Updated: Apr 10, 2022
Today is my birthday. January 28. Happy Birthday to me! But truly, instead of celebrating my birth, I prefer the way in which the late Buddhist Master, Thich Nhat Hanh, described this day:
"The day you call your birthday is really a day to remember your continuation. Every day you transform. Some part of you is being born and some part is dying." - Thich That Hanh
Like so much of his teachings, nothing is ever so black and white. Everything is interconnected. One cannot exist without the other. Suffering and Joy. Mud and Lotus. Death and Birth. So, rather than perceiving this day as merely a date of birth, I'd like to honor this day as my Continuation Day. In this moment, I am so thankful to have the opportunity of continuing to live in the here and now, experiencing all that I am experiencing, with the lives I'm blessed to be crossing paths every moment. The good, the bad, the challenges. I am thankful for the period before my birth, when I was nurtured in my mother's' womb for 9 months. And for the times before that, when my soul was somewhere out there, living another life, in another time, unbeknownst to me.
(me inside my mother's womb! mothers deserve more celebration on our "birth" day.)
In reflecting upon the Continuation week I've already had, I truly have nothing but thankfulness in my heart. From a 3-day nature-filled family retreat to a simple birthday of mindfulness, yoga, delicious meals, friends and family love, I feel FULL from my crown to root chakra, and a lot in my sacral from all the food :) While I had the opportunity to celebrate this year in a big way with some of my best of friends, Omicron reminded my heart to remain still, and that a quiet, simpler, and loved January 28th is the way to go!
(homemade breakfast taco by hubby)
(family hike up gazillion stairs - accomplishment!)
To wrap up this day, I'd like to welcome in my 37th year with more "embodiment." While my mind and soul have been so fully nourished over the past couple of decades, I'd also like to bring in more awareness and love to this beautiful vessel of mine which has sustained me through thick and thin. After having had two babies, two years of COVID-life, two years of hybrid grad school, my fluctuating body has more or less been tested for the past decade. So, the gift I'd like to reinstate back to myself, my body, is a renewed connectedness, a realignment, more ease and lots of care. I'd like to finally truly take care of this body of mine, honor it like how it has taken care of me.
My dear friends and family, thank you for celebrating me. Even if words aren't spoken, actions go unseen, I truly honor your presence in my life!
I'd like to end this entry with yet another mindful brilliance of Master Thich Nhat Hanh, a spiritual teacher whom truly inspired the rebirth of me, and thus The Lotus Pond today. May we continue to see your light everywhere we turn. Thank you for all that you've done for humanity. Thank you and thank you.
If you ask the cloud, "How old are you? Can you give me your date of birth?" you can listen deeply and you may hear a reply. You can imagine the cloud being born. Before being born it was the water on the ocean's surface. Or it was in the river and then it became vapor. It was also the sun because the sun makes the vapor. The wind is there too, helping the water to become a cloud. The cloud does not come from nothing; there has been only a change in form. It is not a birth of something out of nothing. Sooner or later, the cloud will change into rain or snow or ice. If you look deeply into the rain, you can see the cloud. The cloud is not lost; it is transformed into rain, and the rain is transformed into grass and the grass into cows and then to milk and then into the ice cream you eat. Today if you eat an ice cream, give yourself time to look at the ice cream and say: "Hello, cloud! I recognize you.”
- Thich Nhat Hanh / No Death, No Fear