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by Gisele Theriault January 17, 2017

I hope you are starting the year with radiant health and curious wonder. I spent the better part of last week in bed with the flu. It finally got me after a tremendously busy time and constantly being around sick people. I held out well. lol   I forgot that even just getting sick is in itself good medicine.  How has your health been?

During bed rest a friend sent me an interview with one of Thich Nhat Hanh's senior monks, Brother Phap Dung. (Thanks Joey!) It was a wonderful reminder. The article expressed well the essence and power of being peace so I wanted to share snippets with you. It is more political than I want to share but the link to the full article is listed on the bottom of my note.

Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the world’s most renowned Zen teachers, second only to the Dalai Lama in fame and influence.With his 100+ books, he’s been an advocate for mindfulness at some of the most fractious moments of the past 50 years. He cut his teeth doing human rights and reconciliation work during the Vietnam War, and then was nominated for a Nobel Prize by Martin Luther King Jr. These days, he’s considered the father of “engaged Buddhism.”

One of the questions that Eliza Barclay from Vox asked Br Phap Dung was. " Many people feel very fearful and uncertain about what the future will hold. What is the best way to manage deep uncertainty and fear in a moment like this?"

Br Phap Dung says "We see the mind like a house, so if your house is on fire, you need to take care of the fire, not to go look for the person that made the fire. Take care of those emotions first; it’s the priority. Because anything that comes from a place of fear and anxiety and anger will only make the fire worse. Come back and find a place of calm and peace to cool the flame of emotion down.

As a collective energy, fear and anger can be very destructive. We make the wrong decisions if we base it on fear, anger, and wrong perception. Those emotions cloud our mind. So the first thing in the practice that we learn from the Buddhist tradition is to come back and take care of our emotion. We use mindfulness to recognize it."

"People are so convinced that anger and all this energy will produce change. But in fact it’s very destructive, because you’re opposing. Opposition wastes energy. It’s not healing. Emotions can be good. Passion can be good, and compassion is very passionate. But compassion doesn’t waste energy. It includes and it understands; it’s more clear.

Our minds and hearts need food. And meditation is a kind of food. So we feed ourselves like that. You need to eat, your peace, kindness, and clarity need to eat as well. Meditation is not just praying; no, you’re cultivating this so you can offer it to others.  When you sit with someone who’s calm, you can become calm. If you sit with someone who’s agitated and hateful, you can become agitated and hateful.

Meditation is not an esoteric practice; it’s not something you do only in a meditation hall or Buddhist retreat center. It can happen right in whatever activity you’re doing — while walking, in the office. It means you are there, present with calm and peace.  With a breath, you can bring calm, clarity and rest your thinking."

If you want the full article go to: http://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2016/11/22/13638374/buddhist-monk-mindfulness

We don't carry all of Thich Nhat Hanh's books since we are a small store but I am so happy to spread teachings of mindfulness. These books are of the simplest I've read yet deliver the most powerful tools for cultivating balance in our lives. Balance is what I wish for you.

   



Wishing you the balance of peace, health and understanding, I send love, a lotus and a smile,

Gisele





Gisele Theriault
Gisele Theriault

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