Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh offers advice on living in the present.
Inside the Now (Parallax Press, 2015) contains the most recent, never before published commentaries and reflections of Thich Nhat Hanh on living in stillness and timelessness.
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If when you walk you are harried or discontented, and your steps are not solid, it is because you are still searching for something in the past or in the future. You are not aware that what you are searching for is already there in the present moment. If each step you make brings you back to the present, then that step will become as solid as Mother Earth herself. Making a step like that, it’s as though a lotus is blooming under your foot. You walk in freedom, peace, and contentment. You will be one of the most beautiful people on Earth thanks to your ability to dwell peacefully in the now.
You don’t need to look for anything else, because you yourself are the object of all searching. If you have not realized this yet, then even though everything around you may be peaceful and safe, you still will not feel safe and at ease. Looking at the beautiful, silent moon you will wonder why your heart is still not at peace.
Some people possess something very special: they have the now in their heart. When we have a chance to sit close to such a person, we feel so peaceful. They radiate an energy of peace that penetrates us deeply. Whenever we have a chance to walk alongside them, we can feel this subtle source of peace and joy. Their steps are peaceful and free, and that helps us to walk with peace and freedom.
You too can walk like this. Walk as if you do not need to get anywhere — as if you are arriving with every step. Each step can bring you back to the island within — back to the wonderful present moment, back to the now.
Walking together like this, we feel like drops of water flowing in a vast and gentle river. The drop of water does not need to do anything. The drop is embraced by the river and transported to the ocean of the present moment.