The Music of Mindful Breathing
Tonight the Pink Moon—a supermoon—rises over us, bathing the hidden valley in silver after the cooling rains of this morning gave way to sunlight. Tomorrow the monks and nuns begin a five-day monastic retreat, nourishing our siblinghood with talks, meditation, and mindful games together.
We welcome young people aged 18-35 to join us for the Wake Up Earth Retreat online, hosted by Deer Park Monastery, from May 26–30, with the topic: "Our Journey of Resilience, Compassion and Healing." Scholarships are available. Consider inviting a young person in your life to attend. Maybe you could offer it to them as a gift?
Within the last year, Brother Peace lost his parents, tragically, to suicide. He composed and performs the song It Won't Always Be This Way for them, and for all who suffer from depression.
In a clip from Deer Park in 2004, Thay reveals to us the secret of how to listen to the music of our breathing when difficult emotions arise to accept and embrace them as wholly part of us—as a manifestation in concert with our breathing.
Deborah Westcott writes about the many ways in which she loves Deer Park: "Deer Park is my lighthouse in a storm."
Finally, enjoy a video of Brother Freedom and Brother Peace cooking red cabbage and vegetarian duck last year in Solidity Hamlet.
Let the warm air of spring entice you out into nature, where your mindful steps can bring you back to see Mother Earth in every cell of your body.
With love and gratitude,
The Monks and Nuns of Deer Park Monastery
Thich Nhat Hanh
Whenever a lot of difficult mental formations come up, Thay advises us to say, "Listen everyone, you have a chance to express yourself. But now, let's listen to music." The music is the sound of our mindful breathing. Mindfulness is the musician using the instrument of our breath like a violin softly soothing and calming our difficult mental formations. As lyrics, we can use many gathas like "I have arrived, I am home" and "In, Out, Deep, Slow."
Deer Park, Blue Cliff and Magnolia Grove Monasteries host this online retreat for young people. How can we handle the feelings of dread, loneliness and anger within us and around us? There is no “back to normal” in such an uncertain and complex world. Let’s come together to build a more compassionate future. Wake Up is an active global community of young mindfulness practitioners in their 20s & 30s inspired by the teachings of Zen Master and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh. We come together to practice mindfulness in order to take care of ourselves, nourish happiness, and contribute to building a healthier and more compassionate society.
Within the last year, Brother Peace lost both of his parents, tragically, to suicide. He wrote this song for them, and for all who suffer with depression. We wish for them deep healing, and continue to practice with them in our hearts. May all beings be happy, safe, and free from sorrow and fear.
Now we are in the throes of Covid-19. Things are changing, and they will never be the same again. It is springtime! Spring is so pretty at Deer Park. I am missing some of my favorite flowers, but I have photos of past springs. When Deer Park reopens, some things will be different. But that would be true anyway. That’s life. Some things will be the same, though. There will still be the practice. As Thay wrote, “On the long, rough road / The sun and the moon / Will continue to shine”. We at Deer Park will walk that Path together.