November 13, 2022 @ 9:00 am – 1:30 pm PST
Our Day of Mindfulness today will include walking mediation, a Dharma talk in Vietnamese by Sr. Trúc Nghiêm, and dharma sharing.
Please register by 8 AM on the day of the event. If you need to cancel, please login again on this page and indicate you are not attending.
We ask that all guests please observe our dress code: out of respect for our monastic brothers and sisters, please wear sleeves that cover the shoulders (short sleeves are acceptable), shirts that cover the midriff, and long pants or long skirts that are loose-fitting and cover the knees at all times. Please do not wear shorts, tank tops, nor tight-fitting clothing. We kindly ask friends to dress modestly for the duration of their time with us and to share this information with anyone attending the event with you.
There is no cost incurred for participation in the Day of Mindfulness, but a donation is greatly appreciated to keep the monastery open and able to receive guests. You will find donation boxes in the meditation and dining halls or you can donate online.
Scheduled events occur rain or shine.
by Thich Nhat Hanh
The wind is silent this noontime,
and four cypresses stand in line.
The wall shows its bones—
erosion, water of time.
The blue sky is calm.
I find myself here to discover the age
of the bricks and stones
that have patiently waited,
for millions of years.
My flesh and bones
in their journey through the desert
make a quick stop here
and leave a little warmth from the palm of my hand,
a bit of the rhythm of the heart.
The ancient image is far away,
but you are still here waiting.
did I stop here once during a previous existence?
I find myself looking for my footprints
left during one cycle of birth and death.
Which atoms will be dancing
in the small space of my palm
someday when the five elements of man
return to their source?
Whose dead body lies by this wall
this summer noontime
while the sky smiles its blue smile?
O bricks and stones,
who will go
and who will stay?
I would carry all of you with me
in the same voyage at the same speed.
You who have sought to find the going and coming—
tell me, where is the line of the horizon?
I can see now
that all of us
since the beginning of time
have been flowing at the same speed.
Give me enough time to call back
the starfruit and acacias of the ancient years.
Together with the four cypresses today,
we have stopped for a moment
to contemplate the wondrous trip.
Although this calm blue sky has been here a million eons,
it is only to me now that this blue sky has just been born.
I was alone on the French Riviera, working on my book on the myths of Vietnam, A Taste of Earth. I went to the beach and sat there without thinking or doing anything for a whole day, until ten o’clock at night. I allowed my five skandhas to be washed by the sound and sight of the waves. Then I went to Provence, where I found myself beside a very old wall and four cypresses standing in a line. And I saw my dead body lying by the old wall.
This poem is about a trip. All of us are on a journey, but we go at different speeds. From time to time, you may recognize something familiar in what you see for the first time. You know you are seeing that person or thing for the first time, but you have the distinct impression you have met before. My interpretation is that you have met already while orbiting the same star, but because you went too fast, you overtook the other person or thing, and now you meet again. Stones and bricks may go at a slower speed. When I climbed up to Heidelberg Castle in Germany, I had the impression that it was not for the first time. This moved me to write the poem, “The Song of No Coming and No Going.” Insight is something like the blue sky: it has always been there, but it looks as though it is just being born.
Call Me by My True Names: The Collected Poems
Thich Nhat Hanh
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