Saturday 31 October 2020

Silence longs to be known

 The moving mind
cannot know the light
only claiming it as itself.
The light allows its presence to be felt
in stillness.

Being in the world
stillness is necessary
to see beyond moving shadows
to the unmoving light.

Silence longs to be recognised
longs to be known.

The moving mind
cannot know silence
always full of noise.

Silence allows its presence to be known
in stillness
the foundation of mind, heart,

© 27 Oct 20

Monday 26 October 2020



Still I stood

 Still I stood 

as the world passed by 

houses, fields, trees 

people, cars.

They were moving 

not I.

I watched this passing show 

delighting, not partaking. 

Quiet I stood 

as rain fell on the river, ripple-making 

on the leaves, gently soothing.

I let myself become 

stone, pebble, ever-flowing water 

twirling leaf, singing bird.

© 2 Sep 20

Thursday 15 October 2020

Golden Moment

 In this moment
the sky paints the river
Rose gold
the trees paint the earth
Golden rust
the birds paint the space between
with golden song.

I do not wish to be with
the clamour of cars
or the shout of shops
I wish to be with the
wonder of the woods
the rolling of the river
the shh of the stream
where a mink may make an appearance
and the kingfisher has it’s secret home.
where the blackbirds chatter in treetops
and everything sings a golden song.

© 15 Oct 20


Tuesday 13 October 2020

Always interbeing

We are born to be together
we are born dependent
we are born to interbe
we are communal beings
born to meet, interact, exchange
we are not separate, individual beings.

We are always together
always interbeing
always exchanging love
caring for each other
as myself.

I am whole
when I recognise
I am part
of you and you and you.

I am whole
when I see there is no
‘me’ and ‘you’
there is only us
delightfully One.

© 11 Oct 20 

Monday 12 October 2020

A Gift for Thay

Yesterday, 11th October 2020, was Thich Nhat Hanh's 94th birthday, or continuation. On the Plum Village website we were invited to share a gift for Thay, something about how his teachings have touched our hearts. Here is mine! 

Dear Thay, dear Beloved Community,

I want to share my story about how Thay’s teachings are reaching a wider audience in a Sangha not based in the Plum Village tradition. A group of friends learned to meditate in a different tradition and practised together for many years, and after some time we felt restricted by the dogmatic approach. One friend (D) met a guru (Swami ji) in India and chose to follow his teachings. Concurrently I was starting Ph.D. research in Thay’s teachings of Mindfulness and Engaged Buddhism. This group of friends meets together, calling ourselves SoS - Silence on Sundays, meeting for communal meditation and silence. As we are geographically spread we organise retreats and whilst the main focus is Swami ji’s teachings, Thay’s teachings fit in so beautifully. D in particular, and now everyone else, has a great love of and respect for Thay’s teachings. 

We have introduced mindful walking, breathing and eating. When we consider readings from Swami ji I bring in Thay’s perspective, which is exactly the same only different words. These ongoing retreats (we have been meeting together for 10 years) enable me to deepen my understanding of Thay’s teachings. There is no conflict from the apparently different approaches, we meet together in Oneness and clearly see the interbeing aspect in words of truth, whether they appear to come through Swami ji or Thay. 

When researching my Ph.D. I shared my research on the retreats and everyone was very supportive and helpful. We looked at the 5 Mindfulness Trainings together, and it was useful for me to hear how they are received by people to whom they are not familiar. We watched the film Walk With Me together, and I was delighted to be able to share with them my love of Plum Village, and what it is like to go on retreat there. 

We currently meet on zoom every week and for many of us this constant connection has kept us sane and happy throughout lockdown and beyond. 

I share with you my favourite phrase from Swami ji,

“It is such a joy that whilst seeking in the world of forms, I found you sitting in my own heart”. 

This is where I found Thay, initially through his books, and then on retreats at Plum Village. When I first saw Thay in 2009, walking into the meditation hall to deliver a Dharma talk I knew he was already in my heart. I knew I wanted to practise in this tradition (I had come on my first retreat as a researcher!) and to practise Thay’s wonderful teachings. In 2014 I received the transmission of the 14 Mindfulness Trainings in Plum Village from Sr Chang Khong. Now I am fortunate to teach the Be Calm Be Happy mindfulness course based in Thay’s teachings. Each week I connect deeply with Thay and share my love of the Plum Village tradition with the participants. 

I have learnt so much from Thay and Plum Village, and continue to do so. When I stop and breathe mindfully, when I smile at an autumn leaf, the bright moon, when I walk mindfully in my garden I know I am Thay’s continuation. I write poems based in mindfulness and I know they come from Oneness, they are not my words, they come through me and I pass them on, out into the world.  

A deep bow of gratitude to Thay, and to your journey bringing you west so we were able to meet. A deep bow of love from all in the SoS Family. 

Lauri, True Mountain of Non-fear.



Friday 9 October 2020

Freedom Song

 I am ready!
Ready to leave this self-imposed cage
of which I hold the key.
Ready to merge into my true nature
of pure, perfect and free.

All that holds me back
are my thoughts and ideas
created by the bird who thinks she is caged.
She hears the song of freedom
calling, calling, calling her
not realising she is the song.
She feels the breath of freedom
ruffling her feathers
not realising it is her own breath.
How can it be otherwise?

The cage is created from ideas and beliefs
thoughts and conditionings of
‘who I think I am’.
Once the bird hears the freedom song
the cage begins to change.
Her eyes are opened to seeing reality.
Instead of a beautiful and cosy nest
she sees limitations, impositions,
The cage becomes too small
to hold a free being
too small to stretch her wings.
She hears the song of freedom
calling, calling, calling her
and responds.

The cage of mind dissolves
The self-imposed cage of mind
cannot exist for a free bird.
She hears the song of freedom
calling, calling, calling her
and responds
knowing she is the song.

© 6 Oct 20