Tag Archives: Thich Nhat Hanh

Unbidden

Sometimes it can feel difficult to accept a gift.  I have a friend who told me he had the impulse to return a gift that seemed too generous, but he knew immediately that that was not an impulse to be … Continue reading

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Non-Toothache

  As 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 … Continue reading

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Space Free

  The last stanza in our gatha (practice poem) is: “Breathing in, I see myself as space; breathing out, I feel free.” Shortened it becomes “space, free.” With this verse Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us that we need space, to … Continue reading

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Water Reflecting

The fourth stanza in our gatha (practice poem) is: “Breathing in, I make myself still, like a pond on a mountain; breathing out, I reflect things as they are.”  The short version is to quietly note “still water” as we … Continue reading

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Mountain Solid

  The third stanza in our gatha (practice poem) is: “Breathing in, I see myself as a mountain; breathing out, I feel solid.”  As with the other images, we can shorten this to “mountain” as we breathe in, and “solid” … Continue reading

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Flower Fresh

The second line in the gatha (practice poem) that we began last week is: “Breathing in, I see myself as a flower, breathing out, I feel fresh.” We can use the word “flower” as we breathe in, and “fresh” as … Continue reading

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Breathing with Images

Many years ago I learned a five-part gatha (pronounced GAH-tah) from Thich Nhat Hanh.  A gatha is a practice poem that helps us bring mindfulness and intention to our experience.  While I no longer practice it formally, I often find … Continue reading

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Hugging

In the 1960’s Thich Nhat Hanh came to the US to speak out against the war raging in his country.  One of the people he influenced was Martin Luther King, who did go on to oppose the war.  Dr. King … Continue reading

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Good Morning

As you may have gathered, I’m not what is known as a “morning person.” On retreats I often used to sleep through the before-breakfast meditation period, but I have grown to cherish that time, especially at Lake Tahoe. This week … Continue reading

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Happiness

I used to have an unconscious belief that I could not be happy until everyone was happy. It somehow didn’t seem right, or fair. But then I understood that if we all waited for everyone else to be happy, no … Continue reading

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Fog

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 … Continue reading

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Finding Calm

“Anxiety is contagious,” said Fritz Perls, influential psychologist, in the 1960’s. It’s a good thing to notice, as you may unconsciously take on others’ anxiety and wonder why you feel that way. He may as well have also said “calm … Continue reading

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Lotus Flowers

    Lotus flowers are beloved in Asia, in part for their beauty.  Even more, they symbolize the purity that can come from muck. Lotuses are often found blooming in filthy ditches by the side of the road or in … Continue reading

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A Little Smile

Turning the corners of the lips up slightly can have a powerful effect on our mood.  I’m not talking about pretending happiness, simply making that physical movement.  Other muscles in our face respond when we do that, and it appears … Continue reading

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Community

This month I said goodbye to so many people as I closed my psychotherapy practice.  But there was one more goodbye to say before I left:  to the beautiful pine tree that I watched grow up outside my window for … Continue reading

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Hello Goodbye

  “Hello, my love, and, my love, Goodbye…”  Leonard Cohen’s lyrics have been floating through my mind as I say goodbye to my clients this month.  Monday marks the closing of my private psychotherapy practice. In the 23+ years that … Continue reading

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