This moment “… This is the only moment that is real. To be present and enjoy this moment is our most important task …” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
This moment is full of wonders …
Indeed, it is!
We decided to have some fun by “playing” with prose – related with This Moment (and its ensuing wonders) – to “construct” poems … that invite “pause and reflection” in between lines and stanzas. Turns out the contents of Thich Nhat Hanh’s book of calligraphy: This Moment Is Full of Wonders (full attribution at the bottom of the post) lends itself to such “artistic liberty” 🙂
Not Only does it lend itself to such “art” but it’s content is profoundly appropriate at any time but even more so now, as humanity navigates the mayhem of COVID.
The book talks about – and celebrates through Thay’s calligraphy – the wonders of this moment! … It’s an invitation to stop and just “take in this moment” : fully and without any distractions and see what unfolds ….
In the Introduction Thay aptly says: “All of my work and all of the calligraphies in this book are essentially just invitations to stop whatever else you are doing, to stop all the thinking, worrying and judging, and just breathe.”
So … let’s accept Thay’s invitation … and see what unfolds 🙂
Each of the sub-heading below is from one of the calligraphy text …
This Moment … Is Full Of Wonders
Everything we are looking for is right here in the present moment.
When you wake up, you have joy when you see that you’re alive and
that twenty-four brand new hours have been delivered to your doorstep.
What a gift.
Yet so often we look to the past or the future,
and we ignore the wonders that are right in front of us.
Mindfulness is the energy that allows us to stop and be present
right here and right now.
It allows us to notice what is going on in us and around us.
So, let’s try a simple exercise …
Breathing in, I calm my body.
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment,
I know this is a wonderful moment.
The breath is the vehicle to greater mindfulness.
It is the tool that makes the present moment accessible.
When you breathe in mindfully,
you bring your mind home to your body.
Whether your body is relaxed, tense, or tired,
the first step is noticing that it is relaxed, tense, or tired.
That is already insight.
That awareness is the beginning of being more peaceful.
And, that awareness can be further deepened by being still … to see …
This Moment: Be Still and See
Stopping brings your body and mind together,
back to the here and now.
When you stop and sit quietly
and become silent within,
you become more solid,
more concentrated, and clear.
We must learn to stop from time to time
in order to see clearly.
This … is a way of life.
Humankind’s survival depends on
our ability to stop rushing.
The gift of pausing continues to unfold IF we let it … and upon pause even further deepening can be experienced if we … listen … especially with compassion …
This Moment: Listen
Compassionate listening has one purpose:
to help the other person suffer less.
Many of us have lost our capacity for
listening and using love speech.
So we feel lonely even with our loved ones.
Understanding is the foundation of love.
If you cannot understand yourself,
you cannot love yourself.
If you cannot understand your loved ones,
you cannot love them.
When communication is cut off, we all suffer
When we recognize our own suffering and
that of our loved ones, our compassion grows
and we suffer less. Healing can begin.
Finally, awareness of this moment naturally puts us more in touch with the beauty within …
Be beautiful, Be compassionate
The seeds of joy and peace are in everyone.
Searching for these seeds outside of yourself is like a wave running to search for water. She will never find it. She has to go home with the string knowledge that the water is within her.
Anyone who maintains awareness in the present moment
naturally emanates peace, joy, and happiness
and becomes beautiful.
A calm half smile and a loving heart
are refreshing, and they allow miracles to unfold.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh (the format change of splitting the paragraphs into “poem like” lines is done by us)
Coronavirus continues to take a toll on humanity and tremendous, heroic efforts continue to be underway by many to ensure our health and safety … helping those who are involved in such efforts is the “order of the day” … and in this spirit, Go Fund Me needs to be commended for organizing various campaigns targeted towards COVID-19 relief efforts. All of these campaigns are worthy of our attention … but for now we wanted to highlight TWO critical ones that we have donated personally and also as Stillness Speaks:
Despite the financial challenges that are amongst us all, if your situation allows you to donate and help then …
… please visit Frontline Responders Fund’s Go Fund Me page … and help deliver crucial supplies to these frontline responders …
… and/or visit America’s Food Fund Go Fund Me page and help feed the neighbors in need.
And, we again, express our deepest gratitude to a) the COVID-19 Frontline Responders (all the healthcare professionals – doctors, nurses, hospital/medical-services staff – firefighters, law enforcement, volunteers, and any/all the people involved in keeping the “system-at-large” functioning for ALL of us) … and b) Go Fund Me for organizing America’s Food Fund to feed the needy.
May you realize the gift of This moment … and …
May you accept the invitation … to deeply be present … and enjoy the unfolding gifts …
May you remain safe and healthy as you navigate these troubling times.