Non-Toothache

 

imageAs I look at the tag cloud at the side of the blog front page, I am amazed to see that the largest tag is Thich Nhat Hanh.  It’s been 20 years since I studied with him, both in the US and at his retreat center Plum Village in France, yet I still remember so much of what I learned from him.

He was the first person I knew who emphasized the importance of gratitude.  He used to say, “when you have a toothache, you say ‘I would be so grateful  if my tooth didn’t ache.’ But when it is gone, will you remember to say ‘I am so grateful for my non-toothache’?”image

Today I am grateful for my non-toothache, and so much more, including all the teachings I received from Thay (his nickname, meaning teacher).  He is in rehab in San Francisco after suffering a stroke last year.  Please hold him in your hearts.  

(PS Thay returned to Plum Village on January 8, 2016.)

Photos:  taken on “dental row” in Kathmandu, Nepal

 

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2 Responses to Non-Toothache

  1. Steve says:

    That tag cloud is cool! He definitely comes up in a lot of your posts. Your contact with him must have been very meaningful. He has been an amazing teacher (Thay) and has been such a positive influence in the world. At West Wind last night we took a break from – Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening by Joseph Goldstein which is about the Satipathana Sutta, to read a small book of TNH – The Heart of Understanding: Commentaries on the Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra. None of us were terribly surprised that, holographic as Bhuddha Dharma is, there was an almost immediate reference to the Satipathana Sutta. The reading begat a great discussion.
    Seems to me that TNH has, as have many of our teachers in the west, transcended any separateness between different schools of Buddhism. I am so grateful for that – for their non-separateness?
    He is in my heart.
    Steve

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