Suppose circumstances are not to your liking. Does that mean you have to be unhappy? Not if you take Thich Nhat Hanh's advice. Things can be very bad indeed and we can still focus on the moment and know real happiness and inner peace.
Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We don't have to travel far away to enjoy the blue sky. We don't have to leave our city or even our neighborhood to enjoy the eyes of a beautiful child. Even the air we breathe can be a source of joy.
We can smile, breathe, walk, and eat our meals in a way that allows us to be in touch with the abundance of happiness that is available. We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma, and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive. Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.
Friday, November 03, 2006
Peace and happiness
One of my favorite books by the prolific Thich Nhat Hanh is entitled Peace Is Every Step. Here's a passage from the introduction: