Thầy Thích Nhất Hạnh have passed away a day before. Though, as he said, there is nothing call "Death", it is just in our thought. His passing, however, is one of the big moment for those who know his teachings about mindfulness or stay with your thought or just be happy with the moment.
I did not know his name until 2013-2014 when a fellow asked my home address to send me a book of Thay. Mr. LP, if you read this blog, you know that I still have not received the book but no big deal there. Meditation, mindfulness or stay/focus with your thought was felt the same but also not the same. I am also not good to say how they are different. Meditation, translated to Vietnamese "thiền", some says as "chánh niệm" felt strange. The first is not active and the second is kind of foreign or too academic. The best I do with meditation is the stay with my breath in 2-3 minutes to calm myself down. If you only able to focus on the flow your breath and during that time, there is nothing else goes through your train of thought. You are at peace with yourself. Congratulation!
Most of us cannot do this simple task: not to think anything else. In a few seconds, you suddenly call up your memory of a recent event and you follow your thought for another 3-5 seconds before realize that you are not focus on your breath. You snap at yourself and a negative flow energy rises. You count your breath again. It is too easy to boring, perhaps. Five seconds later, you realize that you are thinking about a coming deadline and not focus on your breath. You try again. If not, you probably falling asleep like myself.
I'm not saying that his teaching was that simple, it is more than that. The first step to stay with your thought or to focus on your thought is just simply hard either when doing mediation or trying to solve a problem. I'm trying to learn one small application to stay calm and focus and improve my mental health. I am not dream big about non violence.
"Ambition, Violence and Greed" are the enemies inside yourself that you should face.
When we don't like something or the result is not turned out expected, we want to transfer that energy to someone else. Blaming, explanation, traffic, weather, networking, interpersonal, you name it. How many times, you hear an explanation that because of your choice of doing or not doing is the primary reason. Not so often, right?
It is not about not having ambition, but when you put your self in "Sport" mode, you should expect a quick burnt-out, a more bumpy ride. Ambitious person and always complaining that life is not fair or you feel a big stressful is not going well together.
For Greed, I can attest to you that we often turn ourselves to victims because of our greed. During the first 2 weeks of 2022, I profited 40M VND from trading stocks. I sold 2/3 of stocks and hold about 1/3 of cash. There market was good and uptrend. I can certainly buy some stocks, get a few millions before the expected adjustment from the market that is likely going to happen by the end of middle of January or the second-to-last week of the Tet festival. What I did not know that two events on Monday and Tuesday triggered the market sold off. By the end of the week, I swiped away all profit I earned and lost another 36M VND. That did not stop there. I reacted and knew full well that I could recoup some of the lost. Another week went by, because of my greed and fear, I lost another 40M, ended up losing -1.7% of my total capital.
Some of you may find it is not appropriate to connect the event of his passing with my story, but I want to connect some of his ideas with my behavior. It is small, and not relevant but that how often I translated people thought to my daily life.