I was lucky enough to snag a ticket to yesterday’s “Open Mind, Open Heart; Touching the Wonders of Now” talk at the Orpheum with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.
Thich Nhat Hanh, who turns 85 in October, is one of the most respected Zen masters in the world. Also a poet and peace and humans rights activist he is the founder of several organizations, including Plum Village, and has spent his years working with refugees, political prisoners, hungry families throughout the Third World, veterans, and on meditation retreats. Author of over 85 titles of poems and prayers, Thay, as he is known by his students, practices “the art of mindful living” and wrapped up his week in Vancouver with a public talk at the Orpheum.
While I wasn’t able to attend the whole retreat that was held at UBC last week, it was an honour and a privilege to spend a few hours at the Orpheum yesterday afternoon. The afternoon included guided meditation and songs of prayer, along with his lecture that focused on the practices of mindfulness and being happy in the present moment, the here and now.
He explained that being mindful is being present in the here and now, and when we practice mindfulness we are always in the here and now. While the concepts he describes are so simple, so easy to understand we, I know I, struggle with remembering to be in the present moment, to let go of the past & not rush for the future but to enjoy everyday for what it is because “this is all there is.”
Today, I still find myself processing the day looking for the simple ways to bring mindfulness more readily into my daily life, but was left with the overwhelming feeling of content, content in my here and now. If you did not have a chance to hear him speak yesterday or attend the retreat last week, here is a clip on Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings;