It’s come to my attention that Thich Nhat Hahn has been ill. Through the years, his teachings have offered me comfort, guidance, inspiration, and solace.
In his honor I offer you to consider writings from one his publications: Be Free Where You Are.
For me, there is no happiness without freedom, and freedom is not given to us by anyone; we have to cultivate it ourselves. I will share with you how we get greater freedom for ourselves. During the time that we sit, walk, eat, or work outside, we cultivate our freedom. Freedom is what we practice every day.
No matter how or where you find yourself, if you have freedom, you are happy. I have many friends who spent time in forced labor camps and because they knew how to practice, they did not suffer greatly. In fact, they grew in their spiritual lives, for which I am very proud of them.
By freedom I mean freedom from afflictions, from anger, and from despair. If you have anger in you, you have to transform anger in order to get your freedom back. If there is despair in you, you need to recognize that energy and not allow it to overwhelm you. You have to practice in such a way that you transform the energy of despair and attain the freedom you deserve.
. . . . . .
When you feel Grateful, You do not suffer
At the beginning of each meal, we practice the Five Contemplations
The Five Contemplations
The food is the gift of the whole universe, the earth, the sky, and much hard work.
May we eat in such a way as to be worthy to receive it.
May we transform our unskillful states of mind and learn to eat in moderation.
May we take only food that nourishes us and prevents illness.
We accept this food in order to realize the path of understanding and love.
*Be Free Where you are was published in 2002. It is the transcription of a talk given in 1999 at a Maryland Prison*
From Melinda to Thich Nhat Hahn and the readers of this post:
May you recognize the love that is on your path. May you be comforted when despair, anger, disappointment, and confusion reveal themselves to you. In those moments may you breathe peace and wonder. Be in awe of your journey and May you be blessed by what emerges.
May you know that your teachings, your expressions and your willingness to share what moves you . . . .has lasting divine impact on me. Thank you for sharing. I am deeply grateful and humble to receive.