It’s been 12 years since Thay was in Belfast…

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Thich Nhat Hanh pictured in Stormont

On this day 17 April 2012 my beloved and revered teacher the Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hahn (Thay) was in my home town of Belfast and gave a wonderful talk in our Parliment Buildings, Stormont. The talk is linked here if you would like to watch.

“The past has already gone and the future has not yet come,” he told us then. “Only the present moment has life.” He also spoke to us about our interconnectedness and interbeing saying: “If the wife is not happy, the husband cannot be happy, similiarly if one group is not happy the other group cannot be happy.’

I wonder if those politicians and members of civic society who were in attendance at the talk still feel the impact of his words and presence? Certainly everyone who was there will remember the beautiful walking meditation along the ‘stormont mile’.

His teachings so simply at yet so profound have permeated in my life since first meeting him in 2005. I know that many seeds sprouted from the 2012 Belfast visit in the form of ‘sanghas’ formed and practice instigated but I dont know and I suppose we can never know the full effects of any action or event.

I still continue to teach and practice as best I can. At the weekend I led a silent mindful retreat for 16 people, some who have been coming to practice with me since 2012 and even before. I continue to mention Thay in nearly every class I offer. His enlightened and positive energy still propels me forward. I am so grateful I had the opportunity in my life to meet and practice with him and his vibrant Plum Village community.

If you would like to practice with me in person, I have two day retreats this year in the Dunadry, Antrim Saturday 17 May and Saturday 18 August. There is another weekend retreat in November but is has already sold out due to everyone rebooking from the April retreat but if you can get your name on the waiting list if you send me a message. There will be more retreats coming in 2025 (retreats are the best way to deepen your practice). I hope to meet you along the way x

Check out an earlier popular post I wrote about what Thay said to me that day ‘Thich Nhat Hanh said six words to me’.

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