Category Archives: Words of Wisdom

Our Windows To the World – Thich Nhat Hanh

thich naht hanh quote peace is every step book review commentary

One cold, winter evening I returned home from a walk in the hills, and I found that all the doors and windows in my hermitage had blown open. When I had left earlier, I hadn’t secured them, and the cold wind had blown through the house, opened the windows, and scattered the papers from my desk all over the room. Immediately, I closed the doors and windows, lit a lamp, picked up the papers, and arranged them neatly on my desk. Then I started a fire in the fireplace, and soon the crackling logs brought warmth back to the room.
Sometimes in a crowd we feel tired, cold, and lonely. We may wish to withdraw to be by ourselves and become one again, as I did when I closed the windows and sat by the fire, protected from the damp, cold wind. Our senses are our windows to the world, and sometimes the wind blows through them and disturbs everything within us. Some of us leave our windows open all the time, allowing the sights and sounds of the world to invade us, penetrate us, and expose our sad, troubled selves. We feel so cold, lonely, and afraid. Do you ever find yourself watching an awful TV program, unable to turn it off? The raucous noises, explosions of gunfire, are upsetting. Yet you don’t get up and turn it off. Why do you torture yourself in this way? Don’t you want to close your windows? Are you frightened of solitude – the emptiness and loneliness you may find when you face yourself alone?
Watching a bad TV program, we become the TV program. We are what we feel and perceive. If we are angry, we are the anger. If we are in love, we are love. If we look at the snow covered mountain peak, we are the mountain. We can do anything we want to, so why do we open our windows to bad TV programs made by sensationalist producers in search of easy money, programs that made our hearts pound, our fist tightened, and leave us exhausted? Who allows such TV programs to be made and seen by even the very young? We do! We are too undemanding, too ready to watch whatever is on the screen, too lonely, lazy, or board to create our own lives. We turn on the TV and leave it on, allowing someone else to guide us, shape us, and destroy us. Losing ourselves in this way is leaving our fate in the hands of others who may not be acting responsibly. We must be aware of which programs do harm to our nervous systems, minds, and hearts, and which programs benefit us.

 

… excerpt from Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh…

We All Have Our Flaws

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The ego lives through comparison. How you are seen by others is often how you see yourself.
When I criticise or condemn another it makes me feel bigger, more superior. These are egoic patterns that are often hard to break. Most of the time, the things that bother us about other people are actually reflections of your our internal issues, which is why they are so apparent to us. At times when you find yourself criticising others, ask, “what is it in me that needs to change?”
First we must become aware of these mental processes, and then we slowly drop them.

Don’t wait to start living

Lao tzu quotes a good traveller has no fixed plans waiting to start livingThe “waiting to start living” syndrome is one of the most common delusions of the unconscious state. You don’t have to wait for something “meaningful” to come into your life so that you can finally enjoy what you do. There is more meaning and joy in the here-and-now than you will ever need.

A reversal of your priorities comes about when the main purpose for doing what you do becomes the doing itself, or rather, the current of consciousness that flows into what you do. That current of consciousness is what determines quality. Another way of putting it, in any situation and in whatever you do, your state of consciousness is the primary factor: the situation and what you do is secondary. Future success is dependent upon and inseparable from the consciousness out of which the actions emanate. That can be either the reactive force of the ego or the alert attention of the awakened consciousness. All truly successful action comes out of the field of alert attention, rather than from ego and conditioned, unconscious thinking.

The Noble Purpose of Suffering

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Suffering has a noble purpose, the evolution of consciousness and the burning up of ego.
The ego says, I should not have to suffer, and that makes you suffer so much more.

It is a distortion of the truth.

Your soul’s purpose is to transform.
As long as you avoid suffering, you slow to process of transformation, because the resistance creates more ego. When you accept suffering, however, there is an acceleration of that process which is brought about by the fact that you suffer cautiously. The fire of suffering becomes the light of consciousness.

Enlightenment? No

buddha - enlightenment“Does a Buddha say to himself, ‘I have obtained Enlightenment.’?”
“No. There is no such thing as Perfect Enlightenment to obtain. If a Perfectly Enlightened Buddha were to say to himself, ‘I am enlightened’ he would be admitting there is an individual person. Enlightenment consists of transcending the Self and realizing that individuality is an illusion.”

From the Diamond Sutra, Chapter 9 via FarOutZen

Quotes About Change – Rumi

Rumi Quote Images - Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world. Today wise myself

“Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself” – Rumi

Click HERE for my post on Rumi’s evolutionary consciousness.

Click HERE for more Rumi Quote Images.

 

Quotes About Life – Thich Nhat Hanh

Quotes about life - Thich Nhat Hanh - when another person makes you suffer“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.”

Thich Nhat Hanh is such an inspiration, what a teacher for peace and unity! We need more people like him around, especially in this day and age. I am therefore extremely happy from the recent news that he is ‘out of the coma and smiling’ (He has been in a coma due to a brain aneurism for the past several weeks). This is one of my favorite quotes of his. I shall be posting some more over the next few days. I also recommend reading any of his books, which are all available on Amazon.com. ‘No Mud No Lotus’ is a great one to start with! I will be posting some of my own reviews on his books.

For updates please check out Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village Community website.