Wisdom Of Master Thích Nhất Hạnh
November 11, 2020
I have recently got introduced to the works of Buddhist Master and peace activist Thích Nhất Hạnh (pronounced Thick Nat Han), who has written prolifically about good living, mindfulness, Zen practices, and peace. There is a simplicity in how the master presents his messages that is very endearing.
I am sharing below eight of his messages that have given me a new perspective on different aspects of our life.
- “When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change”
- “Peace can exist only in the present moment. It is ridiculous to say, “Wait until I finish this, then I will be free to live in peace.” What is “this”? A diploma, a job, a house, the payment of a debt? If you think that way, peace will never come. There is always another “this” that will follow the present one. If you are not living in peace at this moment, you will never be able to. If you truly want to be at peace, you must be at peace right now. Otherwise, there is only “the hope of peace some day.”
- “Just by breathing deeply on your anger, you will calm it. You are being mindful of your anger, not suppressing it…touching it with the energy of mindfulness. You are not denying it at all. When I speak about this to psychotherapists, I have some difficulty. When I say that anger makes us suffer, they take it to mean that anger is something negative to be removed. But I always say that anger is an organic thing, like love. Anger can become love. Our compost can become a rose. If we know how to take care of our compost…Anger is the same. It can be negative when we do not know how to handle it, but if we know how to handle our anger, it can be very positive. We do not need to throw anything away,”
- “Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”
- “Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is the only moment.”
- “Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.”
- “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”
- “Don’t do any task in order to get it over with. Resolve to do each job in a relaxed way, with all your attention. Enjoy and be one with your work.”