Do not fight against pain: do not fight against irritation or jelousy. Embrace them with great tenderness as though you were embracing a little baby. Your anger is yourself, and you should not be violent toward it. The same thing goes for all your emotions.
If you feel irritation or depression or despair, recognize their presence and practice this mantra: “Dear one, I am here for you”. You should talk to your depression or your anger just as you would talk to a child. You embrace it tenderly with energy of mindfullness and say: “Dear one, I know you are here and I am going to take care of you.” There is no discrimination or dualism here, because compassion and love are you, but anger is too. Al three are organic in nature, so you don’t need to be afraid. You can transform them.
You are here for life: and if you are here for life, life will be here for you. It’s simple.
Your plactice consist in generating compassion and understanding and brining them into hell. Hell is here, all around us. Hell is in us, like a seed. We need to cultivate the positive within us so we can generate the energy of understanding and compassion and transform hell. The choice is yours.
What is loving? It is recognizing the presence of the other with your love. This is not a theory, it is a practice. Whether the object of your love is your heart, your in-breath, your physical body or your baby, wether it is your so, your daughter or your partner, your declaration of love is always the same. It is: “Dear one, I am here for you.”
I have arrived, I am home,
in the here and in the now.
I am solid, I am free,
in the ultimate I dwell.
I am becoming calm,
I am letting go.
Having let go, victory is mine.
I am free.
The piece of paper I am holding in my hand is something that exists right now. Can we establish a time and place of birth for this paper? This is very difficult to establish, impossible actually, because before it manifested as a piece of paper, it was already here in the form of a tree, of the sun, of a cloud. Without the sun, without the rain, the trees would not have lived, and there would have been no piece of paper. When I tough this piece of paper, I also touch the clouds. There is a cloud floating in this piece of paper. You do not have to be a poet to see it. If I were able to separate the cloud from the piece of paper, the paper would not exist any more.
When the french scientist Antoine Lavoisier said, “Nothing is created and nothing is lost”, he was saying exactly the same thing. The concept of death is that being turns into nonbeing. That is impossible, Can somebody become nobody? No. If we burn the piece of paper, we cannot reduce it to nothing. The paper will turn into heat, which will go into the cosmos, and turn into smoke, which will join the clouds in the sky. Tomorrow a drop of rain will fall on your forehead, and you will make contact with the piece of paper. The ashes produced by the burning will rejoin the earth, and one day they will manifest as a daisies. Do you have enough mindfullness to recognize the piece of paper in those daisies?
We should not trust our perceptions too much – that is something the Buddha taught, “Are you sure of your perceptions? he asked us. I urge you to write this phrase down on a card and put it up in the wall of your room: “Are you sure of your perceptions? ”
Most of your perceptions, the Buddha said, are false. You have made mistakes; the other person has also made mistakes; and you need each other to let go of your false perceptions. Suffering and pain are born from wrong perceptions. Some people carry wrong perceptions with them to their deaths, and that causes a lot of suffering and misfortune.
You will not have to defend Buddhism; you will not have to die for Buddhism. Buddhism has no need for martyrs. The Dharma is offered to you as a tool, not as an object of worship.
Don’t wait to start living. Live now! Your life should be real this very moment. You can live very moment of every day deeply, in touch with the wonders of life. Then you will learn to live, and, at the same time, learn to die. A person who does not know how to die does not know how to live, and vice versa.
This body is not me, I am not caught in this body. I am life without boundaries. I have never been born, and I shall never die.
Look at the ocean and the sky filled with stars, manifestations of my wondrous true mind.
Since before time, I have been free.
Birth and death are only doors through which we pass, sacred thresholds i our journey.
Birth and death are just a game of hide and seek.
So laugh with me,
hold my hand,
let us say goodbye,
say goodbye, to meet again soon.
We meet today.
We will meet again tomorrow.
We will meet at the source at every moment.
We meet each other in all forms of life.
We are in the habit of identifying ourselves with our bodies. The idea that we are this body is deeply entrenched in us. But we are not just this body; we are much more than that. We are life, and life is far vaster than this body, this concept, this mind.
We are not prisoners of our senses. We are not prisoners of our bodies of our minds. The disintegration of the body is not the end. It is only the cessation of a manifestation. When conditions are not longer sufficient the manifestation ceases. To light a fire, you need fuel, and as soon as there is no more fuel, the fire goes out. The same is true of the body and mind. Conditions must be sufficient for the manifestation to continue. If not, it will cease and then manifest again in the future.
When the body or the mind manifests, we say that it exists,but that is not correct. When a thing has not yet manifested, we say that it does not exist, but that is not correct either. The ideas of being and nonbeing have to be rejected. These notions do not apply to reality. When conditions come together your body or your mind manifests.
YOU ARE HERE – THICH NHAT HANH