Tagged: Thích Nhất Hạnh

Breathing by Thích Nhất Hạnh


Tree Meditation with Thích Nhất Hạnh

What you are looking for?

Like:  happiness, peace, joy?

They are all in the present moment.


The Pureland of the Buddhist must be found in the present moment.

The Kingdom of Heaven, of the Catholics, of the Protestants, should also be found in the present moment.


Look at the tree — is a wonderful thing, a tree.

A tree is very beautiful.

A tree, to me, is as beautiful as a cathedral.

Even more beautiful.


There are times when I stand before a tree with the deepest respect.

I look into the tree and I saw the whole cosmos in it.


I saw the sunshine in the tree.

Can you see the sunshine in the tree?

Yeah, because without a sunshine no tree can go.


I see a cloud in the tree.

Can you see?

Without a cloud there cannot be a no rain.

No tree.


I see the earth in the tree.

I see everything in the tree.


So the tree is where everything in the cosmos come into.

And the cosmos reveal itself to me in the tree.

Therefore to me a tree is a cathedral.

And I can take refuge in the tree.

And I can get nourished by the tree.


The tree belong to the Kingdom of God.

The tree belong to the Pureland.

And I can get in touch with the tree only if i go back to the present moment.

Because the tree can only be found in the present moment.


And that is why in and out is so important.

“Please Call Me by My True Names” by Thích Nhất Hạnh

Don’t say that I will depart tomorrow—
even today I am still arriving.


Look deeply: every second I am arriving
to be a bud on a Spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.


I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
to fear and to hope.


The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death
of all that is alive.


I am a mayfly metamorphosing
on the surface of the river.


And I am the bird
that swoops down to swallow the mayfly.


I am a frog swimming happily
in the clear water of a pond.
And I am the grass-snake
that silently feeds itself on the frog.


I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin a bamboo sticks.
And I am the arms merchant,
selling deadly weapons to Uganda.


I am the twelve-year-old girl,
refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean
after being raped by a sea pirate.


And I am the pirate,
my heart not yet capable
of seeing and loving.


I am a member of the politburo,
with plenty of power in my hands.
And I am the man who has to pay
his “debt of blood” to, my people,
dying slowly in a forced labor camp.


My joy is like Spring, so warm
it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth.
My pain is like a river of tears,
so vast it fills the four oceans.


Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and laughter at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.


Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up
and the door of my heart
could be left open,
the door of compassion.

Originally published in Earthlight Magazine