This week I have been really fortunate to have 3 meditation sessions with different groups, the York Sangha, the MBSR support group and Leeds University meditation society. They are all quite different but the joy of practising with other like-minded people is tangible from each.
Thay has some beautiful analogies for practising with other people, practising as a Sangha -
going as a river (instead of a single droplet of water). This is my personal favourite as I find the image of many individual droplets of water joining together to create a great force, like an unstoppable torrent, is very powerful. There is a beautiful quote from Robert Kennedy which demonstrates the same thing that Thay is alluding to;
Few will have the greatness to bend history; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation ... It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
Robert F Kennedy.
June 1966 from South Africa against apartheid
To me, this quote could also be a description of Thay and the many amazing things he has done in his life. It is wonderful to think he is nearly 86, and has been practising mindfulness and meditation since he became a novice monk at the age of 16, 70 years!! No wonder he seems to do everything with such ease. I'd be well into my centenary if I had 70 years of practice.
Thay refers to the things that remind us to be mindful as miracles. I wonder how many miracles we will happen upon today?