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You are Here

November 18, 2009

How simple of a statement this is, and yet, how incredibly difficult to understand it and live it. YOU ARE HERE. That’s is! There is nothing in the past, because there is no past! There is nothing in the future, because there is no future. Everything that you are exists ONLY here and now.

Do not be afraid. There is nothing in this present that can harm you. So take a deep breath in, get in touch with your body, then take a long deep exhale out, releasing any tension you might be carrying within your body.

I was wondering around in the Boulder Bookstore and my feet took me to this shelf, full of books that inspire and calm the spirit, and give it the guidance it needs. I extend a hand toward the shelf, and pick up this pretty (yes it is quite pretty) book, a calm yellow, with the you are here letters written in a yet another calming tone, red this time. I pick up the book and start reading.  When I lift my head out of this book next, 3 hours have passes, and I’ve read and re-read about 11 pages of the book. No, this is not a commentary on my reading skills. This is a commentary on the depth of this little book, and the intensity of thought that envelops you as you read it.

Thich Nhat Hanh’s “You Are Here” is an instruction on meditation, mindfulness, and fully living in this life, in this body, in these circumstances, living in the PRESENT. The book starts with:

Happiness and Peace are Possible.

I know, your automatic answer is: Well, of course happiness and peace are possible! You say you believe this statement, and you might for an hour or so, but the moment your attention is shifted away to the bills, the childrens’ schedule for the month, the deadline at work, or what ever other thing the universe brings in your path, you forget. You forget that Happiness and Peace is indeed Possible.

So, for the next few minutes, go back to that place in your heart where you KNOW that you are entitled to happiness and peace, and allow your breath to come in slowly on the inhale, long on the exhale. And as you inhale, say to yourself (like our friend Thich Nhat Hanh says):
“Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in.
Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out.”
“Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in.
Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out.”
“Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in.
Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out.”
“Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in.
Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out.”
“Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in.
Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out.”
“Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in.
Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out.”
“Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in.
Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out.”
“Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in.
Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out.”
“Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in.
Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out.”

__________________________________________________________________

If you are thinking about getting this book, do so. It truly is a little gem of a book, and I look forward to the path through its pages. May we all find the happiness and the peace that Thich Nhat Hanh talks about.
Namaste

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