Thich Nhat Hanh is a very popular Buddhist teacher. Like the Dalai Lama, he is practically a one man publishing industry, he has so many books out. Fortunately, he is the real deal. I’ve never felt peacefulness and quietude as I have when I’ve attended one of his dharma talks. His words, though simple and spare, are the stuff of poetry, and the wisdom he shares ‘goes beyond.’ Every thing I’ve read or heard of his has provided me with a different perspective, often on the things in life I tend to take for granted.
For instance, I like the way he describes how to eat mindfully in “Peace is Every Step,”
[We] look down at the food in a way that allows the food to become real. This food reveals our connection with the earth. Each bite contains the life of the sun and the earth. The extent to which our food reveals itself depends on us. We can see and taste the whole universe in a piece of bread! Contemplating our food for a few seconds before eating, and eating in mindfulness, can bring us much happiness.
In 2014, Thay, as he’s called by his students, suffered a severe brain hemorrhage, a stroke. He was in a coma for seven weeks and lost the ability to speak. Since then, his recovery has been slow. I believe he remains speechless but he has traveled to Thailand and his home, Vietnam. I assume he is currently at his residence at Plum Village in France.
I’m looking forward to seeing Walk With Me, the new documentary narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch (aka Sherlock Holmes). The filmmakers describe Walk With Me as a “meditation on a Zen Buddhist monastic community, who have dedicated their lives to master the art of mindfulness with their world-famous teacher Thich Nhat Hanh.” The film was released into cinemas worldwide during the fall but I don’t go to theaters any more so I’ll have to wait for it to show up on cable.
Here’s the official trailer: