Happy Continuation, Thay!
October 10, 2019 / By Parallax Press
On October 11, 2019, we celebrate Parallax Press founder Thich Nhat Hanh’s 93rd birthday. On the eve of Thay becoming 93, we would like to take a moment to stop and appreciate what he set into motion when he started Parallax Press with his friends back in 1986. Because of that, this is: we are connected.
Thay’s teachings on love, compassion, and peace in a world of turmoil and war have touched the lives of many through the books he has written. We are always humbled when we hear how often people have been helped and inspired by Thay’s writings. Through our work, in countless ways, we strive to continue carrying his messages of honoring the Earth, our communities, and ourselves—the universe of our consciousness. Always a small independent press, Parallax has brought out nearly 100 books of Thay’s over 33 years, and as we celebrate his continuation day, we’d like to share this post about continuation from Plum Village’s blog:
In Plum Village, we don’t usually say “Happy Birthday”; instead, we wish each other “Happy Continuation Day”. What continues? Who is continued? Today we contemplate Thay’s own continuation as well as that of Thay’s students, both monastics and lay. What does it mean to continue Thay?
We can speak of two forms of continuation. We continue in our own body and mind, and we continue in the body and mind of those who have received our transmission. The Buddha taught that the person who transmits, the receiver of the transmission, and the object being transmitted are one. There is no transmitter, and no one who receives the transmission. There is only transmission, that’s all.
As students of Thay, you have to be his continuation through each breath and each step you take. Over the last sixty years, Thay has been continually transmitting his experience, all his dreams and aspirations to countless people through the way he speaks, the way he walks and stands, the way he eats and drinks, and the way he works in mindfulness. Thay has also transmitted himself through many books and Dharma talks in frond of audiences great and small, as well as with direct personal interactions. How much have you been able to continue Thay?
Today, if we are able to live happily, then that is a good continuation: we are continuing Thay well. This is something we must do every day. The cloud won’t be sad when it’s no longer in a form of a cloud, because it knows that it has become rain, and as rain it will continue its contribution. And when the rain is no longer there, that is when we see the river and continuing the mission of the rain. That is why nothing dies and nothing is lost.
Today we celebrate Thich Nhat Hanh with each of you,
—Hisae Matsuda, publisher, and all of us at Parallax Press