Teachings on love by Thich Nhat Hanh

May I be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit. 

May I be free from anger, afflictions, fear and anxiety. 

May I learn to look at myself with the eyes of understanding and love. 
May I be able to recognise and touch the seeds of joy and happiness in myself. 

May I learn how to identify and see the sources of anger, craving and delusion in myself. 

May I know how to nourish the seeds of joy in myself every day. 

May I be able to live fresh, solid and free. 

May I be free from attachment and aversion, but not be indifferent. 

Make every yesterday a memory of happiness

This is an ancient Sanskrit poem …the wisdom echoes down over the centuries…..

A Life Well Lived

Look well to this day
For it is life
The very best of life.
In its brief course lie all
The realities and truths of existence,
The joy of growth, the splendour of action,
The glory of power.
For yesterday is but a memory.
And tomorrow is only a vision.
But today well lived
Makes every yesterday a memory of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore to this day.


Anniversaries, Love, Luck and Blessings

Recently I was asked if I felt I was lucky. After some thought I said, yes… but I called it being blessed. Here’s one reason why.

Happy anniversary…to me!

Nine years ago I married my husband. The children called him Mr Genius Man because there’s very little he can’t do! I call him Lee.

Our wedding was such a beautiful day. It was a second marriage for us both, and we’ve both known the pain of vows gone wrong and rejection. So we took our vows even more seriously this time – and he has loved and cherished me every single day since. I am not on a pedestal, but I know how wonderful he thinks I am, and he quite simply makes me more than I ever thought I could be. What a gift.

But there’s more…

….because our vows were pretty special. Lee married me…and took on my four teenagers as part of a package. Four children? When I applied to one dating agency, that fact was met with silence and then a comment that it might be hard to find anyone….

But I did. The Universe gave me Lee – and he fell in love with me – and just started to love all four children too. We found a pastor who allowed us to make our own vows. So after Lee promised to love, cherish, honour me…he did exactly the same with each of my children, by name. I remember feeling such great love and emotion from the forty close friends and family that were there. And I remember standing with such joy as he did that, even as a wave of tears started behind us that just swept across the room. They knew Lee. They knew he would take this seriously. And he has. I am so lucky. We are so lucky. We are all, quite simply, blessed….


Love Letter to My Daughters

Valentine’s Day can be a hard day if you are single. It’s seems like all that matters is love and romance and the “whole world” is in a relationship except you – but you can forget that many in relationships are not happy either, and many in relationships will have a partner who does not appreciate small gestures of love. I wanted to remind my two girls how beautiful they are, and that they are not poorer for choosing to be single right now. I wanted them to waken up to a message of love. I share this with their permission.


This is what you have learned. I love you. I love the women you are, who are loving life and doing what you love. I love that you have known love and known to walk away from what can’t be love. That you have put yourselves first. That you respect yourselves. I love you. I know that you know that it is better to be single than in the wrong relationship. I also know that can be lonely sometimes. But hold out. Hold on for better and best. Today is just one day. Make it a day you love YOU. Love will come. The right love, the good love. The love that gives you wings, to be free and all of you. But today? Today is a day of joy. To love life. To be glad we have each other. To celebrate health and family. Make it a great day. And by the way… Did I tell you how much I love you?

Losing The What Ifs

When we are mindful of what we are doing, we learn to keep our appointment with life. This awareness of the present moment gives us the opportunity and the tools to touch peace and joy. Thich Nhat Hanh

Have you ever been really lucky? Not in the sense of winning something good, but in avoiding something really awful? I have. A number of times. Including the time my mum & dad left us in the car to secretly pick up our Christmas presents. Someone then – seeing small children in the car – quietly reversed a petrol tanker with a massive bomb in it up to the car and just walked away. Someone was suspicious, the town was evacuated (we ran from the car with the police) and the bomb was defused. Such were the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland.

I’ve several stories like that. Stories where you think “What If?” I was reminded of them this week when I read an article on a woman who escaped the Cruise Ship disaster earlier this year – and realised its all about how you tell your story. The lady concerned found she was paralysed by “what ifs”.

She was anxious and kept thinking about how she almost died and all that could have happened. But that’s only half the story – because the other half is to remember that it didn’t happen, and be grateful for such mercies. Living your life full of worries about what ifs that never happened is such a waste of your life, and will destroy your happiness. So if you catch yourself thinking like this, turn your story around by being grateful for the mercy of what didn’t happen. Think “that could have happened, and I’m so lucky it didn’t,” and let go of the what ifs so you can enjoy your all too brief present.

What if you lived your life like that instead?x

To Be A Pilgrim

My mum sent me a picture this week out of her local paper. It was of me, sitting cross-legged in my Girls Brigade Uniform. Before I moved to the village of Saintfield (so called because St Patrick was supposed to have slept there on his way to Saul, Streull & Downpatrick), I had been in the Brownies. But I joined the GB when I was six & left when I was 14, and loved my time there, through all the parades, displays, competitions and services.

Each year we would have a special service, marching to the church along with the Boys Brigade. And we would often song the old song “To Be A Pilgrim.”

I read John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress many years ago but I believe that key theme of carrying burdens that we don’t need to carry still has great truth. Anything that we choose to still carry from our past is too heavy, as is anything we do that is done out of duty with a heavy heart or resentment, or anything we do because of a belief that no longer fits us.

If you are on a spiritual journey, you will carry them until your eyes are opened to a different way of living or doing things. Then you are forever changed. These moments of change are sometimes unnoticed, arriving without fanfares – or sometimes, they can make you instantly laugh out loud!

Our willingness to grow, learn, change and continue towards peace, happiness and joy are what the journey is all about. THIS is what makes us all pilgrims of some sort – even when at times, we might not know where we are headed.

Poet Mark Nepo writes this:

“To journey without being changed
is to be a nomad.
To change without journeying
is to be a chameleon.
To journey and be transformed
by the journey
is to be a pilgrim. ………

I, as you, consider myself to be a pilgrim of the deepest kind, journeying beyond any one creed or tradition, into the compelling, recurring space in which we know the moment and are changed by it. Mysteriously, as elusive as it is, this moment – where the eye is what it sees, where the heart is what it feels – this moment shows us that what is real is sacred.”