Too often in my life when I'm doing some daily activity--folding laundry, washing dishes--I'm not really there, I'm not present. But as the saying goes, "You must be present to win." Happiness and joy can only be found in the present moment, not by living in the past or projecting myself into some hazy future.
Today is the birthday of poet, peace and human rights activist, and Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, whose writing has helped me to be more fully present for the miracle of daily life. For my birthday this year, a friend gave me a copy of Present Moment Wonderful Moment: Mindfulness Verses for Daily Living. Now as I fold the clean laundry I say the verses or gathas from this book to be more mindful, more fully aware of my loved ones who bless my life, who will wear these socks and t-shirts.
I became more familiar with Thich Nhat Hanh when I read The Fifth Book of Peace by Maxine Hong Kingston after hearing her read at the John R. Milton Conference at the University of South Dakota-Vermillion in 2009. She has worked extensively with war veterans in writing workshops and has traveled with them to Thich's Plum Village in France. An amazing book, which I highly recommend.
Do you have a favorite book by Thich Nhat Hanh that you would recommend?