Sunday, 5 May 2013

The Mindfulness Teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh

I am rather excited to say this week (from Wednesday) I will be in Rome at the first International Conference on Mindfulness mingling with the likes of Jon Kabat-Zinn and Mark Williams amongst many others!
I am delivering a paper on The Mindfulness Teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh: 'being' peace in order to 'do' peace. On Wednesday night I had the chance of a practice run to a willing and friendly audience in York. Thanks to all who came for allowing themselves to be guinea pigs.
Last night I was looking through the conference programme trying to decide which Symposia to attend, there are 5 running concurrently in each session  And I'll have to make time for some sightseeing as well, never having been to Rome before. My husband is joining me on the Friday and we'll have 3 days together in Rome. It is a very exciting thought to be with so many people who are practising and researching mindfulness in order to make people's lives better by viewing their suffering from a different viewpoint. In this instance 'suffering' can be chronic pain, illness or a dissatisfaction with life by trying to make the impermanent permanent. I am aware of not having too many ideas about what it will be like, what will happen, what I will do, and let things be the way they will be. Thich Nhat Hanh teaches that mindfulness is being aware of the present moment and by being here, now, we can awaken to the miracles life has to offer.
'when you become mindful, understanding and loving, you suffer much less, you begin to feel happy, and the people around you begin to profit from your being there’ .
This is a much more natural, pleasant way to live instead of trying to force things to be a particular way.

Have you tried to capture the wind?
Hold it in your hand or bottle it,
to keep it from spoiling your hair or tugging your clothes?
Have you tried to stop the sea?
Keep it in one place
instead of rolling and surfing and breaking down the sandcastle?
Have you tried to bring the rain forth at night,
instead of when you want to walk?
Have you tried to coax the sun to shine
just at that moment when you want to be outside?
Have you tried to make a person be a particular way,
say a particular thing, to fit in with your view of life?
Have you tried to make something happen?
Convinced that if only this were to be, everything would be fine.
Have you tried to stop thinking and planning and forcing,
and just let things be?
Have you tried to stop the earth from turning, gravity from pulling,
time from ticking?
Have you tried to be present,
and let the wind play, let the rain fall, let the clouds cover the sun
and still be happy?
Have you tried to stop the wind?

© 5 May 2013

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