very moment and we are happy. With the second breath, we are aware that the other is present in this moment and we are happy as well. With the third breath, we are aware that we are here together, right now on this earth, and we feel deep gratitude and happiness for our togetherness. We then may release the other person and bow to each other to show our thanks.
When we hug in such a way, the other person becomes real and alive. We do not need to wait until one of us is ready to depart for a trip, we may hug right now and receive the warmth and stability of our friend in the present moment.
Hugging can be a deep practice of reconciliation. During the silent hugging, the message can come out very clear: “Darling, you are precious to me. I am sorry I have not been mindful and considerate. I have made mistakes. Allow me to begin anew. I Promise.”"
~Thich Nhat Hanh
3. Mindful Creativity
"Mindfulness is not hard work. It's very pleasant and relaxing, and we don't need extra time to do it. There's an art to finding creative ways to generate the energy of mindfulness, peace and happiness in everyday life."
"In my calligraphy, there is ink, tea, breathing, mindfulness and concentration. This is meditation. This is not work. Suppose I write ‘breathe’; I am breathing at the same time. To be alive is a miracle and when you breathe in mindfully, you touch the miracle of being alive."
~Thich Nhat Hanh
4. Mindful Living on Earth
"Whatever nationality or culture we belong to, whatever religion we follow, whether we’re Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, Jews, or atheists, we can all see that the Earth is not inert matter. She is a great being, who has herself given birth to many other great beings–including buddhas and bodhisattvas, prophets and saints, sons and daughters of God and humankind.
The Earth is a loving mother, nurturing and protecting all peoples and all species without discrimination.
When you realize the Earth is so much more than simply your environment, you’ll be moved to protect her in the same way as you would yourself.
This is the kind of awareness, the kind of awakening that we need, and the future of the planet depends on whether we’re able to cultivate this insight or not.
The Earth and all species on Earth are in real danger. Yet if we can develop a deep relationship with the Earth, we’ll have enough love, strength and awakening in order to change our way of life."
5. Mindful Walking
"Walking in meditation means to walk in such a way that we know we are walking. We walk leisurely, enjoying every step. We become aware of the contact of our feet with the ground, and the flow of our breathing.
We set ourselves free from our thinking—our regrets about the past, our fears and anxieties about the future, or our preoccupations in the present. We become 100% present with every step."
In this six minute video, we join a young Thich Nhat Hanh as he demonstrates and explains mindful walking in a beautifully simple and effective way.
6. Making Room for Silence
"I have the impression that many of us are afraid of silence. We're always taking in something - text, music, radio, television, or thoughts - to occupy the space.
If quiet and space are so important for our happiness, why don't we make more room for them in our lives?"
~Thich Nhat Hanh
A short video summarizing the main points to take away.