Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart


Other paths: Thích Nhất Hạnh speaks with Oprah about possible lives ~

Yesterday I wrote a bit about  Oprah’s upcoming Sunday  interview  w/Thích Nhất Hạnh. In the excerpt, she asks him if he has regrets — if the Nobel-nominated, quiet Buddhist monk ever contemplates a path that might have held a wife, children. And the answer reassured me:

Yes, he answered. Walking once, he saw a beautiful young woman, w/ a lovely child, and thought for a moment — if I were not a monk, I might have had a wife and child like that.

I found this simple admission profoundly comforting. Here’s Thích Nhất Hạnh — Nobel Prize nominee, major influence on so many lives, resister of a horrific war… And he sometimes has 2nd thoughts. The difference, of course, is that (as he told Oprah), “I don’t get lost in that kind of deviation …. I recognize it and I overcome it very quickly.” In other words? He doesn’t dwell on things. Just goes on w/ his life, knowing that “the intention is so strong that it can protect and keep you alive.”

Hmmm… It doesn’t work quite the same for this far more flawed vessel. But at least I realise — once again — how hard this work we set for ourselves is. If Thích Nhất Hạnh has questioned the choices he made — even if only once, in a park in France, then it’s hard. And like meditation teaches us, it’s not putting thoughts ‘out’ of our heads and hearts. It’s the coming back to this point, this practice. It’s the stepping back from those other, possible lives (air castles, fictions, distracting thoughts of nevermore…) that constitutes the practice.

So thank you yet again, inimitable monk. Thank you for reminding me that to be human is to have to return, over & over & over, to the business at hand ~

 



Previous Posts

day 26 in a month of Thanksgiving: cranberries, turkey, and pie...oh my!
The pies are cooking for tomorrow. All the house smells of butter crust and pumpkin filling. In the 2nd fridge there's a medium-sized turkey, with a ham still to be picked up. I'm fielding calls regarding what els

posted 4:01:14pm Nov. 26, 2014 | read full post »

day 25 of Thanksgiving month: gratitude in the wake of #Ferguson
Today, in the wake of Ferguson, my beginner's heart is breaking. There seems so very little to be grateful for. I wasn't even going to write. And then I thought -- there is one sad, terrible thing for which I am gra

posted 10:57:00pm Nov. 25, 2014 | read full post »

day 24 of Thanksgiving month: getting ready (or not...)
I'm not at the 'in the pie pan' stage yet, but I did make the dough today. My family is BIG on pie, and especially at Thanksgiving. (Countdown: 3-2-1...) I think my beloved could eat an entire pie b

posted 3:47:13pm Nov. 24, 2014 | read full post »

day 23 of Thanksgiving month: soundtracks
The other day I wrote about how much I love music, how it's one of my everyday gratitudes. Which set me to thinking: what would my life's soundtrack be? What would I like to exit to? You have to realise: I pick

posted 6:07:08pm Nov. 23, 2014 | read full post »

day 22 of Thanksgiving month: the kindness of strangers
Today's gratitude is slightly abashed. I'm grateful for kindness -- even my own, actually. And abashed that it's noticed so...noticeably...? Because if just joking w/ the Starbuck's barista, and teasing her about

posted 10:42:50pm Nov. 22, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.