This morning I imagined myself at this year’s Thich Nhat Hanh retreat. I saw myself up on the platform during the Q&A session. I wondered what I would ask him, and I realized that I didn’t really have many questions. I find joy, fulfillment, connection in my relationships, I often experience inner peace, I am fit and healthy, my business is taking off. I like my practice of bringing awareness to my in- and out breath, of being fully present in the here and now. I don’t need more learning, I want more practice.
And then it struck me. I DO have a question. A big one. A very vulnerable one. A very meaningful one. One that I hardly dare to ask. To get a hug. Or to hold his hand. Or to sit next to him, enjoying the silence. I trembled all over. I would NEVER have the courage to ask him THAT. Let alone in front of 700 other retreatants. I would never have the guts to walk up to him, and ask “Dear Thay, can I please get a hug?”
And I realized: Elly, that is wholeheartedness. That is the path you chose. To ask for what I truly, truly want, no matter what my scary feelings and judgmental thoughts are. To fully want without attachment. And I feel tender when I imagine Thich Nhat Hanh’s gentle embrace.