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Monthly Archives: December 2014

Clouds on the Andaman


Breathing in, I am aware of clouds in the sky; Breathing out, I am the clouds.

Breathing in, I am aware of my whole body;  Breathing out, I smile at my body.

Breathing in, I am aware of Thay resting and healing; Breathing out, I am grateful for him.

Breathing in, I know I am alive, Breathing out, I am home.


Our teacher Thich Nhat Hanh is leading us in a very special Winter Retreat (the customary three month period of intense practice for monks in their home monastery during the monsoon time).  Since November 1, he has been hospitalized in Bordeaux, so he is resting, staying in one place, attended by good doctors and the monks and nuns of Plum Village, receiving prayers and healing energy from around the world, connecting us all.  He is giving us a great example to follow, since breathing is his main activity.  He reminds us every day to breathe with awareness, to come back to the present moment, to allow our minds and our bodies to be together at that moment.  To be home wherever we are, whatever others are doing or saying.  To be home in our hearts, resting our minds, smiling.  His teachings help us transform our suffering into joy and freedom.

When you think of Thay, please take a moment to stop, take three breaths and smile.

For updated information on his progress, see



I am with Thay in his hospital bed in spirit. But he would want me to be breathing, walking, smiling, cutting vegetables, speaking and listening mindfully, since he can’t do most of those things right now but breathe. There was another announcement that his vital signs are good and he has oxygen in his blood. Meditators all over the world are sending him healing energy and love.

I spoke about him in the dharma sharing at WMC last night. I loved hearing his voice on a CD from the 21 day retreat last June in Plum Village. Thay said that we ARE the cosmos, that the wave IS the whole ocean, that the ocean is in the wave, the cosmos is in us, but we are also the cosmos. The way he said it was so definite, so true, so scientific, so logical that (even though I’ve heard him say this over the years), it felt more true thinking of him, his great mind, BEING the whole cosmos. I hope his mind is at peace, that he is not in pain. He knows, because he has been teaching us this for many years, that his body is transforming, as are ours. I know he is aware that he is the whole cosmos. I hope for a greater awareness and peace for myself too.

I will continue to do my part, to be aware of him in the hospital, to be aware of where I am every moment, the people I’m with, knowing that I am deeply interconnected to them all, to all living beings, to the sun, moon, stars and the whole cosmos. I am the ocean. I am the mountains. I am the moon, sun and stars….all the stars beyond our galaxy. I am one with the entire cosmos. I have never been born and will never die. I am LIFE. I am Breath. I am Energy. I am Love.

When I forget and feel very small, very human, afraid that I don’t have “enough” food or books or something that makes me feel secure, I need a mantra to remind me of my whole self and my interconnection with all beings. This month, this time that Thay is so il, I need to stay connected to my sangha, to friends, to my teacher. So, I will write this each day for 21 days:

“Thay is reminding me that I am the whole ocean, the whole cosmos.”