Happy New Year to everyone. I have a hope that this New Year will be one of inspiration, new awareness, of refreshment and renewal, and also of acceptance… especially for those of us who have felt a lot of tension throughout 2012. My hope is that there will be a new balance in 2013 and that there will be an understanding of the wisdom of acceptance of the way things are, and gain refreshment in the present moment.
The acceptance may be able to help us all deal with the problems of our time... the ignorance, the anger, the mean-ness, the over-consumption, the ecological destruction, etc. which is hurting us all. There is a great emptiness within us and our culture, a suffering, from striving and stress. Those of us who want a better world and want it now… this feeling can cause suffering… we need to have a balance of accepting things as they are, and try to focus in on the present moment, and the peace and joy that can be found in the here and now.
One of the great wisdom teachers of our time is Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who lives with his Buddhist community in France. Known to his followers simply as “Thay”, which is the Vietnamese word meaning master or teacher, Thay has shared the simplicity and the deep wisdom of mindfulness and the Eightfold path. I was fortunate to have been introduced to Thay 16 years ago by a good friend from college. Many of Thay's dharma talks can be found here: http://tnhaudio.org/
I want to share Thay’s New Year’s Eve talk here as he is always inspirational and speaks clearly and deeply about the concepts of mindfulness. May you be blessed with the gift of mindfulness and peace in your New Year.
Minute 29:00 begins a nice review of the Eightfold path by Thay: