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What Can I Say About My Beloved Teacher?

This poem began in my heart the night before the second day of a conference, “Mindfulness and Psychotherapy: Cultivating Well-Being in the Present Moment” at the University of California Los Angeles campus on October 6, 2007. I had been invited to offer an introduction of beloved Thầy to an audience of several hundred participants, including monastic members and many well-known therapists and Buddhist teachers. Sixteen years later, the poem was completed in my heart the day of Thầy’s transition.

What can I say about my beloved teacher?
I can say that the soft whisper of his voice in the dark night of confusion, of fear and sorrow, calls us home to our true selves.
I can say that his teachings bring the Dharma rain, bathing us in healing energy in the blessed peace of our lives.
I can say that his gentle footsteps upon the earth ride on the winds of peace, the thunder of compassion, and reflect the powerful moonlight of understanding.
I can say that he tirelessly engages with his whole being in the noblest of causes, to heal and transform the breaking waves of our shadows.
I can say I love my teacher because he has nourished the teacher in me to wake up, wake up, wake up.
I can say that his practice, his prose, and his poetry speak with the beauty and clarity of the Buddha within each of us.
I can say that on this very day we are most fortunate to be here together, to be in touch with the miracle of deep breath, and the holy moment of awareness in which we are touched by that which is not coming and not going.
So here we are together in the heart of Thích Nhất Hạnh.
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What is Mindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

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