What Can I Say About My Beloved Teacher?

Larry Ward shares a poem about Thich Nhat Hanh, whose teachings have guided many towards a life of mindfulness, joy, and peace.

Larry Ward
30 January 2022

What can I say about my beloved teacher?

I can say that the soft whisper of his voice in the dark night of confusion, of fear and sorrow, calls us home to our true selves.

I can say that his teachings bring the dharma rain, bathing us in healing energy in the blessed peace of our lives.

I can say that his gentle footsteps upon the earth ride on the winds of peace, the thunder of compassion, and reflect the powerful moonlight of understanding.

I can say that he tirelessly engages with his whole being in the noblest of causes, to heal and transform the breaking waves of our shadows.

I can say I love my teacher because he has nourished the teacher in me to wake up, wake up, wake up.

I can say that his practice, his prose, and his poetry speak with the beauty and clarity of the buddha within each of us.

I can say that on this very day we are most fortunate to be here together, to be in touch with the miracle of deep breath, and the holy moment of awareness in which we are touched by that which is not coming and not going.

So here we are together in the heart of Thich Nhat Hanh.

photo of Larry Ward

Larry Ward

Larry Ward is a senior teacher in Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village tradition. He holds a PhD in religious studies (with an emphasis on Buddhism and the neuroscience of meditation), is director of the Lotus Institute, and serves as an advisor to the Executive Mind Leadership Institute at the Drucker School of Management. He is the author of America’s Racial Karma and coauthor, with his wife, Peggy, of Love’s Garden: A Guide to Mindful Relationships.