Thich Nhat Hanh

In praise of sitting still in Belize

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Frigate birds gather as Jose the fisherman cleans his catch on our dock. You can tell how Jose's day went by the number of birds he attracts.
Frigate birds gather as Jose the fisherman cleans his catch on our dock. You can tell how Jose’s day went by the number of birds he attracts.

I sit in the red Adirondack chair, the only one with a cushion, albeit a thin cushion,  and marvel at the well-practiced thievery of the frigate birds.

I used to think that they were like a natural GPS tracking system for schools of sardines. Where ever five or more were gathered, soaring so gracefully on the breeze, dipping, swooping, gliding sideways — surely there were fish below.

But while the frigates are doing their narcissistic act of effortlessly artful skywriting up above, it seems that kamikaze pelicans, low-cruising cormorants and the brisk business-like white terns are doing all the heavy lifting. Read the rest of this entry »

On Ambergris Caye, life begins at the end of the pier

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Now, I’m not saying that sitting at the end of a dock for an hour every day will cure everything that ails you.

Well, yes, maybe I am.

It certainly makes possible a beneficial attitude adjustment that will carry you through your day. Problems look so much smaller when you are gazing out at the sea. Life seems less in your control and more a microscopic part of the greater cosmos.

Gazing out from the end of a dock isn’t exactly like an astronaut gazing out into space. But I bet it is really close. Read the rest of this entry »

Sorting out a life: Moving backward & forward at the same time

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Gaaaah! The more I try to go through stuff so we can move on to Belize, the more I get pulled back in time. Time to look straight ahead!
Gaaaah! The more I try to go through stuff so we can move on to Belize, the more I get pulled back in time. Time to look straight ahead!

Did you ever feel like you were moving backward and forward at the same time?

I know such a thing mucks up the laws of physics but that is just how I feel at the moment.

We are in the process of winnowing down our possessions as we prepare for our move to Belize. One of the tasks for me is going through about a half dozen boxes of old papers, letters, notebooks, writings and newspapers from Nixon’s resignation and John Lennon’s assassination – stuff  that I began accumulating at least as far back as my “lost years” in Washington DC during the Vietnam War era.

As I open each of these boxes and begin a fresh journey in personal archaeology, my mind travels back to times, people and events long forgotten. Read the rest of this entry »