Happy Valentine’s Day

You may not be a fan of Valentine’s Day under the best of circumstances. But this year??!!??? Are you kidding???!!!? No, in fact. I’m gently proposing that these conditions of relative isolation that we find ourselves in may be just right for finding true love.

“Darling, I am here for you.” The great Zen master Thich Nhat Hahn composed this “mantra of true presence.” Please consider saying this to yourself. Look in the mirror in the morning and say it. Say it late at night when you can’t sleep. Say it all the time. Offer yourself the gift of kind attention. Have the kind intention to let yourself be.

“Darling, I know you are there and I am so happy.” This is another mantra from the Zen master. What a wonderful thing to hear! Some of the people claim to not like this phrase, preferring, “I’m here for you” or “I’m here for you, buddy” or something. But truthfully, we all want to be dear to someone and yes, even darling, and to have our mere presence make someone happy. And it turns out that we don’t have to pine and wait!  We can say this mantra anytime, and lots of times. And it may be that tiny moments of letting ourselves be, offering ourselves the reminder that we are wonderful just as we are, literally full of wonder, can change our lives.

Let it be. Let the body be the body, just as you find it today. Let the feelings be the feelings. Let the thoughts be the thoughts. Let the world be the world.  If there is to be an answer or an insight, if there is to be healing of the heartbreak and soothing of the pain and trouble, it starts and ends here. We accept reality. And we dare to show ourselves just as we are to a greater, nonjudgmental attention. We know that we are lovable.

Another mantra of true presence from Thich Nhat Hahn is: “Darling, I know you are suffering. That is why I am here for you.” The last and most challenging is: “Darling, I suffer. I am trying my best to practice. Please help me.” This is the most challenging, because it means admitting to a loved one that they are making you suffer.

Undertaking this practice of offering ourselves a bit of kind, nonjudgmental attention, letting everything be just as it is, we may begin to glimpse what love could be. It just might be a force that allows an easing of fear, a little bit of luminous energy that allows us to see ourselves as a person of interest–not a police suspect but genuinely worthy of care and interest. It may turn out to be the case that our private pain and sorrow is not deepest thing in us. This light, this seeming ephemeral energy is. Love is.

Please feel welcome to join me for meditation and a dharma talk on Sunday, 5:30-6:30 pm EST, or Wednesday, 12:30-1:15 pm EST. By donation : ) Here is the link:

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6 thoughts on “Happy Valentine’s Day

  1. Hi Tracy,

    Thank you for this week’s post. At the end of last week’s post, there was an invitation to attend Wed and Sunday meditation sessions with you. I’d like to join one or both sessions this coming week if I may. Do I need a new Zoom invitation?

    with gratitude, Rebecca Dalton


  2. Thank you so, Tracy. As you write the words of Thay, I hear his voice, all the more reassuring and supportive.
    Sending best wishes to you from Kibbutz Nir Oz, Israel.

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