Thay (Thich Nhat Hanh) often tells us that each Buddha « has his/her Buddhaland »
For sure I know what it means thinking of Thay himself !
I have known
him for quite a long time and wherever I meet him, Paris, Plumvillage, Vietnam, Switzerland, Thailand etc etc etc…wherever he walks « his very own Buddhaland » spreads gracefully and powerfully around him.
The « pace » of Thay permeates every place, wherever it is. I remember walking with Thay in a busy rushhour traffic in Geneva and suddenly each step we were walking together like « slowed down » the world around
us. I saw the birds in the trees watching us, heard the sound of the cars more clearly and felt more« awake » to myself and to all surrounding us, compared to the dreaming, rushing, forgetfulness of a normal stressful « running around
blindly» in the city,
In Thays Buddhaland, listening to the worlds and one’s own suffering is coming about spontaniously,
I remember Tho telling me walking with Thay in Zurich and telling
him about Tu Hieu, Thay’s root temple in Vietnam. It was quite some years before Thay could actually go back to Vietnam. Thay looked at Tho and said : but Tu Hieu is right here and he pointed at the earth under their feet.
Plumvillage or Thay’s Buddhaland travels with him everywhere.
I know that travelling so much in the past years, I have learnt to recognize « my world»…I am no different here or there…. « my
world actually travels with me… »
I also love to walk in Tho’s «world »,
Walking with him I have the feeling I do understand so much more deeply what is within and around me.
The « big
picture » appears so clearly.
There is enthusiasm, so much kindness, compassion and deep understanding in the way he looks at people and situations. It makes me rediscover a reality that sometimes is clouded to me.
We have been married (soon ! on the 24th this month) for 42 years and I don’t think I heard him ever judge a person or a situation. But rather he is looking deeply at what each person, each situation can teach us and how this can help us to understand
and love more.
Tho has worked for the International Commitee of the Red Cross, travelling to all major war zones of the past years. He always came back with deeply moving stories of courage, admiring human beings who even in the worst
situations showed the best of what it means to be human. Always coming back with a new friend in his already large « comunity » of friends…
I have a Sisters who’s « world» is permeated
with generosity and beauty. Where ever I go with her, these qualities unfold around us.
Each one of us lives in his/her World, his/her « Buddhaland »
Sometimes this world is filled with
suffering, struggles, hardship, but each one of us has his/her own way to live with these struggles
« It isn't what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you
think about it. »
Yes, Suffering is part of life.
A few mornings ago I was in Thimphu hospital for a check up. It was like being in a very busy trainstation, people just walking around from
here to there, all looking a bit « lost ». A monk waiting with me in line turned to me saying: Everyone carries his/her own suffering
Some people mainly see« the problem » around them....
A beautiful sunset…Oh but you see the haze of pollution….A simple frugal farmhouse…how poor and underdevelopped….someone trying to sell you something…he is trying to cheat you..….he /she is like « this
or that » ….a hospital in a poor country…oh its so dirty…and this « only seing the problem » takes away the beauty that even these sometimes very difficult situations or these people have in them
and have to offer !
We are what we think !
Nothing is only white or black….
We all know that the perfectly wonderful, young, rich and succesful situations and people
carry their share of suffering in them......
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Recently, one friend asked me, "How can I force myself to smile when I am filled with sorrow? It isn't natural." I told
her she must be able to smile to her sorrow, because we are more than our sorrow. A human being is like a television set with millions of channels. If we turn the Buddha on, we are the Buddha. If we turn sorrow on then we are sorrow. If we turn a smile on,
we really are the smile. We can not let just one channel dominate us. We have the seed of everything in us, and we have to seize the situation in our hand, to recover our own sovereignty.
Nhat Hanh :
You are continued by your views and your thinking. Those are the children you give birth to every moment. And that is your true continuation.
So it is crucial to look deeply at your thoughts and your views.
What are you holding on to?
Whether you are an artist or a businessperson, a parent or a teacher, you have your views about how to live your life, how to help other people, how to make your country prosperous, and so on.
When you are attached to these views, to the idea of right and wrong, then you may get caught.
When your thinking is caught in these views, then you create
misunderstanding, anger, and violence. That is what you are becoming in
this very moment.
When you are mindful of this and can look deeply, you can
produce thoughts that are full of love and understanding. You
can make yourself and the world around you suffer less.
You are not static.
You are the life that you are becoming.