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Thich Nhat Hanh
.
Take my hand.
We will walk.
We will only walk.
We will enjoy our walk
without thinking of arriving anywhere.
Walk peacefully.
Walk happily.
Our walk is a peace walk.
Our walk is a happiness walk.

Then we learn
that there is no peace walk;
that peace is the walk;
that there is no happiness walk;
that happiness is the walk.
We walk for ourselves.
We walk for everyone
always hand in hand.

Walk and touch peace every moment.
Walk and touch happiness every moment.
Each step brings a fresh breeze.
Each step makes a flower bloom under our feet.
Kiss the Earth with your feet.
Print on Earth your love and happiness.

Earth will be safe
when we feel in us enough safety.
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17 March 2011

Dear Friends

in Japan,

As we contemplate the great number of people who have died in this tragedy, we may feel very strongly that we ourselves, in some part or manner, also have died.

The pain of one part of humankind is the pain of the whole of humankind. And the human species and the planet Earth are one body. What happens to one part of the body happens to the whole body.

An event such as this reminds us of the impermanent nature of our lives. It helps us remember that what’s most important is to love each other, to be there for each other, and to treasure each moment we have that we are alive. This is the best that we can do for those who have died: we can live in such a way that they continue, beautifully, in us.

Here in France and at our practice centers all over the world, our brothers and sisters will continue to chant for you, sending you the energy of peace, healing and protection.

Our prayers are with you.

Thich Nhat Hanh

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When I was young, I wrote this poem. I penetrated the heart

of the Buddha with a heart that was deeply wounded

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“My youth,

an unripe plum.

Your teeth have left their marks on it.

The tooth marks still vibrate.

I remember always,

remember always.

.

Since I learned how to love you,

the door of my soul has been left wide open

to the winds of the four directions.

Reality calls for change.

The fruit of awareness is already ripe,

and the door can never be closed again.

.

Fire consumes this century,

and mountains and forests bear it’s mark.

The wind howls across my ears,

while the whole sky shakes violently in the snowstorm.

.

Winter’s wounds lie still,

Missing the frozen blade,

Restless tossing and turning,

in agony all night.”

.

I grew up in a time of war. There was destruction all around – children, adults, values, a whole country.

As a young person, I suffered a lot. Once the door of awareness has been opened, you cannot close it.

The wounds of war in me are still not all healed. There are nights I lie awake and embrace my people,

my country, and the whole planet with my mindful breathing.

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“Usually we’re so habituated to always doing things in our life – we have this and that thing to do, this and that place to go – that we’re never really there. We think that happiness and peace and whatever we’re looking for are going to come to us when we get over there. We think, “Oh, if only I could close the door I’d be happy.” “If only I could turn the air-conditioning down just a little, everything would be perfect.” “Another cup of coffee, oh, that’s just what I need.” So all of these things come to us and we go after them.

In our life when we walk, we’re usually walking to go somewhere. We walk out of the meditation hall in order to get somewhere. We walk to our car or to the bathroom. First we’re here, then we’re over there, then suddenly we’re somewhere else and we lose the moments in between; because we’re used to focusing on our destination or on what we’ll be doing once we’re there.

Walking meditation is one of the most beautiful practices in our tradition. With each step, we practice arriving. Thay likes to give us the example of the seal and wax that people used to use on envelopes; many of us have probably seen a picture of this. You melt the wax on to the paper and then press the seal into the hot wax, making an imprint and sealing the envelope. When we practice walking meditation, we imprint our presence on the earth.”

Brother Phap Hai and Sister Tue Nghiem 

from “One Buddha Is Not Enough” – Thich Nhat Hanh and the Monks and Nuns of Plum Village

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“Millions of people make their living in the arms industry, helping directly or indirectly to manufacture conventional and nuclear weapons. The U.S., Russia, France, Britain, China and Germany are the primary suppliers of these weapons. Weapons are then sold to the Third World countries, where the people do not need guns; they need food. To manufacture or sell weapons is not Right Livelihood, but the responsibility for this situation lies with us all – politicians, economists and consumers. We have not yet organised a compelling national debate on this problem.

…..If someone has a profession that causes living beings to suffer and oppresses others, it will infect their own consciousness, just as when we pollute the air that we ourselves have to breathe. Many people get rich by means of wrong livelihood. Then they go to their temple or church and make donations. These donations come from feelings of fear and guilt rather than the wish to bring happiness to others and relieve others of suffering.”

From – “The Heart of the Buddha’s Teachings”¬† by Thich Nhat Hanh

 

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“It has been said that the Buddha of the future, Maitreya, is not an individual, but a community. If so, it is certainly a community of people practising to live in the present, transform their own suffering, and help awaken others. It is a community of people who care about each other. Letting their own light shine and being a light unto themselves, they also make light for the rest of the world.”

Trish Nelson from One Buddha is not enough – A Story of collective Awakening Thich Nhat Hanh

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