Thich Nhat Hanh's tips on emotions at Doon School

by Jaskiran Chopra,TNN, Sept 30, 2008

DEHRADUN, India -- The smiling face of the monk who believes the "real miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment" can make people easily trust his words.

On Saturday, as Thich Nhat Hanh, the world-famous Buddhist master, spoke about the "importance of present" in front of 600 teachers at the Doon School's leafy campus, almost everyone in the crowd appeared to be enjoying the moment as the Vietnamese monk's soft voice flowed through the rows of people listening to him in rapt attention.

"It's important to live in the present. People forget to live as they either remain trapped in their past or they keep worrying about the future," the Zen master said, addressing the teachers who have come here from all over the country to attend a four-day workshop on "how to be calm and controlled in adverse situations".

After the retreat is over, the teachings of the monk, who coined the famous term "Engaged Buddhism", would trickle down to thousands of students across the country. Talking to the teachers, the Zen Master said, "Strong emotions need control and this could be done by living in the present and understanding the wonders of life which can help calm the mind."

The Zen master, whose unique mindfulness meditative techniques in daily living have benefited people from diverse backgrounds, spoke to the teachers about "handling emotions", a crucial factor in schools these days.

"The retreat has brought together teachers from many parts of the country to give them an opportunity to look within themselves and also understand their counterparts from other regions," said Shantam Seth, Dharmacharya of Ahimsa Tru-st, organiser of the workshop.

During the retreat, the monk will delve upon topics like "togetherness in the family, handling stress, reviewing the importance of technology in one's life and learning to listen and speak mindfully", Seth added.

Speaking about anger, the master said it was a dangerous emotion and awareness could check it. "Compassion can be learnt from one's own suffering and from the suffering of others. Life cannot be all happiness. By understanding suffering, by taking out time to understand it, one can finally reach happiness," he said. "One must be connected to the mysteries of life and keep the wonders alive within."

During the workshop in the serene and beautiful campus of the Doon School, the Buddhist master will conduct sessions on walking meditation, deep relaxation, Dharma talks, guided meditation, and five mindfulness trainings.
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