The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step


Understanding is the essence of love

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“The essence of love and compassion is understanding, the ability to recognize the physical, material, and psychological suffering of others. 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.
Understanding is the essence of love. If you cannot understand, you cannot love. That is the message of the Buddha.”~Thich Nhat Hanh

Love is not a thing of the mind

A flower that has perfume is not concerned
who comes to smell it or who turns his back on it.
So is love. Love is not a thing of the mind or the intellect.

It comes into being naturally as compassion,
when this whole problem of existence
— as fear, greed, envy, despair, hope —
has been understood and resolved.

Jiddu Krishnamurti

In true love

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Thich Nhat Hanh Philosophy & Practice

If you love someone but…

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“If you love someone but rarely make
yourself available to him or her, that is
not true love.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Julie Shaw Lutts – Family Matters This was included in the Artists’ Book Cornucopia II exhibition at Abecedarian Gallery in Denver Colorado in 2011.

Mindfulness in Relationships (4 min)

Understanding and Love are not two separate things

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“Understanding and Love are not two separate things, but only one. To develop understanding, you have to practice looking at all living beings with the eyes of compassion.”

~Thich Nhat Hanh

Why doesn’t Buddhism support romantic love?

Thích Nhất Hạnh answers

Two gardens

You have two gardens: your own garden and that of your beloved. First, you have to take care of your own garden and master the art of gardening. In each one of us there are flowers and garbage. The garbage is the anger, fear, discrimination, and jealousy within us. If you water the garbage, you will strengthen the negative seeds. If you water the flowers of compassion, understanding, and love, you will strengthen the positive seeds. What you grow is up to you.

If you don’t know how to practice selective watering in your own garden, then you won’t have enough wisdom to help water the flowers in the garden of your beloved. In cultivating your own garden well, you also help to cultivate their garden.

– Thich Nhat Hanh

Love and patience

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True love is never weak

“When we see and understand the pain and the suffering in ourselves and in [another] person, understanding and compassion in us begin to grow. These are the energies that have the power to heal and transform us. This is the secret to nourishing our love…

Only when we know how to look deeply at each other, and how to look deeply at ourselves, can we generate these two precious energies.

When we know how to nourish our love, we can heal ourselves and heal those around us. When love grows, it naturally embraces more and more.

If your love is true love, then it will continue to grow until it includes all people and all species. Your love will become a river, wide enough to nourish not only you and your beloved, but the whole world.

This is love without limits , a heart without boundaries, and without discrimination. It is unlimited compassion, unlimited loving kindness. It brings joy to everyone.

Nothing and no one is excluded from this love— that is why it is called the love of limitless inclusiveness…”

~Thich Nhat Hanh
Inside the Now

Tao & Zen