Thich Nhat Hanh: Meditation Is for Everyone

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March 31, 2020

Thich Nhat Hanh: Meditation Is for Everyone

Thich Nhat Hanh March 31, 2020

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, teacher, poet, peace activist, and the author of over 100 books and numerous Sounds True learning programs, including The Art of Mindful Living and Living Without Stress or Fear. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Hanh about the core of Buddhist practice: discovering liberation through present-moment mindfulness. Hanh relates some of his experiences as a young monk in Vietnam, including his involvement in the “engaged Buddhism” movement. Finally, Tami and Hanh discuss why meditation is available no matter where you are or what condition you are in. (46 minutes)

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Zen master in the Vietnamese tradition, scholar, poet, and peace activist. He is the founder of the Van Hanh Buddhist University in Saigon and has taught at Columbia University and the Sorbonne. Thich Nhat Hanh is the author of the national bestseller Living Buddha, Living Christ and over 60 other books. He was nominated for the 1967 Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King Jr.

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Founded Sounds True in 1985 as a multimedia publishing house with a mission to disseminate spiritual wisdom. She hosts a popular weekly podcast called Insights at the Edge, where she has interviewed many of today's leading teachers. Tami lives with her wife, Julie M. Kramer, and their two spoodles, Rasberry and Bula, in Boulder, Colorado.

Photo © Jason Elias

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Thich Nhat Hanh: Meditation Is for Everyone

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, teacher, poet, peace activist, and the author of over 100 books and numerous Sounds True learning programs, including The Art of Mindful Living and Living Without Stress or Fear. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Hanh about the core of Buddhist practice: discovering liberation through present-moment mindfulness. Hanh relates some of his experiences as a young monk in Vietnam, including his involvement in the “engaged Buddhism” movement. Finally, Tami and Hanh discuss why meditation is available no matter where you are or what condition you are in. (46 minutes)

A free video from our dear friend Thich Nhat Hanh

Enjoy this lovely video from our dear friend, Thich Nhat Hanh, recorded at the Body and Mind are One retreat in Colorado in the summer of 2011. There is something about Thich Nhat Hanh’s presence that just allows for an outpouring of mindfulness, love, kindness, and compassion. When we at Sounds True reflect upon mindfulness, we think immediately of our dear friend, Thich Nhat Hanh, and how fortunate we are to have the opportunity to work with him, something we’ve been blessed with over the last 20+ years. In so many ways, he embodies the work we’re doing here: our values, vision, and mission.

The beautiful and inspiring footage we gathered from Body and Mind are One was edited into a seven-hour online course, which you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home, on a schedule that works for you. More than an ordinary training course in mindfulness, Body and Mind Are One is at once a living transmission of insight from this beloved Zen master and a practical teaching series covering fundamental principles for a joyful life.

Free live stream with Thich Nhat Hanh!

Join us October 26 at 6pm ET!

Thich Nhat Hanh has spent decades exploring the power of the present moment to nourish oneself and others. In the present moment alone, he teaches, can we let go of ideas that lead to suffering, rest and renew ourselves, and discover the many conditions of happiness that are already here before us.

Now, you are invited to join one of the most respected teachers of our time in A Free Live Online Event with Thich Nhat Hanh: Refreshing Our Hearts: Touching the Wonders of Life. Streaming live from the historic Paramount Theatre in Oakland, California, on Saturday, October 26, at 6 pm ET (GMT-4), this two-hour video program will illuminate how the practice of mindfulness can radically transform our lives and our world.

Featuring the monks and nuns of Plum Village performing song and monastic chant, guided meditation and dharma teachings with Thich Nhat Hanh, and more, this rare event will bring you into the company of thousands around the globe as we open together to the joy and fulfillment that can be found within every moment.

Can’t make the live event? An on-demand edition will be available within three business days of the event’s conclusion.

thnstream

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How to Bloom in the Dark: Self-Compassion, Compost, an...

Compassion is the magic ingredient that turns our personal “compost” into personal evolution.

 Some time ago, I found a strange bloom in the kitchen. It was elegantly twisted, like a dragon at a Chinese New Year celebration. It was frilled, purple, and pungent. This exquisite thing grew out of a chunk of purple cabbage that I’d put under the sink to go out for compost. Instead of fading quietly however, it burst into new life in the dark grotto of my cabinetry. It blossomed into something unexpected, unusual, and fiercely beautiful.

Reflecting on the discovery of this “flower” in the shadows, I’m reminded of, and heartened by, the fertility of dark times. Many people are feeling a collective spiritual darkness now, exhausted and frustrated, maybe also angry and scared. Having compassion for ourselves and others is especially important in times of literal and metaphorical darkness. How can we do this if we already feel overloaded?

Nature is our ultimate model and guide—in the light, in the dark, and in the most surprising and gorgeous ways. Cue the weird, glorious cabbage flower which came to life in the dark. What was being shown there?

There is the clear compost metaphor. Compost is the stuff we reject, the moldy, wilted, too hard, too soft, nasty bits that don’t make it to the table. It’s also the leftovers from delicious things we appreciate and enjoy, silky mango skins, green tea leaves, dark coffee grounds.

It all transforms into a rich sloop that eventually nourishes future plants. Our personal work includes processing our own “dark” sides, the parts we’d like to hide or discard. Self-compassion (and compassion for others) holds both the rejected and respected parts of who we are. Like composting, it isn’t always pretty, but it’s potent. Research shows self-compassion helps us stay present and kindhearted without sinking into absorptive empathy, which can lead to overload and burnout. This meditation is part of the toolkit in the audio course Shining Bright Without Burning Out.

The cycles of the natural world, into which we are interwoven, take time. It’s hard to be patient, to let everything, both scorned and enjoyed, stew in our symbolic personal compost piles. The speed with which that brew changes from nasty to nourishing varies widely with the internal and external conditions. Sometimes all those different elements take a long time to dissolve and break down. Sometimes it turns around faster than we think possible, like time-lapse photography of a log rotting on the forest floor with new green shoots springing to life overnight. Compassion is the magic ingredient that turns our personal “compost” into personal evolution.

The dark supports transformation. Times of literal darkness are needed for regeneration. Roots, seeds, and bulbs prepare. People and animals sleep. Times of symbolic darkness are also helpful. In darkness, transformative processes happen without spectators, often below the level of our conscious awareness. These are periods of catharsis, healing after trauma, cocooning in preparation for the next version of ourselves and our world.

We sometimes feel hopeless and helpless in the dark. Our society avoids sinking into it. Instead, we gravitate towards purveyors of easy “love and light!” spirituality, shying away from the deep, gooey work that happens to the larval versions of ourselves (and those around us) when we’re in the darkness of the cocoon. Self-compassion is most needed when we’re a mess.

The dark is a vital part of the wheel of our days, our years, our lifetimes. We need it to survive and be healthy in the long term. So, let’s embrace it, explore it, and be gentle with ourselves as we confront our fear of it. From this darkness we are nourished to bloom into the light.

@ 2021 Mara Bishop MA

Preorder Shining Bright Without Burning Out now! 

Mara Bishop has over 25 years of experience helping people find spiritual health and well-being. Her Personal Evolution Counseling™ method blends shamanism, psychology, intuition, energy healing, and nature-based practices. She lives in Durham, NC with a beloved family of people, animals, and plants.

More information about Mara is at www.WholeSpirit.com

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