Zen master brings calm to Stormont
One of the world's most influential spiritual leaders has urged Stormont's politicians to connect with their spiritual side in order to achieve reconciliation.
Tuesday, 17 April 2012
Zen master 85-year-old Thích Nhat Hanh passed on his mindfulness teachings on Tuesday before leading a meditation walk through the Stormont Estate.
An air of calm descended on Parliament Buildings for the visit and for a time, the cut and thrust of political debate was quietened.
The Vietnamese monk, affectionately known as Thay, gave a talk in the Senate Chamber during which he told the region's politicians that it was important to listen to others.
He also stressed the importance of focusing on the present.
I know that it is possible to live happily right here and now. I do not have to wait in order to start living.
Poet, peacemaker and human rights activist Thích Nhat Hanh
The event was sponsored by a number of MLAs, including Sinn Féin Junior Minister Martina Anderson.
"I actually had the privilege and opportunity to become involved in mindfulness and that happened during a period of my own life when I was in prison in Durham," she told the chamber.
"Little did I know then when I was given the book of 'The Miracle of Mindfulness' that I would not only meet the author of that book but I would meet him in Parliament buildings in Stormont."
The renowned author then led a crowd of several hundred on a meditation walk through the Stormont Estate bringing a message of peace in oneself and peace through the world.