“Waking up this morning, I smile.
Twenty-four brand new hours are ahead of me.
I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.”
(Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh)

Good morning, Vietnam!
Hummm…. yummy…
How bright the sunshine!
How fresh the air!
How beautiful the flowers this morning! 🙂

That mantra taught by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh touched my heart deeper than ever before!

I marvelled at the beautiful flowers in my front yard.
This is the first time in my life that I have bought lots of flowers to decorate the house and greet the new year.

I have recently finished building this house for my family in Long Phuoc.
We moved in a couple of months ago.
I am happy living in this new home,
Spacious, peaceful and clean-aired,
Good for the body
Good for the mind
Good for the soul !

I have been feeling so blessed.
This year has been the best year ever in my life.
So many wonderful things have come to me.
Buying this piece of land was pure luck.
Building this house went astonishingly smoothly and fast
(It took me only 3 months to finish it comparing to the 10 year building project of my house in Brighton.)
New neighbours and friends have been kind and helpful….

My parents are healthier, happier and more peaceful since living here despite the fact that they are getting older with more ailments.
I have now got a nice base so I’ve decided to stay in Vietnam for long.
This decision is a total U-Turn for me.
If you had asked me where I wanted to live a year ago, I’d have said Brighton, UK and that I didn’t want to live in Vietnam!

Feeling grateful, blessed and happy is my usual state of being.
What touched me deeper this morning than any usual day was the scream of a being reverberating in the morning air.
This scream woke me up and its painful cry stabbed my heart.
I guessed it was a pig being slaughtered for Tet (the Lunar New Year).

“Nam mo A di da phat…
Nam mo Quan the am bo tat…”
I said prayers to Buddha and Bodhisattva for the departing soul,
Sending my love and well-wishes ,
Hoping its soul was comforted and
Wishing it’d reincarnate into a human form in its next life if it couldn’t go straight to Nirvana this time.
(I am feeling emotional in my chest and throat as I am typing this.)

Reincarnation, Nirvana… that may sound a strange concept to some of you.
It was a dispassionate concept for me in the past.
I was not interested in it although I have been a Buddhist since I was a little girl.
But now, I am getting to feel it and understand it.

With my mindfulness practice, I have become more sensitive not just to myself –  body, mind, feeling – and to others, but also more attuned with the universe and its spirit.
I have been able to listen to its calling, respond its signals and experience the results.
It manifested its power this weekend for me.

As I drove back home from Saigon after the meeting at HCM Toastmaster, a man swirled in and out of the motorway at Nhon Trach.
He was obviously drunk.
I was so scared for him – a coming vehicle could hit him at any instant.
I wanted to tell him to stop and have a rest.
But I couldn’t reach him.
OMG! A lorry was fast approaching…
I said prayers to the Buddha and the Bodhisattva…
Thank goodness, the lorry missed his motorcycle just about an inch!
Then surprisingly, he crossed the road to the other side and stopped in front of a stall selling drinks.
What a relief! My wish for him was fulfilled.
Thank you Buddha, God, Spirits … all the spirits out there… for saving his life!

So if you are, like me in the past, sceptical, not believing in anything that cannot be proven, touched or seen by the naked eyes, I encourage you to have an open-mind, an open-heart and a beginner’s mind. Beginner’s mind? You may ask “what is this?”. Well, this is another topic for another day! 🙂

For now, I can tell you my life has changed dramatically for the better thank to my practice of mindfulness.
And that is why I am passionate about sharing it with you and many others.

For me, today was a beautiful day; 2016 was a blessed year and “la vie en rose”.
How about you? How are you? How is your day? How is life for you?
I’d love to hear your sharing 🙂 <3

La Vie En Rose – Reflection on the last few days of the year

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