Thich Nhat Hanh: We already have what we want to become

It is hard, but we have to remind ourselves that it is OK to feel completely disoriented at times. To feel a deep ping of uncertainty and the tormenting anxiety it is normally met with. To be overwhelmed by questions that seem to have a variety of answers, or oftentimes no answer at all. To be frightened in a position that demands astute decision making. To be slammed with self doubt at the exact moment you needed your confidence to pull through. To throw your journal across the room and say writing isn’t going to get you anywhere.

untitled-3 Last night, I realized my “monkey mind” was getting the best of me.  This is the negative chatter in your head, the voice inside that always confirms the worst case scenario. I became aware of this when I ate a Pop Tart out of the box I originally got for my nephews – which in all honesty, is complete blasphemy in the face of my “healthy inspirations.” It was clear I was in a funk, and even more clear that I needed to get out of it. So, on my way home from the gym today, I remembered a quote I found months ago comparing a temporary sense of feeling adrift to nirvana. I suddenly realized that I am exactly where I need to be in this moment in time. Perhaps I am faced with “two roads diverged in a yellow road, ” but the only thing I know for sure is I am “sorry I could not travel both.” (Thanks, Robert Frost, for your continued wisdom!)

The bottom line is, sometimes we need to cease searching so hard for answers because in our relentless search, we are missing the present moment. Which is a lot to miss! I hurried home and found the quote. Already I am feeling more like myself. Therein lies the beauty of reading. And most importantly, the beauty of accepting what the present moment actually is. Which, at times, can be lacking the clarity we think we need.

“The heart sutra says there is “nothing to attain.” We meditate not to attain enlightenment, because enlightenment is already in us. We don’t have to search anywhere. We don’t need a purpose or a goal. We don’t practice in order to obtain some high position. In aimlessness, we see that we do not lack anything, that we already have what we want to become, and our striving comes to a halt. We are at peace in the present moment, just seeing the sunlight streaming through the window or hearing the sound of rain. We don’t have to run after anything. We can enjoy every moment. People talk about entering nirvana, but we are already there. Aimlessness and nirvana are one.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh



  1. Pingback: The Gift of Now – Experiencing Mindfulness | Muse In The Valley ©

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  3. Pingback: Inspirational Poetry by Thich Nhat Hanh. | Deo Volente

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