"I enjoy hearing the Message of this tradition, and the
voice of Thich Nhat Hanh in the experience of today.
That is why I like our Songs for the Practice of Mindfulness so much: they are anchored in the here and the now; even if at the beginning of a song I am not totally here, by the end of the song I am.
Here are a few words by Henry David Thoreau, a New Englander who enjoyed living in the moment.
His experiences are beautiful. But why stop there? Why should we only enjoy Thoreau's experience?
Why not our own? We can make Living in the Moment our practice,
and then that enjoyment is available.
The practice of Mindfulness makes it available to all of us."
A single gentle rain makes the grass many shades greener.
So our prospects brighten on the influx of better thoughts.
We should be blessed if we lived in the present always, and took advantage of every accident that befell us,
like the grass which confesses the influence of the slightest dew that falls on it;
and did not spend our time in atoning for the neglect of past opportunities.
We loiter in winter while it is already spring.
Above all, we cannot afford not to live in the present.
He is blessed over all mortals who loses no moment of the passing life in remembering the past.
Unless our philosophy hears the cock crow in every barn-yard within our horizon, it is belated.
That sound commonly reminds us that we are growing rusty and antique
in our employments and habits of thought.
His philosophy comes down to a more recent time than ours.
There is something suggested by it that is a newer testament,—the gospel according to this moment.
Let us consider the way we spend our lives.
This world is a place of business. What an infinite bustle!
I am awakened almost every night by the panting of the locomotive.
It interrupts my dreams.
There is no sabbath.
It would be glorious to see mankind at leisure for once.
It is nothing but work, work, work.
I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy,
ay to life itself, than this incessant business.
On hearing the cock's crow:
The singer can easily move us to tears or to laughter, but
where is he who can excite in us a pure morning joy? When I hear a cockerel crow
far or near, I think to myself, "There is one of us well, at any rate,"—
and with a sudden gush return to my senses.
Describing his life at Walden Pond:
I did not read books the first summer; I hoed beans.
Nay, I often did better than this.
There were times when I could not afford to sacrifice the bloom of the present moment to any work,
whether of the head or hands.
Describing his Practice of Walking:
If you are ready to leave father and mother, and brother and
sister, and wife and child and friends,
and never see them again,—
if you have paid your debts, and made your will,
and settled all your affairs, and are a free man, then you are ready for a walk.
His Practice of Eating
He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a
he who does not cannot be otherwise.
Waking up in the Morning
Every morning is a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal
and I may say innocence, with nature herself.
To him, whose elastic and vigorous thought keeps pace with the sun, the day is a perpetual morning.
It matters not what the clocks say.
Morning is when I am awake and there is a dawn in me.
Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed in such
Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life?
Men say that a stich in time saves nine,
and so they take a thousand stitches to-day to save nine tomorrow.
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.
Let him step to the music which he hears,
however measured or far away.
6 SAINT-JOACHIM ST. IN POINTE-CLAIRE (village area)
A day by the lake, in a cottage looking deep into Lac St. Louis
and the St. Lawrence river,
and enjoying the fruits of our practice.
This is our third Mindfulness Day occurring at this time
of the year, on the Sunday following Labor Day.
For many of us, the new year really begins in September, with the end of summer vacation,
the beginning of the school year, and the gradual moving of our life from the outdoors to the indoors.
We enjoy starting this new year by renewing our practice together.
9:45 - Registration
10.00 - Renewing our Practice: a talk followed by a period of sitting
11.00 - Walking Meditation outdoors.
12.00 - Light Vegetarian Lunch served
1.30 - Plum Village: a new Slide Presentation
2.30 - Meditation with Songs for the Practice of Mindfulness
3.30 - 4.00 Closing
Here is a little poem to remember while driving to the Mindfulness Day:
DRIVING MY CAR
As I drive,
I feel both my impatience
and my fear in my right foot.
I vow to use my foot sparingly
in order to preserve the health of this planet.