I spent the weekend at heart and mind blowing workshop (more on that later ) with Father John Dear who’s a friend of Thich Nhat Hanh.   He described Thich Nhat Hanh as “so funny it was embarrassing” and then went on to observe that the greatest, most authentic people he’s met all have radiant joy even in the face of unspeakable suffering.

He’s come to believe that’s the mark of authenticity.

As I finish reading Thich Nhat Hanh’s journals from the 1960’s, I can see the radiant joy in his actions, exchanges with others and in the ways he and his people faced such unspeakable suffering during Vietnam and yet remained kind and engaged.

He trained himself to see the good in people and as a result the good in him was revealed.

When Thich Nhat Hanh was asked where his radiant joy comes from, he responded:

“direct encounters are necessary to understand another’s suffering”  

“only understanding leads to love”  

“I have directly encountered people, I get fully engaged, I see for myself, therefore I understand and love brings me radiant joy”