Report: Thich Nhat Hanh - Public Talk
Two thousand people flocked to the Conference Centre Dublin last night (11th April, 2012) for a talk by the revered spiritual leader, Thich Nhat Hahn. The eighty six year old, who joined a Vietnamese Zen monastery at the age of sixteen, was in lively form as he joked and spoke for over two hours on the importance of mindfulness in modern society.
Thây, or teacher as he is known, took the stage at 7pm and began by stressing the need for more mindful compassion in society and also among nations. The crowd were sedate but eager to hear his opinions following half an hour of guided meditation led by one of the female monastics.
Mindfulness and awareness were the two key points of the lecture. “Be mindful of the here and now to recognise happiness in the here and now” he says. That is, awareness of the body’s relationship with the mind via focused breathing can result in happiness which shouldn't be taken for granted.
All around the auditorium people had their hands joined in a pyramid at the fingers. Songs and chants featured a number of times throughout the evening with audience participation increasing as the night went on.
At 21.20 he held a questions and answers session with the event finishing up soon after. This was Thich Nhat Hahn’s second visit to Ireland in twenty years, something many hope will become more frequent after such a warm welcome this time round. He is holding a sold-out retreat in Kilarney where eight hundred people are expected to participate.
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