We are Here to Awaken from the Illusion of Our Separateness

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (affectionately known as Thay by his followers) says, “We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.”

This quote appeared in a Tricycle.com article by dharma teacher Wendy Johnson. She is the longest-running writer for Tricycle Magazine. Her articles on gardening appear each month and we have been friends since the late 1980’s. I admire her work and appreciate her friendship.

In the Tricycle Magazine article, she writes about Thich Nhat Hanh in the early days of Plum Village, his residence in southern France. The stories she tells are quite wonderful and makes me want to be there again.

Here to Awaken | March 9, 2015

 We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.

– Thich Nhat Hanh, “A Floating Sangha Takes Root.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh in Plum Village in 2000, Photo Jerome Freedman

Wendy was in Plum Village when Thay was writing Old Path White Clouds: Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha. This is my all-time favorite book, not only be Thay, but by any other author. It so clearly tells the story of the life of the Buddha from the point of view of a buffalo boy named Svasti. Svasti goes on to become an enlightened monk towards the end of the book.

There are many intriguing stories about the life of the Buddha. I would open the book to a random place and start reading stories to my children, then ages five and seven. I think they have paid off, for they live wonderful lives as adults.

Why don’t you buy Old Path White Clouds, and start reading to your children? If you have no small children, why not read it with your spouse or BFF or lover? You won’t regret it.

Books by Thich Nhat Hanh

Old Path White Clouds: Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha

Thich Nhat Hanh

Drawn from original sources, Old Path White Clouds is the beautiful classic recounting of the life and teachings of Gautama Buddha over the course of eighty years. It is retold alternately through the eyes of Svasti, the buffalo boy who provided kusa grass for the Buddha’s enlightenment … [Read More…]

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