“Around us, life bursts with miracles–a glass of water, a ray of sunshine, a leaf, a caterpillar, a flower, laughter, raindrops. If you live in awareness, it is easy to see miracles everywhere. Each human being is a multiplicity of miracles. Eyes that see thousands of colors, shapes, and forms; ears that hear a bee flying or a thunderclap; a brain that ponders a speck of dust as easily as the entire cosmos; a heart that beats in rhythm with the heartbeat of all beings. When we are tired and feel discouraged by life’s daily struggles, we may not notice these miracles, but they are always there.”
-Thích Nhất Hạnh
Years ago I worked at a coffee shop while finishing up my teaching degree. It was a busy time. I was working 30 hours serving coffee, and close to 40 hours a week as a student teacher. It was also the most peaceful time I remember. It was an extremely spiritual time. So much was growing and changing within me. I was searching, exploring, learning and growing in so many ways.
I ate no meat, no dairy, biked everywhere, had no television in my house, very little furniture, read and wrote daily, took long walks in the evening with my dogs, and, overall, was living as purposefully as possible. I was extremely content and open to the world around me. I am trying to find my way back to that place.
At work, I met a Russian Orthodox priest who would come in for tea. We chatted often when he visited. Eventually I visited he and his family for longer talks. I even went to church a few times. He made a huge impact on my life at the time. We had some amazing enlightening talks.
The coffee shop also had a “library”, of sorts, that people could give and take whatever they wanted. One day, during a break, I found a book from Thích Nhất Hạnh. I remember reading it and feeling extremely moved by the things he had to say.
I have revisited him lately. His books are part of my nightly reading. His quotes alone are inspiring and keep me focused on my goals. Thích Nhất Hạnh deserves a place in the 100 Days of Awesome.