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Summary from a book, written by Thich Nhat Hanh.

This is a Zen story, about a man and a horse. The horse is galloping quickly, and it appears that the man on the horse is going somewhere important. Another man standing alongside the road, shouts ” Where are you going?” and the first man replies, “I don’t know! Ask the horse!”  This is also our story. We are riding a horse, we don’t know where we are going, and we can’t stop. The horse is our habit energy pulling us along, and we are powerless. We are always running and it has become a habit. We struggle all the time, even during our sleep. We are at war with ourselves and we can easily start a war with others.

We have to learn the art of stopping – stopping our thinking, our habit energies, our forgetfulness, the strong emotions that rule us. When an emotion rushes through us like a storm, we have no peace. How can we stop this state of agitation? How can we stop our fear, despair, anger, and craving? We can stop by practicing mindful breathing, mindful walking, mindful smiling, and deep looking in order to understand. When we are mindful, touching deeply the present moment, the fruits are always understanding, acceptance, love and the desire to relieve suffering and bring joy.

Calming allows us to rest, and resting is a precondition for healing. When animals in the forest get wounded, they find a place to lie down, and they rest completely for many days. They don’t think about food or anything else. They just rest, and they get the healing they need. When we human get sick, we just worry! We look for doctors and medicine, but we don’t stop. Even when we go to the beach or the mountains for a vacation, we don’t rest, and we come back more tired than before. We have to learn to rest. Lying down is not the only position for resting. During sitting or walking meditation, we can rest very well. Meditation does not have to be hard labor. Just allow your body and mind to rest like an animal in the forest. Don’t struggle. There is no need to attain anything. Just as when you are reading this, read in a joyful, yet restful way.

Practice in a way that does not tire you out, but gives your body, emotions, and consciousness a chance to rest. Our body and mind have the capacity to heal themselves if we allow them to rest.

Stopping, calming, and resting are preconditions for healing. If we cannot stop, the course of destruction will just continue. The world needs healing. Individuals, communities, and nations need healing. (For the sentence in bold italic, i believe there are some deep meaning, which i can’t understand at the moment, reminds me of Michael Jackson’s – Heal the World)

Standing quietly by the fence,

you smile your wondrous smile.

I am speechless, and my senses are filled

by the sounds of your beautiful song,

Beginningless and endless,

I bow deeply to you.


Dear friends,

I am back from my trip 🙂 There will be a few posts coming out. At the meantime enjoy this post, I read this article during my time in the library.

This poem is written by a friend of Venerable Thich Nhat Hahn, who died at the age of twenty-eight in Saigon, about 30 years ago. After he died, people found many beautiful poems he had written, and Ven. was startled when he read this particular poem.

“You” refer to a flower, a dahlia. That morning as he passed by the field, he saw a little flower and was deeply struck by the sight of it, he stopped and wrote the poem.

You may think that the poet was a Zen master, because his way of seeing things is very deep. But he was just an ordinary person. How he saw the flower is exactly the way we practice mindfulness meditation. We try to be in touch with life in the present moment and look deeply into the things that happen to us in the present moment. We can do that while we drink tea, walk, sit and so on.

The secret of success is to be yourself, be really yourself, because when you are really yourself, you can encounter life in the present moment.

Slow down your pace, do stop and appreciate the flowers around you..

🙂

Pictures of dahlia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dahlia