Make These Moments Legendary Moments

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Some of Thich Nhat Hanh’s most important teachings are that right now we are enough as we are and right now all the necessary conditions for our happiness and fulfillment are available. We don’t need to chase this or that goal in order to be happy, we don’t need to attain this or that goal in order to be happy.

What a liberating feeling when the full weight of the above is realized. We don’t need more, we don’t need to wait for vacations or promotions, houses or riches, changes in others or even changes in ourselves. All these things might be nice and desirable and worth going after but we don’t need them. We only need to do one simple thing, and this is touch the present moment with all of our being. We notice and connect with the wonders around us here and now rather than split our attention and our being in parts as we regretfully look to the past, anxiously look to the future, or absentmindedly drift in the present.

We don’t need to forget about the past or discard the present in order to arrive more fully in the present moment. We don’t need to discard our goals and aspirations. We don’t need to stop trying to be better people, to stop moving along our continuum of self-actualization. We only need to realize that the best way to make this movement happen is to focus on and enjoy the process of each individual step in the journey and to realize that each step is its own reward not just a means to some greater end. Then suddenly lights, colors, sounds, encounters, conversations, tastes, smells, and everything else that make up the fabric of our daily life takes on extraordinary, legendary dimensions. These experiences are lifted from the mundane and into the incredible. For all we know we are the only organisms in the history of the universe with the capacity to at once experience life and reflect upon it. It’s a miracle of the highest order yet many of us come to take this miracle as normal or even boring.

All we really need to do to make these moments legendary moments is to notice them, to bring our full attention to them, to use our in-breaths and out-breaths as portals for the recognition that we are alive and aware creatures in the cosmos. Next time you’re listening to a great song and you get goosebumps, or you’re out taking a walk and notice the beautiful light and colors, or you’re hanging out with someone you love and they make you smile, stop and realize that you actually are touching nirvana and you don’t need anything more to be truly happy and fulfilled.