“Bodhi means being awake, and satttva means a living being, so bodhisattva means an awakened being.  All of us are sometimes bodhisattvas, and sometimes not.


“Understanding is like water flowing in a stream. Wisdom and knowledge are solid and can block our understanding. In Buddhism, knowledge is regarded as an obstacle for understanding. If we take something to be the truth, we may cling to it so much that even if the truth comes and knocks at our door, we won’t want to let it in.”

Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of Understanding


All phenomena of being, since time memorial, are independent of concepts and words. Concepts and words cannot transform them or separate them from their true nature.

~The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana  (cited: Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Keys, pg. 81)

Look straight ahead. What’s there?

If you see it as it is

You will never err. ~Bassui Tokusho (cited: Y Hoffmann, Japanese Death Poems)

I would like to share a few words out of Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, No Death, No Fear, that has invited me to contemplate how it feels to be in the present…now…this moment.

“Suppose someone was able to transport you by jet to the [K]ingdom of God or the Pure Land of the Buddha. When you arrive, how would you walk? In such a beautiful place, would you walk under pressure, running and anxious like we do so much of the time? Or would you enjoy every moment of being in paradise? In the [K]ingdom of God, or the Pure Land, people are free and they enjoy every moment. So they do not walk like we do.

I have arrive, I am home
In the here, in the now
I am solid, I am free
In the ultimate, I dwell

The Pure Land is not somewhere else; it is right here, in the present. It is in every cell of our bodies. When we run away from the present, we destroy the [K]ingdom of God. But if we know how to free ourselves from our habit energy of running, then we will have peace and freedom and we will all walk like a Buddha in paradise.

What we carry with us determines in which dimension we dwell. If you carry a lot of sorrow, fear and craving with you, then wherever you go you will always touch the world of suffering and hell. If you carry with you compassion, understanding and freedom, then wherever you go you will touch the ultimate, the [K]ingdom of God.” (pp. 108-109)

As I was reading these words, the above image of a dandelion’s parachutes being within moments of release – of journey’s beginning – came to me as it seems to illustrate how my life has been an series of transitions that required preparation; such as, graduation, marriage, motherhood, retirement, death.  As I read Thich Nhat Hanh’s words, I found an invitation to memorize his “I have arrived, I am home” poem and to practice and recall the feelings it evokes many times a day…even while being within a moment of transition…of release.