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Musings: 10 Lessons On Being Present & Letting Go…

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“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness.” Thich Nhat Hanh

Musings: 10 Lessons On Being Present & Letting Go… Dharma Wheel – Our Duty is to honor each other.

♥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

Musings: 10 Lessons On Being Present & Letting Go… Thich Nhat Hanh

♥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

Musings: 10 Lessons On Being Present & Letting Go… Give a hand…

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

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. 🙂
Read more:
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.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos Thich Nhat Hanh, Dharma wheel, via Wikipedia and/or  a Hand, via Flickr

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

37 Comments leave one →
  1. 14/06/2012 3:46 am

    I can’t keep up with all of your wisdom and wish I could, Will this become a book? It should!

    • 14/06/2012 6:38 pm

      Oh! All credit to Thich Nhat Hanh! Yes, I am working on a book but with time we will see how it evolves. TY! 🙂

  2. 14/06/2012 4:00 am

    I agree! There is enough material here for several books 🙂 Inspirational as always

    • 14/06/2012 6:39 pm

      TY Madhu! Glad you stopped in. I learned a lot form the exchange and interview… He is such a wise soul. 🙂

  3. 14/06/2012 7:37 am

    Thank you for sharing this. I haven’t been able to watch OWN here at the beach and missed his episode. Love his wisdom, and yours.

    • 14/06/2012 6:40 pm

      TY barb! I have to say that I find O Mag and OWN nourishing for my soul… 🙂

  4. 14/06/2012 7:52 am

    Great post, and nice blog. I am following 🙂

  5. 14/06/2012 9:04 am

    Perfect reminders for me today! thanks for the inspiration.

  6. 14/06/2012 9:34 am

    How unbelievably timely your post is!
    Two days ago, my oldest son and I had a long conversation about the importance of living in the here and now: you’ve provided some excellent links to further our discussion. In fact, I think I’ll just forward your entire post to him. 🙂
    Thank you, Elizabeth!!

    • 14/06/2012 6:41 pm

      Fantastic! I’m glad it would be beneficial to him too… TY! 🙂

  7. 14/06/2012 10:02 am

    Great post! Being present and letting go are such important words. I don’t know what experiences others have had, but for me to let go, I can’t just tell myself to let it go, or have others tell me to let it go. What works for me is that “aha” moment, or epiphany, that strongly reassures me that it is “right” to let it go now, and being open to letting go. Otherwise, the issue may keep coming back. Using the mind/body tools like mindfulness, meditation, being present, guided imagery, etc., (and being very patient) to tap into that inner advisor in us really helps to unlock those “aha” moments in me. It feels so good, and free, when that happens, but I can’t really describe it well. All I can say is that it “really feels right,” and I’m glad I persisted in finding what tools work best for me.

    • 14/06/2012 6:43 pm

      Excellent that you’ve found ways and tools to make sense of it all.. That is very important because I believe that there are many ways to Nirvana, and we find the one that suits our nature, TY! Fergie. 😉

  8. 14/06/2012 11:23 am

    The vignettes you included from Hanh’s interview really interests me, and I’d really like to learn more about him and his teachings.

    • 14/06/2012 4:22 pm

      Hi Terri,
      He’s written over 100 books and Amazon carries a few. I enjoyed the interview I read and will be reading up on his work too. TY!

  9. Bree permalink
    14/06/2012 11:43 am

    This is just what I needed today and I love that you distilled the essence of the interview for us. I get the peace you feel too. Let go, let God.

    • 14/06/2012 4:23 pm

      Amen to that and it works… TY for the feedback. 🙂

  10. 14/06/2012 2:15 pm

    After having two accidents in 9 years, and getting through serious injuries, I have realised the simple pleasures of living, and doing so with joy. Being present is absolutely vital. Letting go of fear, doubt, and limitations, and making peace with pain and suffering is freeing and humbling.

    • 14/06/2012 4:28 pm

      TY for sharing honestly. Like you, pain and recovery from an accident has helped me develop a perspective of gratitude for what is and an acceptance of what can’t be changed. One step at a time each day is a blessing. WE made it girl and we will keep growing. TY!

  11. 14/06/2012 6:46 pm

    Beautiful sentiment and timely advice!

  12. 15/06/2012 12:30 am

    Thank you, Eliz! There is always positive input from you.. We need to let go our past so that we can stand here today 🙂 love it 🙂

  13. 15/06/2012 10:42 am

    Great post, Elizabeth. How do you do it? I admire you so much. Kudos for all the lovely inspirational words!

    • 16/06/2012 1:45 am

      Thank you for your feedback! I don’t know other than I look for topics that resonate and help me through the day. 😉

  14. 16/06/2012 7:07 pm

    Thank you for the follow, I feel fortunate to have stumbled upon your blog, and look forward to following you too!

  15. 18/06/2012 4:34 am

    I’ve found your blog at a good time. Lots of inspiration. I look forward to reading more. 🙂

    • 18/06/2012 9:36 am

      Thank you and I hope to reciprocate as I catch up on the readings. TY! 🙂

  16. Change Coach Pam permalink
    19/06/2012 1:39 pm

    Reblogged this on Get to Your Happy Place! and commented:
    I love this concept of letting go…


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