April 20, 2010

Thich Nhat Hanh: Your Heart is like a Flower

As the author of Living Buddha, Living Christ, Thich Nhat Hanh has always been adept at making his teachings familiar for a Western audience. In this recent dharma talk, given at Dharma Cloud Temple in Upper Hamlet, Plum Village, Thich Nhat Hanh speaks in depth about “the Kingdom of God.”

Rather than understanding the Kingdom as a place reached after death, Thich Nhat Hanh says that by opening our hearts to the moment we can “touch the Kingdom” here and now.

From the talk:

It’s springtime now and if we observe we see that there are so many wonderful things manifesting. And if you look at these flowers and ask, where have they come from? They may tell you that they have come from the Kingdom of God. And if you get in touch with them deeply enough, you will touch the Kingdom of God.

Listen to the full talk here.

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msmolison's picture

If you haven't ever read the Gospel of Thomas I would recommend it. It is considered by most experts to be dated prior to the other Gospels. Once you read it, it will give another perspective to Christianity and really, at least for me, emphasized the inward looking perspective that Christianity did have and likely was the more authentic teachings of Jesus. Once understood, some of his parables in the other Gospels may take on new meaning and for me, the Gospel of Thomas is very Buddhist. Elaine Pagles has a very nice book "Beyond Beleif" that discusses the history of the early church and has a copy of the Gospel of Thomas at the end.

Talat Halman's picture

Jesus did proclaim "The Kingdom of heaven is at hand." Jesus was committed to helping people touch and access the kingdom of heaven as a shared experience in this life among people, more than an afterlife goal. Thich Nhat Hanh is helping people realize the humanity of the Son of Man's kingdom and helping people be free of the acquisitive empires of the beast. With love and the power of presence we can taste paradise -- a phenomenon we can only really understand by the experiences we have here and now of peaceful and beautiful flower gardens.