from my Zen Page-a-Day® calendar this week:
“”I have arrived, I am home”is the shortest Dharma Talk I have ever given. “I have arrived, I am home” means “I don’t want to run anymore.” You need that insight in order to be truly established in the here and now, and to embrace life with all its wonders.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
This is one of go-to poems when I am doing a walking meditation. I loved seeing it come up on the calendar with a little more insight to it.
In a meeting last week someone commented on how her compulsive eating affected others. I have been stumbling around in an unknown and in a quandry. I would say I believe that all things are connected. Yet I’m finding a resist accepting that my behavior — all of it, any of it — affects others unless I intend for it to. Intention including both nice and mean.
Of course the universe thought it would be funny to send me a relevant email this week:
“We have to wake up to the fact that everything is connected to everything else. Our safety and well-being cannot be individual matters anymore. If “they” are not safe, there is no way that “we” can be safe. Taking care of other people’s safety is taking care of our own safety. To take care of their well-being is to take care of our own well-being. It is the mind of discrimination and separation that is at the foundation of all violence and hate.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh
Since I read Thich Nhat Hanh‘s poem (below), I have used it near the end of my morning walk and at times (frequently…) of pirate attack.
I’ve heard the Plum Village monks sing it, too, so it could be called a song. I just realized, maybe I should sing these, not just say them. I know singing changes the brain in ways speaking doesn’t.
“I have arrived; I am home
in the here, in the now.
I am solid; I am free,
in the ultimate I dwell.”
I’ve been struggling with Step 3, so I wrote a similarly metered poem to remind me of my higher power and that key word, “decision.”
“I decide, again today
I turn over my will; I turn over my self
to love, to love.
What shall I do then, as love?”
These both work best for me done slowly in a walking meditation. But sometimes I just have to find an empty conference room, take a few deep breaths, say it, and blow my nose.
That’s what I call them — snow sticks. If you live anywhere where it snows consistently in the winter, you could notice these 3-foot-long, luminescent fiberglass rods on parking lot curbs and sidewalk edges. They get planted, usually in November, when the grass is still green and leaves are still dropping. The day you notice them can be sad. Yes– winter and huge snow piles will be back again soon.
The purpose is obvious: You’re driving a snow plow in a pre-dawn, snow-blind, haze. Cough syrup and coffee are duking it out in your central nervous system. Your contract SLA stipulates this giant corporate parking lot must be clean before employees begin to arrive at 6:30 a.m. When you pull in it’s a smooth, shapeless, almost endless field of white — except for the Tinkerbell-size glow of the snow sticks.
We haven’t had a lot of snow [yet] this year. The sticks are more visible again thanks to a recent 35-degree high. Yesterday I thought about what I use as my own snow sticks. One is a short song (poem) by Thich Nhat Hanh.
I have arrived; I am home.
In the here, in the now.
I am solid; I am free.
In the ultimate, I dwell.
I recite it slowly, on each breath, several times. It is a Walking Meditation. I find it especially useful when my thoughts are bullet trains and I just — can’t — get an objective point-of-view of my mind. Frequently the first line triggers enough release that brings tears. Relief. Perspective. Reminder that I am not my thoughts.
Reminder that I am. I have snow sticks to help me.
From the bursting with good stuff Brain Pickings weekly newsletter, Thich Nhat Hanh’s Hugging Meditation.