Tears Become Rain: book
I am honoured to be a contributing author for ‘Tears Become Rain’. My story is about the moments when I was first diagnosed with cancer in 2014, and how mindfulness instinctively helped me to manage my strong emotional responses and transform the experience into something unexpected.
The book began life back in July 2019 with a global invitation to mindfulness practitioners from the editors, Jeanine Cogan and Mary Hillebrand, asking us to submit first-person short stories of how we were touched, moved, and inspired by the mindfulness teaching of Thich Nhat Hanh. Hundreds of us responded and I am deeply grateful for their decision to include me, to represent in some small way everyone who has experienced similar moments of life-changing significance.
All proceeds from the book will be donated to the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation, to enable his teachings to continue beautifully into the future.
About ‘Tears Become Rain’
32 mindfulness practitioners around the world reflect on encountering the extraordinary teachings of Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, who passed away in January 2022, exploring themes of coming home to ourselves, healing from grief and loss, facing fear, and building community and belonging.
Some moments change our lives. We experience wonder and relief when we realize we can be okay, just as we are. How do we then integrate these transformative moments into our daily life? ‘Tears Become Rain‘ is a collection of such stories, with one common inspiration: the teachings of mindfulness and compassion offered by the most influential meditation teacher of the past century, the Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Dr. Martin Luther King.
The stories encapsulate the benefits of mindfulness practice through the experiences of ordinary people from 16 countries around the world. Some of the contributors were direct students of Thich Nhat Hanh for decades and are meditation teachers in their own right, while others are relatively new on the path.
After her mother’s death, Canadian author Vickie MacArthur writes poignantly of discovering a source of peace within herself at Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village monastery in France. Jamaican American English professor Camille Goodison uncovers the racism of academia and finds freedom from her toxic workplace by practicing the teachings of love and liberation as taught to her by Thich Nhat Hanh. Vietnamese doctor Huy Minh Tran shares how mindfulness helped him transform his traumatic past as a refugee so that he no longer suffers from nightmares. Norwegian Eevi Beck meditates on the teacher-student relationship and how Thich Nhat Hanh supported her marriage and then loss of her husband.
For many, battling sickness, old age, and death—the death of loved ones and one’s own—brings up overwhelming emotions of grief, anger, and despair but with the wisdom of Zen practice, Tears Become Rain shows again and again how people are able to find refuge from the storm in their lives and open their hearts to joy. Through sharing their stories, ‘Tears Become Rain’ is both a celebration of Thich Nhat Hanh and a testament to his lasting impact on the lives of people from many walks of life.
Tears Become Rain was published by Parallax Press on 10th October 2023, and is distributed by Penguin Random House