We Still Have the Now

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In this moment, nothing has been lost.
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“Inside the Now” begins with an autobiographical reflection in which we hear the voice of the young monk, poet, and community-builder struggling in war-torn Vietnam to develop a Buddhism relevant to the suffering of his time.

Inside the Now (Parallax Press, 2015) contains the most recent, never before published commentaries and reflections of Thich Nhat Hanh on living in stillness and timelessness.

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Please do not say that the moment has passed, that now it is too late. Perhaps in the past there were difficulties between you and your loved one, divisive words, and mistaken perceptions. You were not able to see each other clearly and recognize each other’s true presence. These obstacles are the clouds that shroud the moon, the mist that obscures the flowers. You think that everything has fallen apart—that the moon has waned, the flowers have withered, and that you have lost each other.

But in the present moment, with the energy of mindfulness and concentration, you will be able to clear away the misunderstandings, the anger, the sadness and suspicion of days gone by. It is exactly in this very moment, today, that the work must be done. You are still alive! Treasure the reality that you are still alive. Do not allow your afflictions, craving, anger, and despair to overwhelm you. Live the moment that life is offering you. Sit down quietly and meditate to look deeply and sweep away the wild imaginings, the prejudices, and the wrong perceptions of the past. Part the clouds and uncover the brightly shining moon in the vast sky; dissolve the mist to find the dazzling flowers and fresh new buds.

You still have each other. Nothing has passed away and nothing is lost. That is because the now is still with us — because today is still here. The moon will be brighter than it was, the flowers fresher than before, because now you know how to pierce the veil of mist at the gate and roll back the clouds to reveal the vast open sky. Life is still there, waiting for us this very day, more so than ever before.

This day today is still everything.

Heaven yet preserves for us this day,

Mist melts from the gate, clouds furl up in the sky,

Flowers once withered are fresher now than ever before,

The waned moon now brighter still than moons of yore.

More from Inside the Now:

Walking In the Now
This Is It

Reprinted from Inside the Now: Meditations on Time (2015) by Thich Nhat Hanh with permission of Parallax Press, Berkeley, California.

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