I’ve been doing more reading on mindfulness and three models that it is used in- Acceptance Commitment Therapy which I’m going to do a short course on, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy and Stress Reduction Therapy. I also bought a book The Mindful Way through Depression which complements what I was taught by Thich Nhat Hanh. It has been seeping into my counselling practice slowly. I’ve also started reading Zen Keys by Thich Nhat Hanh before I go to bed- which reminds me of where I want to be- in reality and interbeing. A friend asked me what is being Buddhist- for she has Buddhist beliefs but does not consider herself to be a Buddhist. I compared it to describing yourself as a feminist which some people do and some people don’t – but still promote the core values of being feminist.
I have been dreaming of going back to Vietnam recently, always to return to temples. The most recent dream had a Buddhist nun talking to me saying that the answers to my questions lay within. This had a pretty deep and profound impact on me.
I have been reading the latest Thich Nhat Hanh book titled “ethics for a better life” or something like that which is a commentary on the five mindfulness trainings. Reading it puts me back in that space where I was on the retreat in Vietnam.
I have just begun counselling work again and I notice that my approach is different. I now open myself up to listen deeply and with compassion- rather than using theory and professionalism as a presence. it feels much more comfortable. maybe in western training theory and research and professionalism are used as defenses. we are taught how to sound like we’re listening but not to really listen.
The saddest thing happened the other day. my friend huu tran’s baby passed away suddenly. his wife lucy is having trouble accepting it, during the funeral she sang to the baby’s body and asked us to wake Vin up because he wasn’t listening to mummy anymore.
This is a poem for Vin
Small clamped fist
Like a budded lotus flower
His stilled breath, forever
Rest in peace Vin