If you love someone…

“When you love someone,

the best thing you can offer is your presence.

How can you love

if you are not there?” Thich Nhat Hanh

“I am here for you”

 is probably the most loving sentence

we can say to another person,

and then stop what we are doing,

and practice being present.

We don’t have to “do” or say anything,

just practice “being”.

We look with tenderness

and compassion

into the other person’s eyes.

Maybe we touch gently

the other’s hand or arm

if invited and allowed.

We breathe deeply,

and are just still.

No fixing,

No explaining,

No rationalizing,

No distracting.

Just being present.

“I am here for you”

The ultimate expression

of loving.

Touching the positive…

“People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong.
Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things
and make them bloom?” Thich Nhat Hanh

The patterns of our society are to always focus on what is wrong:
Doctors screen for pathologies, therapists diagnose mental illnesses,
news reporters only focus on traumatic and catastrophic developments and
teachers give grades based on the amounts of mistakes a student makes.

All of us get conditioned early on in life to fear making mistakes
to hide our imperfections, to judge ourselves and others harshly,
and to always look for what is missing or broken.
How often do parents say to their children: “What is wrong with you?”
when they get annoyed with them, which leaves deep scars in their children’s souls.

Healing work means to see and gently touch those positive things inside of us,
and around us. We look at what is life giving and resilient. We stop seeking deficiencies.
We begin to notice those small blooming changes and stop getting fixated on old patterns.
By letting go of assuming that life, others or myself must be wrong, we begin to touch the mystery of the renewing power of all living things.

The best way…

“The best way to take care of the future

is to take care of the present moment.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

Our culture is very future oriented.

Everything has to be strategically planned:

Children’s education and career have to be outlined

while they are still in Kindergarten.

Children grow up with the stress

of having to embody their parents’ notion of success

and live up to their future plans for them.

And so, we often grow up pretending to control

the sequence of things:

we follow invisible scripts,

not sure if they truly match who we are.

The future becomes a law of worries and goals

that one has to pursue to be seen as successful

and “worthy” in the eyes of society.

How counter cultural and freeing the thought

that all you need to do to prepare for tomorrow

is to be fully present in the “here and now”.

How liberating a thought that the best way of living

is caring for the NOW and not yet for tomorrow,  

being present with all senses, and not missing any moment.

How amazing a truth!

Has not the Pandemic of the past years taught us one lesson

(if we were teachable)? :

“None of us possesses tomorrow!

All we have is today!”

Surprised by Joy

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering.

Out of fear of the unknown,

they prefer suffering that is familiar.” Thich Nhat Hanh

Sometimes we think that what we know

is all there is.

The ways that our families treated us, or our classmates,

or intimate partners, those

become the templates with which we see the world.

Even though old patterns can be extremely painful,

letting go of them often causes even greater anxiety.

And the anxiety of the suffering that I know,

seems to be safer, more predictable,

maybe even controllable…

Why is it so hard to let go?

Letting go requires trusting that the universe

always wants to heal, grow and renew

every organism it created.

Letting go is an exercise in

releasing known suffering

and allowing new and unknown

waves of experiences and feelings,

and be surprised by joy…

The Obstacle of Knowledge

If we are caught by the obstacle of knowledge, even if truth comes knocking at our door, we will refuse to let it in.” Thich Nhat Hanh

When we identify with “what we know”

and with “who we know”

and our sense of self and idea of truth

shrink down to the size of our frontal lobe:

Then we start to believe that we “are” our mind,

and a door shuts close around us

with the inscriptions: “closed systems”,

“preconceived notions”, “prejudices”,

“logical conclusions”, “fixed answers”…

As we identify with and believe our limited mind,

the larger and deeper truths that life offers

and that can only be received

with a fully present and open heart and mind

will not be able to reach us, but pass us by.

Descartes said: “I think, therefore I am”

Buddha and Jesus said: “I surrender, therefore I am”

Love means Freedom

“You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free” Thich Nhat Hanh

The difference between narcissistic love and healthy love:

Narcissistic love seeks to use others as supply.

That kind of love controls and manipulates to only get own needs met,

without consideration how the other person might be impacted or feel.

Actually, the word “love” in this case

is a cover up term for abuse and neglect.

Healthy love seeks the happiness of the other person.

This kind of love lets the beloved be free

and does not use them to get own needs met.

Love that allows for freedom and space

is also deeply considerate and compassionate.

Do you feel free in your relationship?

Then you are being truly loved.

Being Yourself…

“To be beautiful means to be yourself.

You don’t need to be accepted by others.

You need to accept yourself.” Thich Nhat Hanh

As the New Year begins,

many people make resolutions about

how they want to change and improve themselves.

And when they fall short after a few weeks,

they then blame themselves and feel bad.

What if our New Year’s resolution was

to accept ourselves completely,


and with all our imperfections?

When we decide to fully embrace who we are,

we live counter cultural and escape the addiction

of our time to impress others with creating images

of success that hide our human and true selves.




our true

and human selves.

Let’s make 2023 a year

of “freedom to be”!

Touch the Miracle…

“Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive” Thich Nhat Hanh

These days in between the years have a special flavor.

They taste like old and new at the same time.

They sound like calm after the storm.

They look like a resting place after a long walk.

They smell like cold weather with the crisp of new arriving.

When we use all our senses,

when we taste,



watch and smell,

while breathing deeply,

our mind finally calms down

and we realize the beauty,

the amazing miracle of being alive.

Many of us have been running…

“Many of us have been running all our lives. Practice stopping.” Thich Nhat Hanh

It is not easy to stop and be still. So much noise in our heads. So much unrest and unfinished business.

This season invites us to stop. To stop and just “be”. Just breathe…

Don’t bring a gift. Just bring yourself.

Don’t worry about not being prepared. Just be fully present.

Don’t miss this very moment. Stop running.

Let go of the past. Breathe in this very moment. And trust that tomorrow will take care of itself:

while you practice stopping and “being”.

Stop running. Start “being”.

Loving Wishes

As my mother collapsed today

and is being treated in the hospital

supported by an external pace maker

and awaiting an internal, permanent one next week,

I am sending loving wishes her way:

May all her fears be soothed.

May her pain be eased.

May her caregivers be extra kind.

May her doctors be wise and competent.

May her inner child find refuge.

May her heart receive support

and her body new strength.

May this procedure prolong her life

and renew her strength.

May all things work together for good.

May she know that she is loved,

and may she feel safe

in the midst of her vulnerability.

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