Many years ago, I received the gift of participating in a mindfulness meditation retreat in
led by Thich Nhat Hanh. He is lovingly known to his students as Thay, the
Vietnamese word for “master” or “teacher.” The retreat was transformative in
ways that are still unfolding in various areas of my life. I can still
feel the warmth of the sun as we participated in walking
meditation on the beach and hear Thay’s gentle voice giving his twice
daily dharma talks. What an amazing experience in every way possible. Today and
tomorrow’s posts will speak to several of his teachings that profoundly resonated
with me on the retreat. Thay’s dharma talk on the impact of “Flowers and
Garbage” in our lives is illustrated in his poem below: California
You are me, and I am you.
Isn't it obvious that we "inter-are"?
You cultivate the flower in yourself,
so that I will be beautiful.
I transform the garbage in myself,
so that you will not have to suffer.
I support you;
you support me.
I am in this world to offer you peace;
you are in this world to bring me joy.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
In his dharma talk, Thay addressed the reality that we all have aspects of flowers and garbage in our lives. Sometimes, what may seem like garbage may actually be an exquisite flower on the verge of blossoming.