I had the immense blessing to spend a weekend with Thich Nhat Hanh over 10 years ago. I will never forget his immense presence and calm. A silent force of mindfulness.
But I also like to remind him as a true spiritual activist who fought the Vietnam War and supported Dr. King. He never separated his inner work from his outer duties. A true spiritual warrior.
In my time with him, we spent time one day going on a silent walk in a forest. I don't think I ever experienced mindful walking on the Earth like I did with him. So much presence. So much softness. So much care. So much love.
In Andean cosmology, the grandmother snake is the embodiment of the Earth prayer. The prayer of unconditional love. She shows us how to walk on the Earth. Softly. Gently. With our bare belly on the Earth.
I can now remember how Thich was walking this prayer. Embodied this prayer. I am sure in his gentle steps he was feeling all of her. Her pain. Her love. Her wisdom.
Presence, attention to detail, deep listening, are all for me the greatest ways love is manifested. The silent compassionate witness. The being with without needing to fix, solve, so we can hear and see what is truly there. It is in that silent compassionate non-judgmental presence that the right action can arise. Only from there, discharged from the Ego attempt to frame and limit the experience, can we touch the invisible whisper of spirit and of our soul, to step into our true power.
Only there can we authentically feel the pain of the Earth, of the world, of the "others". Only there can we take the most peaceful and yet fierce action into social and environmental justice without creating more pain, more separation, more system of powers.
Thank you dear brother for showing us the way to walk this life and this Earth with all our hearts.