Thich Nhat Hanh was one of the most influential spiritual leaders on the planet. Revered for promoting peace and bringing mindfulness to the west. Even Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.
called him “an apostle of peace and nonviolence”.It’s no wonder then that there are mourners the world over after the recent passing of Thich Nhat Hanh. Solace does come through the powerful lessons he leaves behind. Living presently has become a buzzword of sorts in recent years. We all know we ought to live that way, but few of us truly understand mindfulness, let alone are able to cultivate it. Hanh’s gentle approach to mindfulness reminds us that peace is always available. As he said, “feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”By thinking of our feelings, and our thoughts as passing clouds, we see them differently.
We no longer have to believe every thought, nor allow ourselves to fall into the trap of obsessive thinking. Instead, we gain power and perspective when we separate ourselves from our feelings and let them come and go. To really live mindfully, Thich Nhat Hanh said that we must let go of our suffering. Unfortunately, many of us would prefer to continue suffering than to step into the unknown. And Hanh knew a thing or two about suffering.
After travelling from his home country Vietnam to the U.S. and Europe to oppose war, (something that led him to be nominated for Nobel Peace Prize) Hanh was exiled from Vietnam for 39 years. Instead of making him bitter, he remained peaceful and continued his work around the globe. “People have a hard time letting go of their suffering,” said Hanh, “Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”Our worries, anxieties, fears and
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