Through my love for you, I want to express my love for the whole cosmos, the whole of humanity, and all beings. By living with you, I want to learn to love everyone and all species. If I succeed in loving you, I will be able to love everyone and all species on Earth... This is the real message of love.
Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.
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.
Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. Every breath we take, every step we take, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.
It is said that God has created man in his own image. But it may be that humankind has created God in the image of humankind.
We often think of peace as the absence of war, that if powerful countries would reduce their weapon arsenals, we could have peace. But if we look deeply into the weapons, we see our own minds- our own prejudices, fears and ignorance. Even if we transport all the bombs to the moon, the roots of war and the roots of bombs are still there, in our hearts and minds, and sooner or later we will make new bombs. To work for peace is to uproot war from ourselves and from the hearts of men and women. To prepare for war, to give millions of men and women the opportunity to practice killing day and night in their hearts, is to plant millions of seeds of violence, anger, frustration, and fear that will be passed on for generations to come.
The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don't wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.
The secret of Buddhism is to remove all ideas, all concepts, in order for the truth to have a chance to penetrate, to reveal itself.
We have negative mental habits that come up over and over again. One of the most significant negative habits we should be aware of is that of constantly allowing our mind to run off into the future. Perhaps we got this from our parents. Carried away by our worries, we're unable to live fully and happily in the present. Deep down, we believe we can't really be happy just yet—that we still have a few more boxes to be checked off before we can really enjoy life. We speculate, dream, strategize, and plan for these conditions of happiness we want to have in the future; and we continually chase after that future, even while we sleep. We may have fears about the future because we don't know how it's going to turn out, and these worries and anxieties keep us from enjoying being here now.
If you know how to be happy with the wonders of life that are already there for you to enjoy, you don't need to stress your mind and your body by striving harder and harder, and you don't need to stress this planet by purchasing more and more stuff. The Earth belongs to our children. We have already borrowed too much from it, from them; and the way things have been going, we're not sure we'll be able to give it back to them in decent shape. And who are our children, actually? They are us, because they are our own continuation. So we've been shortchanging our own selves. Much of our modern way of life is permeated by mindless overborrowing. The more we borrow, the more we loser. That's why it's critical that we wake up and see we don't need to do that anymore. What's already available in the here and now is plenty for us to be nourished, to be happy. Only that kind of insight will get us, each one of us, to stop engaging in the compulsive, self-sabotaging behaviors of our species. We need a collective awakening. One Buddha is not enough. All of us have to become Buddhas in order for our planet to have a chance. Fortunately, we have the power to wake up, to touch enlightenment from moment to moment, in our very own ordinary and, yes, busy lives. So let's start right now. Peace is your every breath.
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.
Many people think excitement is happiness.... But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.
There is no distinction between means and ends. There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way. There is no way to enlightenment, enlightenment is the way.
Without suffering, there's no happiness. So we shouldn't discriminate against the mud. We have to learn how to embrace and cradle our own suffering and the suffering of the world, with a lot of tenderness.
Guarding knowledge is not a good way to understand. Understanding means to throw away your knowledge.
If you can be aware that you have a living body, and notice when there's tension in your body, that's already an important insight.
The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.
Sometimes it is better not to talk about art by using the word art. If we just act with awareness and integrity, our art will flower, and we don't have to talk about it at all.
I always encourage them to practice in a way that will help them go back to their own tradition and get re-rooted. If they succeed at at becoming reintegrated, they will be an important instrument in transforming and renewing their tradition. ...When we respect our blood ancestors and our spiritual ancestors, we feel rooted. If we find ways to cherish and develop our spiritual heritage, we will avoid the kind of alienation that is destroying society, and we will become whole again. ... Learning to touch deeply the jewels of our own tradition will allow us to understand and appreciate the values of other traditions, and this will benefit everyone.
By eating meat we share the responsibility of climate change, the destruction of our forests, and the poisoning of our air and water. The simple act of becoming a vegetarian will make a difference in the health of our planet.
If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.
Please don't wait until the doctors tell you that you are going to have a baby to begin to take care of it. It is already there. Whatever you are, whatever you do, your baby will get it. Anything you eat, any worries that are on your mind will be for him or her. Can you tell me that you cannot smile? Think of the baby, and smile for him, for her, for the future generations. Please don't tell me that a smile and your sorrow just don't go together. It's your sorrow, but what about your baby? It's not his sorrow, its not her sorrow.
If you do not know how to take care of yourself, and the violence in you, then you will not be able to take care of others. You must have love and patience before you can truly listen to your partner or child. If you are irritated you cannot listen. You have to know how to breath mindfully, embrace your irritation and transform it. Offer ONLY understand and compassion to your partner or child - This is the true practice of love.
Ignorance is in each cell of our body and our consciousness. It's like a drop of ink diffused in a glass of water.
This love meditation is adapted from the Visuddhimagga by Buddhaghosa, a 5th century C.E. systematization of the Buddha's teaching. We begin by practicing the love meditation on ourselves (May I). Until we are able to love and take care of ourselves, we cannot be much help to others. After that, we practice them on others (May he/she/they) - first on someone we like, then on someone neutral to us, and finally on someone who makes us suffer. May I be peaceful, happy, and light in body and spirit.May I be safe and free from injury.May I be free from anger, afflictions, fear and anxiety.May I learn to look at myself with the eyes of of understanding and love.May I be able to recognize and touch the seeds of joy and happiness in myself.May I learn to identify and see the sources of anger, craving, and delusion in myself.May I know how to nourish the seeds of joy in myself every day.May I be able to live fresh, solid, and free.May I be free from attachment and aversion, but not indifferent.Love is not just the intention to love, but the capacity to reduce suffering, and offer peace and happiness. The practice of love increases our forbearance, our capacity to be patient and embrace difficulties and pain. Forbearance does mean that we try to suppress pain.
My joy is like Spring, so warmit makes flowers bloom all over the Earth.My pain is like a river of tears,so vast it fills the four oceans.Please call me by my true names,so I can hear all my cries and laughter at once,so I can see that my joy and pain are one.
When we see that some suffering or some pain is coming up, we don't try to run away from it. In fact, we have to go back and take care of it.
Fifteen years ago, a business manager from the United States came to Plum Village to visit me. His conscience was troubled because he was the head of a firm that designed atomic bombs. I listened as he expressed his concerns. I knew if I advised him to quit his job, another person would only replace him. If he were to quit, he might help himself, but he would not help his company, society, or country. I urged him to remain the director of his firm, to bring mindfulness into his daily work, and to use his position to communicate his concerns and doubts about the production of atomic bombs.In the Sutra on Happiness, the Buddha says it is great fortune to have an occupation that allows us to be happy, to help others, and to generate compassion and understanding in this world. Those in the helping professions have occupations that give them this wonderful opportunity. Yet many social workers, physicians, and therapists work in a way that does not cultivate their compassion, instead doing their job only to earn money. If the bomb designer practises and does his work with mindfulness, his job can still nourish his compassion and in some way allow him to help others. He can still influence his government and fellow citizens by bringing greater awareness to the situation. He can give the whole nation an opportunity to question the necessity of bomb production.Many people who are wealthy, powerful, and important in business, politics, and entertainment are not happy. They are seeking empty things - wealth, fame, power, sex - and in the process they are destroying themselves and those around them. In Plum Village, we have organised retreats for businesspeople. We see that they have many problems and suffer just as others do, sometimes even more. We see that their wealth allows them to live in comfortable conditions, yet they still suffer a great deal.Some businesspeople, even those who have persuaded themselves that their work is very important, feel empty in their occupation. They provide employment to many people in their factories, newspapers, insurance firms, and supermarket chains, yet their financial success is an empty happiness because it is not motivated by understanding or compassion. Caught up in their small world of profit and loss, they are unaware of the suffering and poverty in the world. When we are not int ouch with this larger reality, we will lack the compassion we need to nourish and guide us to happiness.Once you begin to realise your interconnectedness with others, your interbeing, you begin to see how your actions affect you and all other life. You begin to question your way of living, to look with new eyes at the quality of your relationships and the way you work. You begin to see, 'I have to earn a living, yes, but I want to earn a living mindfully. I want to try to select a vocation not harmful to others and to the natural world, one that does not misuse resources.'Entire companies can also adopt this way of thinking. Companies have the right to pursue economic growth, but not at the expense of other life. They should respect the life and integrity of people, animals, plants and minerals. Do not invest your time or money in companies that deprive others of their lives, that operate in a way that exploits people or animals, and destroys nature.Businesspeople who visit Plum Village often find that getting in touch with the suffering of others and cultivating understanding brings them happiness. They practise like Anathapindika, a successful businessman who lived at the time of the Buddha, who with the practise of mindfulness throughout his life did everything he could to help the poor and sick people in his homeland.
Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
The third element of love is mudita, joy. True love always brings joy to ourselves and to the one we love. If our love does not bring joy to both of us, it is not true love.
If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today. But that is the most that hope can do for us - to make some hardship lighter. When I think deeply about the nature of hope, I see something tragic. Since we cling to our hope in the future, we do not focus our energies and capabilities on the present moment. We use hope to believe something better will happen in the future, that we will arrive at peace, or the Kingdom of God. Hope becomes a kind of obstacle. If you can refrain from hoping, you can bring yourself entirely into the present moment and discover the joy that is already here.
Usually when we hear or read something new, we just compare it to our own ideas. If it is the same, we accept it and say that it is correct. If it is not, we say it is incorrect. In either case, we learn nothing.
To take good care of ourselves, we must go back and take care of the wounded child inside of us. You have to practice going back to your wounded child every day. You have to embrace him or her terderly, like a big brother or a big sister. You have to talk to him, talk to her. And you can write a letter to the Little child in you, of two or three pages, to that you recognize his or her presence, and will do everything you can to heal his or her wounds.