I spent the weekend at Blue Cliff Monestary where with students from two other colleges. The monastery was founded by Thich Naht Hahn (or Thay to his beloved followers)....what an inspirational man. He was ousted from his homeland, Vietnam, for 40 years and even inspired MLK with his message of peace for all. He truly was a monk on a mission...kinda counter intuitive I know but when Thay decided to get involved with politics he made a conscious choice to bring two worlds together. In this day and age I find it so important to live as mindful as possible. This comes in many forms...the way we treat one another, how we eat, to how we walk, and most importantly how we treat the planet.
During tonight's practice one of the sisters guided us through a meditation that centered around transformation and forgiveness. To loosely quote her words, the Earth has the ability to transform things. Sometimes, it does it very fast...for example a compost pile. Sometimes, it can take a very long time...like toxic waste. Mother Earth always takes what we dispose of and transforms it so that life may continue to thrive.
We can return to her and transform toxic emotions we may harbor onto into something beautiful, to make us whole. Through this practice I physically feel lighter and more understanding of myself.
I had another realization over dinner with Dama Choice (or as he jokingly told me to call him, Brother No Choice!)....happiness is something readily available for each and everyone of us. Happiness means to be true to yourself and letting go of the self-doubt, the judgement, resentment, invalidation....now on the flip side it is important to validate the emotions inside you but hear this, change your mentality and you change your reality.
We also went over the 4 Noble Truths from a slightly different perspective...they are to acknowledge that ill being exists, that we create our own ill being, that we can also create our own well being, and finally there is a way to live in well being.
The monks are some of the most authentic and sincere people I have ever met and I encourage all to go visit for a day trip!
#bluecliffmonastery #thay #thichnhathanh #mlk #grateful