Walk In Peace

These words of wisdom for today come from my teacher, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, who we call Thay. The picture and image reflect on the Thay’s principal teachings: walk in peace.

I love this image and it reminds me of my days with Thich Nhat Hanh in 1997. It was a retreat on the campus of the University of California in Santa Barbara. These were special days because I was recovering from bladder cancer and felt very vulnerable.

Walk in PeaceEach morning we did walking meditation as a sangha. I recall walking down to the small beach on the campus with the sangha led by Thay. His pace was slow and peaceful and it allowed us to be mindful not only of our steps, but the beautiful wonders of life around us.

When we arrived at the beach, Thay took a seat at the top of a small sand dune and rested in mindfulness. He drank his tea, which was laid out on a cloth on the sand by one of his attendants. After he finished his tea, he stood up mindfully and carefully walked down the sand dune.

Everyone stood when Thay did and I waited for him to come near. He usually walks with the children closest to him, but on that day, I gently took his hand to walk in peace with my teacher. I needed to feel like one of the children because I was not sure where my cancer would take me.

Today, I am feeling just as vulnerable. A new cancer was found last December and I am faced with a tough decision about by bladder. I can have it removed, as was recommended more than 17 years ago, or I can keep the bladder and watch the tumor carefully.

Removal is a long and complicated operation, but it will get rid of all the cancer. I’ll have a normal life once I recover from the surgery.

Watching the tumor carefully is what I have been doing since 1997. My life style won’t have to change, but the danger of metastases is great.

I have about two weeks to decide.

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