Musings: 10 Lessons On Being Present & Letting Go…
“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness.” Thich Nhat Hanh
♥If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.
♥People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.
♥If you breathe in and are aware that you are alive – that you can touch the miracle of being alive – then that is a kind of enlightenment.
♥Mindfulness helps you go home to the present. And every time you go there and recognize a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes.
♥Every thought you produce, anything you say, any action you do, it bears your signature.
Recently, Oprah interviewed Thich Nhat Hanh, the brilliant 83 year old Buddhist monk, teacher, Zen Master, poet, writer, and peace activist from Vietnam. The interview was uplifting and deeply reflective that I decided to share some vignettes from the conversation he had with Oprah; particularly points he made that resonated with me. The first thing that struck me was how much he spoke about seeing the beauty of the present moment (Being Present) and how a spirit of mindfulness helps us develop not only compassion for each other but also helps us surrender our suffering… by letting go. He is a practitioner of Engaged Buddhism which as he explained is about being active even while meditative: “You have to learn how to help a wounded child while still practicing mindful breathing.” He spoke of suffering as in; the fear, the anger, the frustration, despair, and the anxiety that overcomes us when things are unclear. If we stop, breathe deeply, and shift our attention to the here and now, that subtle shift will help us adjust and release our fears.
“You who chase happiness so incessantly, give up the chase. Stop awhile, and let happiness chase after you.” Robert Holden
♥Life is available only in the present. That is why we should walk in such a way that every step can bring us to the here and the now.
♥When you love someone, the best thing you can offer is your presence. How can you love if you are not there?
♥People suffer because they are caught in their views. As soon as we release those views, we are free and we don’t suffer anymore.
♥We have to continue to learn. We have to be open. And we have to be ready to release our knowledge in order to come to a higher understanding of reality.
♥Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness.
To be present in each moment takes practice and meditation, and Thich Nhat Hanh encouraged the building of a sangha; which is a beloved community. Oprah compiled some of his beautiful quotes on letting go and being present by connecting with that place inside. I have shared them with you above. Each quote is a meditation on the power of the present and the grace that comes from surrendering our petty worries for peace of mind. Below I have shared his well known poem, Call Me by My True Names, and some more insights on the subject. Have a blessed moment, day, week. I also added links to the interview and other sources for your perusal. More below.
“Suffering of all kinds is the result of misusing the word; it is the result of believing knowledge contaminated with lies.” don Miguel Ruiz
You can only recognize your happiness against the background of suffering. If you have not suffered hunger, you do not appreciate having something to eat. If you have not gone through a war, you don’t know the value of peace. That is why we should not try to run away from one thing after another thing. Holding our suffering, looking deeply into it, we find a way to happiness. Thich Nhat Hanh
Call Me by My True Names by Thich Nhat Hanh
Do not say that I’ll depart tomorrow
because even today I still arrive.
Look deeply: I arrive in every second
to be a bud on a spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile,
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,
in order to fear and to hope.
The rhythm of my heart is the birth and
death of all that are alive.
I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river,
and I am the bird which, when spring comes, arrives in time
to eat the mayfly.
I am the frog swimming happily in the clear pond,
and I am also the grass-snake who, approaching in silence,
feeds itself on the frog.
I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks,
and I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to
I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea
and I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and
I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my
and I am the man who has to pay his “debt of blood” to, my
dying slowly in a forced labor camp.
My joy is like spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom in all
walks of life.
My pain if like a river of tears, so full it fills the four oceans.
Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and laughs 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 so the door of my heart can be left open,
the door of compassion. Via quietspaces.com
As I read the interview, I felt a profound sense of peace and a realization that our challenges are blessings in disguise. Whenever we experience friction; within or without, it is our spirit nudging us to do some inner digging, to shift the debris and clear our minds and hearts. Stay Inspired! What are your thoughts? What mindful acts help you stay present? What do you need to let go in your life right now? How do you plan to do return to a place of peace within? Do share! Thank you. 🙂
10 Life Lessons from the Calmest Man in The World
Oprah Talks to Thich Nhat Hanh
Thich Nhat Hanh on Living the Life of a Monk
Thich Nhat Hanh’s Tea Meditation
A Conversation with Thich Nhat Hanh About Savor
*Please bear with me as I continue to catch up on your blogs and commenting… Thank you all for your patience! 🙂
Positive Motivation Tip: Life can be simplified if we Let Go. Live. Be Present.
- Thich Nhat Hanh and Karl Jaspers (anemix4.wordpress.com)
- Who is Thich Nhat Hanh? (sluggerotoole.com)
- quote du jour ~thich nhat hanh – miracles (pathwriter.wordpress.com)
- Inspiration from Thich Nhat Hanh on Mindful Living (liveloveveg.wordpress.com)
- Thich Nhat Hanh Once Said, (piscesbabe.wordpress.com)
- Please Call Me By My True Names (thewondrousdharma.com)
- Thich Nhat Hanh: In Engaged Buddhism, Peace Begins with You (talesfromthelou.wordpress.com)