In celebration of Thay’s Continuation Day!
October 11, 2018 / By Stephen at Parallax
Thich Nhat Hanh was born 92 years ago on October 11. In celebration of his continuation, we are sharing this excerpt from his autobiographical collection At Home in the World: Stories and Essential teachings from a Monk’s Life.
Eating My Cookie
When I was four years old my mother used to bring me a cookie every time she returned from the market. I always went to the front yard and took my time eating it, sometimes half an hour or forty-five minutes to eat one cookie. I would take a small bite and look up at the sky. Then I would touch the dog with my feet and take another small bite. I just enjoyed being there, with the sky, the earth, the bamboo thickets, the cat, the dog, the flowers. I was able to spend so much time eating my cookie because I did not have much to worry about. I was not thinking of the future, I was not regretting the past. I was entirely in the present moment, with my cookie, the dog, the bamboo thickets, the cat, and everything.
It is possible to eat our meals as slowly and joyfully as I ate the cookie of my childhood. Maybe you have the impression that you have lost the cookie of your childhood, but I am sure it is still there, somewhere in your heart. Everything is still there, and if you really want it, you can find it. Eating mindfully is a most important practice of meditation. We can eat in a way that we can bring to life the cookie of our childhood. The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.
At Home in the World is available everywhere books are sold.