Thich Nhat Hanh is a Zen Buddhist monk. He lives in a monastery called Plum Village in the south of France. He is an activist for peace and mindfulness in the world.
"Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy and serenity."
On November 14, 2014, he suffered a brain hemorrhage. This came across in a snippet on my Facebook feed and has since disappeared.
"Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones."
Thay, as his students refer to him, is as profound and important a spiritual leader as the Dalai Lama or the Pope. If either of those two were frail or suffered an injury, no doubt there would be massive coverage. Still.
"Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today."
Indeed, even Kim Kardashian's ass seems more important, based on the coverage of Thich Nhat Hanh vs. Photoshop.
"When you love someone, the best thing you can offer is your presence. How can you love if you are not there?"
He was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King, Jr in 1967 and was awarded Courage of Conscience award in 1991.
"We need enlightenment, not just individually but collectively, to save the planet. We need to awaken ourselves. We need to practice mindfulness if we want to have a future, if we want to save ourselves and the planet."
He has published over 100 books on peace, meditation, love, courage, and hope.
"People sacrifice the present for the future. But life is available only in the present. That is why we should walk in such a way that every step can bring us to the here and the now."
As of today, Thay has opened his eyes and shown signs of consciousness of his surroundings. The area of the hemorrhage has not grown, and new test have not shown additional damage. Doctors remain optimistic that he will recover, but that is still uncertain.
"Let us fill our hearts with our own compassion - towards ourselves and towards all living beings."
Spare a thought today, and spread the word. Namaste.