I was privileged to attend the last 2 weeks of the summer retreat in Plum Village. A special time to visit with friends; some from Europe, others from Asia, and a few from America. We all came to practice mindfulness. I and I believe others were moved by Thich Nhat Hanh ‘s gentle guidance and enthusiastic modeling powerful methods of transformation. If there’s a chance to hear this summer’s dharma talk recordings, I recommend them. The practice is so simple; yet we forget it and need to be reminded again and again. Pay attention when we breathe; know we are breathing. Come back to our appointment with life. Come back to the present moment. Forgive ourselves, forgive others. Stop and see the blue sky, the plums ripe in the trees. Taste one, or two.
Thay reminded me, again, of the 3 doors of liberation: emptiness, everything is empty of a separate self, but full of the cosmos; signlessness, things are often not as we perceive, but most certainly they’re impermanent and continuations; and aimlessness, we are already what we seek -enlightened, in the Pure Land, in the Kingdom of God. Stop running. Be peace.
Thich Nhat Hanh left us with the instruction that these teachings are just guiding means and should be used skillfully to gain insight. A practice of non-practice. An awareness of what is going on inside and around us, with an intention of creating joy, harmony, reconciliation and healing. The practice is to gain insight and liberation, not to be caught in the form of practice. I still have a long way to go, yet it’s nice knowing that I’m already here, in the ultimate dimension. A wave sometimes remembering he’s water. Occasionally tasting the fruit of mindfulness practice. For a moment it tasted like a plum.