Dear Still Water Friends,
It is always wonderful to be in the presence of Thich Nhat Hanh. Hearing his words is very different from reading them on a page. His calmness is embodied in the way he speaks and moves.
Next best to being with Thay is to watch a good video. Because of the long-term loan of a high-quality digital projector (thanks Quatrefoil), the Still Water community is now able to watch DVDs with a life-sized image of Thich Nhat Hanh.
This Thursday, after our meditation period, we will watch a segment from Thay’s first talk at the 21-day June retreat, in which Thay encourages the retreatants to keep returning to the present moment when they walk, when they eat, in whatever they are doing:
Our practice is always going home to the present moment, where you can encounter all the wonders of life that have the power to refresh, to nourish, and to heal. In the present moment you know exactly what doctor to go to, what friend can help you. So the present moment is the door, the only door. If you want to look for happiness, go back to the present moment. Go back to the present moment and you will find out that there are so many conditions available. You can be happy right here, right now. The problem is whether you are capable of being happy. You are seeking for happiness, but maybe when happiness arrives, you are not capable of being happy. That is a big problem. . . .
Today try mindful breathing, mindful walking, . . . and see whether you can handle the beauty, the happiness that is given to you by nature, by life. It is very important to learn how to enjoy one step. One step you take in mindfulness, in freedom, in relaxation, can bring you a lot of healing. Can bring you a lot of transformation. Can bring you a lot of freedom, of joy. You are welcome to make not only one step, but two steps, thee steps, four steps. . . . You will be overwhelmed by happiness. That is why to cultivate our capacity of being happy is very important. The fact is that happiness is available. Conditions of happiness are available. If you know how to say “bye bye” to the past, to say “bye bye” to the future, and go home to the present moment, then you will find that you have more conditions to be happy than you have thought. Life is such a gift. Abundant.
In our discussion we will talk about our own daily experience of happiness, or the lack of happiness. Are we able to find happiness in the present moment? Do we have difficulty accepting the happiness that is available?
You are invited to join us.