One year at Plum Village Thich Nhat Hanh—Thay—asked us not to take notes during his talks. He invited us to allow the words of the dharma to fall on us like a soft rain, not to make an effort to take them in. In fact, he said, we could think of it as being as effortless as walking in fog, telling us that if we walk long enough in the fog, we’ll get wet, soaked with the dharma.
In mid-winter I often feel like I am mentally in a fog. It takes me longer to wake up and get going, and it’s harder to change gears or tasks. I tend to be more distracted and less focused.
I think that may be one reason I love this photo and had reproduced it for my office. We were walking from the Upper Hamlet of Plum Village to the Lower Hamlet, where we had been invited for breakfast. It was a beautiful walk in the early morning fog.
Even when we are in a fog there is beauty.
Photo: France, 1989. The sign on the telephone pole points the way to Plum Village, TNH’s retreat center.