The Eight fold Path consists of eight practices: right view, right thinking, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.
At his death he is hard and stiff.
Green plants are tender and filled with sap.
At their death they are withered and dry.
Therefore the stiff and unbending
is the disciple of death.
The gentle and yielding
is the disciple of life.A tree that is unbending is easily broken.
The hard and strong will fall.
The soft and weak will overcome.”
Tao Te Ching
When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look into the 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 our family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like lettuce.
– Thich Nhat Hanh, in “Peace Is Every Step”.
Painting: Alla Tsank
“The essence of love and compassion is understanding, the ability to recognize the physical, material, and psychological suffering of others, to put ourselves “inside the skin” of the other. We “go inside” their body, feelings, and mental formations, and witness for ourselves their suffering.
Shallow observation as an outsider is not enough to see their suffering. We must become one with the subject of our observation. When we are in contact with another’s suffering, a feeling of compassion is born in us. Compassion means, literally, “to suffer with.
So if we love someone, we should train in being able to listen. By listening with calm and understanding, we can ease the suffering of another person.
Training is needed in order to love properly; and to be able to give happiness and joy, you must practice DEEP LOOKING directed toward the other person you love. Because if you do not understand this person, you cannot love properly. Understanding is the essence of love. If you cannot understand, you cannot love. That is the message of the Buddha.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~