Written January, 2022

People around the world feel the passing of our beloved teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. He taught me so much but perhaps most of all I am grateful that he taught me to love everyone.

I have been an activist all my life and so often this has meant constricting my heart against the oppressors. But Thay (as he is lovingly called) taught me that if I had lived the hard life of a pirate who later rapes and steals, maybe I too would do the same. He taught me to open my heart. In time it has cracked wide open. It feels so good to let more love flow through me. It does not mean I condone terrible behaviour, but it means I can have compassion for those who do such wrong because I get that they were not born that way.

He also taught me to enjoy my breathing. To walk as though my feet were kissing the earth. He taught me to bring a quarter smile to my mouth when I sit in meditation. He taught me to let my mind settle, just like the pulp settles to the bottom of a glass of juice. He taught me that lying down meditation is just as good as any other type. He taught me to say ‘hello my anxiety, my fear.”

I hear his sweet gentle voice in my mind as I will forever and always.