Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who now lies in exile in France. While living in Vietnam he endured all kinds of hardships, yet he is a walking example of joy and gratitude. When asked how he survived such difficulties with such peace and love in his heart, he replied this:
He replied that every morning he used to ask himself what he could count on that day; sometimes it was only the blue sky and the brown earth, and the fact that he was still breathing in and out. But in counting his blessings, so to speak, he reconnected to the miracle that he was, at least for the present moment, still alive in this beautiful world. “Suffering is not enough. Life is both dreadful and wonderful,” he reminds us. “How can I smile when I am filled with so much sorrow? It is natural–you need to smile to your sorrow because you are more than your sorrow.”
“The Zen master Ling Chi said that the miracle is not to walk on burning charcoal or in the thin air or on the water; the miracle is just to walk on earth. You breathe in. You become aware of the fact you are alive. You are still alive and you are walking on this beautiful planet. . . The greatest of all miracles is to be alive.”–Thich Nhat Hanh
Adapted from Attitudes of Gratitude,” by M.J. Ryan (Conari Press, 1999). Copyright (c) 1999 by M.J. Ryan. Reprinted by permission of Conari Press.
Adapted from Attitudes of Gratitude,” by M.J. Ryan (Conari Press, 1999).