Dear Thay, dear Sangha, At the beginning of the first Dharma talk of the retreat last summer in Estes Park, Colorado, Thay read a new gatha. With a glimmer in his eye and delight in his voice, he recited:
Let the Buddha breathe Let the Buddha walk I don’t have to breathe I don’t have to walk
The Buddha is breathing The Buddha is walking I enjoy the breathing I enjoy the walking
Buddha is the breathing Buddha is the walking I am the breathing I am the walking
There is only breathing There is only walking There is no breather There is no walker
Peace while breathing Joy while walking Peace is the breathing Joy is the walking
Later I asked Sister Dang Nghiem to tell me the story behind the gatha. “The last time that Thay was in Korea, one day he was scheduled to lead a walking meditation. However, there were hundreds of people surrounding Thay with their cameras aiming right at him. Thay realized that there was no way he could lead the walk. Then suddenly Thay said to the Buddha, ‘Please lead the walk for me.’ Thay surrendered completely. To Thay’s own amazement, Thay felt the Buddha taking the first step, then the next step. Everyone stepped to the side and opened the way for... Thay? the Buddha?
“Thay gained deep insight into the experience of surrendering himself and letting the Buddha take over. The gatha ‘Let the Buddha breathe, Let the Buddha walk’ was inspired by that experience.”
May the Buddha walk with you through the turning of the seasons, in the darkness and in the light. May the Buddha breathe with your lungs, speak with your mouth, feel with your heart. And may the Buddha write with your pen (or keyboard)! Please continue sending me your wonderful contributions; they are the heart and soul of this publication. I’ve received only a few for the “Heart to Heart” section so do send me your thoughts on the Fifth Mindfulness Training for the next issue. And I always love to receive your letters and e-mails!
Blessings to you and your loved ones from the depth of Colorado winter, on this sunny snow-dappled Christmas Eve,