Friday Night Zen: Healing through Mindfulness

:: Submitted by Emily Buckley ::

In a recent Friday Night Zen meditation group that I facilitated, I chose to speak about healing, grounding this discussion in the wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village tradition. Below is a link to a beautiful video where Thich Nhat Han talks about how to heal ourselves.

His teachings on “stopping” have really helped me in my everyday life. For example, when I am in a rush in my daily life, I will sometimes notice this, and I will slow down my walking, and slow down my breathing, and walk mindfully and think “this moment is a happy moment” or “It’s okay, I don’t need to rush.”

There is nowhere to get to that is more important than the present moment.

In the Plum Village tradition, they have a song that goes: “We’re all moving, on a journey to nowhere, taking it easy, taking it slow. No more worries, no need to hurry, nothing to carry, let it all go.” This is another song that comes to me at times to remember that it’s the journey, not the destination, that matters.

In our meetings we always reflect on some questions to deepen our understanding of the night’s topic. I offer them here for your own personal reflection – it can be nice to journal about them, if that’s in your practice:

  • How do you practice stopping in your everyday life, or if this is not a practice that you are currently doing, are you interested in trying it?
  • How do you think you could integrate the idea of “stopping” into your every day life?
  • Do you feel like “stopping” is hard for you? Why, or why not?
  • What are activities or experiences that have felt deeply healing for you?

Emily has been practicing at Clouds in Water for about 7 years, and has recently also began  practicing in the Plum Village tradition of Thich Nhan Hanh. She works as an Early Childhood Special Education teacher with 3-5 year olds in Saint Paul Public Schools. In her free time she enjoys hiking and doing pottery.

The purpose of this group is to build community in the Twin Cities amongst people ages 18-45ish who are interested in meditation and mindfulness, or for those who are new or curious about meditation and want to try it in a more supportive group setting. Our bi-monthly meet up also has a topic and optional sharing after 30 minutes of meditation which is partly silent and partly guided. We meet the first and 3rd Friday of each month. Learn more here.