On Meditation

By Jeffrey B.
part of the Selah Community

On Jan 22,2022 early in the morning I was in my sacred space when I heard the news of the teacher’s passing. I felt there was something to write so I trusted my pen to move upon the paper.

Thich Nhat Hanh upon his death 

Find your breath, notice how simple is the in and out 

Use this to settle yourself dear One 

This is your grieving

Stand near a pond

Find a pebble, be-friend and notice the uniqueness of this pebble

Toss the pebble gently into the water -see how the ripples move from the splash

Notice the ripples eventually will disappear. But are they permanently gone? Or could they be absorbed into the greater body of water-which is the Universe.

As the ripples transform into the bigger body of water, the pebble has been floating to the bottom of the pond.

Now Dear One, cry your tears for me-we always can cry for One we’ve loved who has departed.

Find your breath again.

The in breath.

The out breath. 

See? It returns. The body knows how to return.

Now go, into your world again-walking with gentle kind steps in the way of Love.

Peace is the way, in the present moment. 

I am that pebble-I’ve gone to join the multitudes. 

Now go Dear One, 

All is well.

In “Resting in the River,” Thich explains that resting is the first part of meditation: 

I shared this writing with a loved one, who remembered a similarity,  then sent me the following writing of Thay’s from a magazine in 1988.

“My dear friends, suppose someone is holding a pebble and throws it in the air and the pebble begins to fall down into a river. After the pebble touches the surface of the water, it allows itself to sink slowly into the river. It will reach the bed of the river without any effort. Once the pebble is at the bottom of the river, it continues to rest. It allows the water to pass by.

“I think the pebble reaches the bed of the river by the shortest path because it allows itself to fall without making any effort. During our sitting meditation we can allow ourselves to rest like a pebble.

“We can allow ourselves to sink naturally without effort to the position of sitting, the position of resting. Resting is a very important practice; we have to learn the art of resting.”

Written by Thich Nhat Hahn, “Resting in the River” 

Source: March 1998 issue of The Shambhala Sun, pg  45.

I had never seen or heard of “Resting in the River” before. ….I will not try to explain this occurrence, only to bask in gratitude, and tears, for the teacher is now a cloud. May it be so. –JB

Thich Nhat Hahn

Photo from Lion’s Roar

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