I first learned about Thich Nhat Hanh on a date last year, when the man I was out with informed me Hanh was a Buddhist monk and peace activist whom Martin Luther King Jr. had nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. My date had actually gone to live and study at Hanh's Plum Village Buddhist Meditation Center some years before in southern France. I'd been exploring meditation and spirituality at the time, so this person had piqued my interest...
Hanh's The Art of Mindful Living came across my way while perusing YouTube, and I found myself listening to the recordings on walks by the lake here in Austin or on the treadmill on a rainy day.
One particularly poetic teaching that allured me was Hanh's "flower fresh" meditation, which worked its subtle magic in me when I heard it.
"Breathing in I see myself as a flower
Breathing out I feel fresh
Humans are born as flowers..."
In these fast and often difficult times, I'm finding how important it is to take time out to rest, meditate, and replenish my spirit. To become fresh again, child-like and new.
The world needs our freshness. Like patient gardeners we need to treat to ourselves with tender care if we desire to live in full bloom.