Remember that your ‘True Home’ is not found outside yourself, but it is right in your own heart. We do not need to bring home anything for us to feel fulfilled. We have everything we need, right in our heart. We do not need to practice for many years or to travel far to arrive at our true home. If we know how to generate the energy of mindfulness and concentration, then with each breath, with each step, we arrive at our true home. Our true home is not a place far removed from us in space and time. It is not something that we can buy. Our true home is present right in the here and now; if only we know how to return and to be truly present to it.
Thich Nhat Hanh, Home is the Way – A Christmas Message
photo randi hausken
O little forests, meekly
Touch the snow with low branches!
O covered stones, Hide the house of growth!
Secret vegetal words, Unlettered water,
Pray undistracted, Curled tree carved in steel –
Fire, turn inward
To your weak fort, To a burly infant spot,
A house of nothing.
O peace, bless this mad place:
Silence, love this growth.
O silence, golden zero, Unsetting sun
Love winter when the plant says nothing
We seldom notice how each day is a holy place
Where the eucharist of the ordinary happens,
Transforming our broken fragments
Into an eternal continuity that keeps us.
Somewhere in us a dignity presides
That is more gracious than the smallness
That fuels us with fear and force,
A dignity that trusts the form a day takes.
So at the end of this day, we give thanks
For being betrothed to the unknown
And for the secret work
Through which the mind of the day
And wisdom of the soul become one
John O’Donohue, The Inner History of a Day
photo of Trim, Co Meath, by Denis O’Donovan
And I think over again
My small adventures
When from a shore wind I drifted out
In my kayak
And I thought I was in danger.
Those small ones
That I thought so big,
For all the vital things
I had to get and to reach.
And yet, there is only
One great thing,
The only thing.
To live and see in huts and on journeys
The great day that dawns,
And the light that fills the world.
Traditional Inuit (Copper Eskimo) Song
photo andy waddington
With life as short as a half taken breath,
don’t plant anything but love.
photo gila national forest
Thich Nhat Hahn continues to be in hospital where the doctors are encouraged by his small signs of progress. The next update on his health will be posted in the New Year
The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.
Suffering is not enough. Life is both dreadful and wonderful…
How can I smile when I am filled with so much sorrow?
It is natural – you need to smile to your sorrow because you are more than your sorrow.
Thich Nhat Hahn