“Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.” Thich Nhat Hanh
I just watched “Walk With Me”, a documentary narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch. I loved him in Sherlock Holmes, so it was interesting hearing his voice in a different setting.
The film centers around the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk that has written many books about mindfulness and peace. It shows glimpses of the lives of the monks and nuns that live at Plum Village and dedicate their entire lives to mindfulness.
Plum Village is a Buddhist meditation center located in the South of France. That is also where Thich Nhat Hanh lives and teaches. The center offers retreats and workshops for individuals and families.
If I had to choose only one word to describe the documentary, unfortunately, that word would be “uneven”. I was hoping for inspiring, deep, meaningful, life changing, mind altering, but unfortunately I think that I, once again, approached something with so much expectation that it left me disappointed.
It had great moments, but the moments seemed a bit disconnected. I will not describe the moments I liked here so I do not spoil it for anyone intending to watch it. I do recommend it that people watch it as it does offer some moments of contemplation.
When the first few lines appeared on the screen it hit me, it spoke to my core. I couldn’t help but to be filled with expectations:
“I know what it is to get angry, and I know the pleasure of being praised.
I am often on the verge of tears or laughter,
But beneath of these emotions, what else is there?
How can I touch it?
If there isn’t anything…
why would I be so certain that there is?
I searched it and found out that it is from his book “Fragrant Palm Leaves”. It is based on his journals from 1962 through 1966. I just ordered it and plan on devouring it as soon as I get it.
Back to the documentary, I expected a journey into mindfulness, but it seemed to have never picked up momentum. The train never really left the station for me.
Looking back, I don’t think I watched the documentary as mindful as I should have been. I kept expecting a big aha moment. I was not watching it in the moment, I was watching it expecting the next moment. The next moment never came.
Perhaps that is the lesson that I should carry with me: less expectations. Be in the moment, in the very moment. Welcome the moment. Have no expectations of that moment. Let the moment wash over you as a fresh rain, take it in, get wet.
“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.” Thich Nhat Hanh