The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step

Sentient beings

One minute you are a Buddha, the next minute a sentient being

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Student: Sometimes I see my worldviews as illusions, and I feel wholeness. But then I become caught up again in separateness. What does it take to stop moving back and forth, to move from occasional moments of realization to constant realization?

Adyashanti: Dissolve the one who asks, “When will it go from moments of realization to constant realization?” Do you have a sense of the one who is asking that? It’s a particular movement of thought that is asking.

It’s all just a conceptual overlay. There is a saying in Zen: “One minute you are a Buddha, the next minute a sentient being.” Sometimes you are Buddha. Sometimes a sentient being. And it’s always Buddha because both are masks. Sentient being is a mask. Buddha is a mask, too. When the masks are dropped, both the sentient being and the Buddha are the same.

– Adyashanti, Emptiness Dancing p. 65


Source: All | Great Middle Way


Oct 2, 2017

22089708_845528662272900_3670614330712754409_nAll living beings —whether born from eggs,

from the womb, from division, or spontaneously;

whether they have form or do not have form;

whether they are aware or unaware,

whether they are not aware or not unaware—

eventually, I will lead all living beings to the final Nirvana,

the true ending of the cycle of birth and death.

And when all these living beings, in their unfathomable,

infinite number, have all been liberated,

in truth, not even a single being has actually been liberated.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Diamond Sutra

No Power To Cleanse

Source: No Power To Cleanse | Great Middle Way


May 19, 2017

17992325_420630691644418_7444085101279218524_nBetter than the slaughtering of animals is the sacrifice of self.

Those who offer up their unwholesome desires

will see the uselessness of butchering animals at the altar.

Blood has no power to cleanse,

but the giving up of harmful actions will make the heart whole.

Better than worshipping gods is following the way of goodness.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Digha Nikaya

How to benefit the whole universe

Image may contain: one or more people

 “If we are not happy, if we are not peaceful, we cannot share peace and happiness with others, even those we love, those who live under the same roof. If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace.”

Thich Nhat Hanh,
Being Peace

Painting by Gustav Klimt

Healing Music: Enya – Shepherd Moons

Love has no culture, boundaries, race and religion (2 min)

Source: Love has no culture, boundaries, race and religion (2 min) | Talesfromthelou

The Fractal Nature of Reality

Source: The Fractal Nature of Reality | Creative by Nature

With permission

“Life is about floating on the seas of turbulence, drifting on the eddies and currents, flowing, and along the way, learning: whatever that may look like for each of us currently experiencing a mortal life.” ~Joanna Hunter


Each of us (the animate and inanimate, the sentient and the purely material) is part of one inconceivably large, unfurling fractal entity that constitutes everything, and when taken as a whole is the equivalent of what some may call “God”.

This entity does not exist within some surrounding vacuum but rather twists and folds back on itself so that it is boundless. The concept of “nothing” is therefore a logical fallacy, an impossibility.

We, as parts of this great unfurling fractal cosmic entity, are eternal, though the notion and form of “I” is temporary and in fact the “all” we are participating in exists outside of time.

“What you are basically, deep, deep down, far, far in, is simply the fabric and structure of existence itself.” ~ Alan Watts

Evolution is the fundamental process at work within this greater “all”, along with its opposite, entropy. Evolution utilizes energy to increase complexity and information over time, whereas entropy dissolves structural patterns, flattening everything out into evenness.

Evolution gives birth to difference, entropy soothes into sameness. Evolution is life, entropy is decay. They are two sides of the same coin and without them nothing would ever happen. Similarly, one cannot exist without the other.

“Nature is ever at work building and pulling down, creating and destroying, keeping everything whirling and flowing, allowing no rest but in rhythmical motion, chasing everything in endless song out of one beautiful form into another.” ~ John Muir

A System Governed by Flow Dynamics

The whole system of our universe is essentially governed by flow dynamics or the physics of turbulence. Turbulent systems are characterised by the eddies, currents and vortices of “flow”. Vortices are self-sustaining energy structures that occur everywhere naturally. They exist at the core of the Möbius torus shape.

995304_10153754891159299_7896220918376717454_nIf you think about almost any life form, you can see it is a variant of the Möbius torus and fractal dynamics. Equally, all life forms are holarchies of many lower level Möbius tori. E.g. apple seed, apple tree, apple. All are expressions of Möbius tori.

Atom, blood cell, human body, brain, womb, heart, lungs, eye: derivations of Möbius tori and fractal mathematics. Temporary, self-sustaining physical manifestations of vortices in the flow dynamics of the enormous unfurling cosmic fractal everything.

“I seem, like everything else, to be a center, a sort of vortex, at which the whole energy of the universe realizes itself. Each one of us, not only human beings but every leaf, every weed, exists in the way it does, only because everything else around it does. The individual and the universe are inseparable.” ~ Alan Watts

Finding One’s Life Purpose as a Part of the Flow

1557447_10153754891624299_9049969763946365018_nSo if that is what reality looks like and how it works, what is our purpose within it? Our purpose is to participate consciously and continue the journey of evolution and entropy.

To be expressions of creativity that keep the whole thing unfurling rather than descending into a flat field of sameness.

Life is about floating on the seas of turbulence, drifting on the eddies and currents, flowing, and along the way, learning: whatever that may look like for each of us currently experiencing a mortal life.

946440_10153754879274299_7106295096275738917_nOut of this universal process, meaning emerges. In this way, we are all meaning-making entities, part of a boundless unity, which is itself a system of creativity, evolution and meaning.

So the purpose of our mortal lives is to flow, to wonder and to learn – to “spin out” this meaning into ever more beautiful shapes and forms.

All contributing, all dancing as part of this one, unfurling, fractal whole. And so it will go on, and has always gone on, eternally.

by Joanna Hunter


“To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float” ~ Alan Watts


“We are travellers on a cosmic journey, stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.” ~ Paulo Coelho
“Wholeness does not mean perfection: it means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life. Knowing this gives me hope that human wholeness — mine, yours, ours — need not be a utopian dream, if we can use devastation as a seedbed for new life.” ~ Parker Palmer

“…from out of the sexual organ of every woman there came another cord, with another woman or man at the end of each one, and all of that, millions and millions of times over, turned into an enormous tree, a tree formed from the infinity of bodies, a tree whose branches reached to the sky.” ~ Milan Kundera



Bodhisattvas should abstain from eating the flesh of any and all sentient beings

migrating-birds1Contributed by Vasu Murti

Oct 13 2015

“They [Bodhisattvas] should not be closely associated with… persons engaged in raising pigs, sheep, chickens or dogs, or of those who engage in hunting or fishing or other evil activities.”
(The Lotus Sutra, translation by Burton Watson, Columbia University Press, New York, 1993, p. 197)

“Also he [the Bodhisattva] must not associate with slaughterers or flesh-carvers, those who hunt animals or catch fish, or kill or do harm for profit. Those who peddle meat for a living or display women and sell their favors – all persons such as this one should never associate with.”
(Lotus Sutra, p. 199)

The Buddha Utterly Condemns Meat-Eating.
The primary objection to eating animals is that it involves the killing of those creatures. Non-killing is the minimum that can be expected of an aspirant Bodhisattva and is the very first of the Buddhist precepts or prohibitions. The Buddha states in the Brahmajala Sutra:
“Disciples of the Buddha, should you yourself kill, willfully cause another to kill, encourage someone to kill, extol killing, take pleasure seeing killing take place, deliberately wish someone dead, intentionally cause death, supply the instruments or the means for killing, cut off a life even when sanctioned by law, that is, participate in any way in killing, you are committing a serious offense warranting exclusion from the sangha (association or community).
“Pray, do not intentionally kill anything whatsoever which has life. As a Bodhisattva, awaken within yourself a heart that is unending in its mercy and compassion, respect and dutifulness, and use your skillful means to help and protect all sentient beings.”
(The Scripture of Brahma’s Net, in Buddhist Writings, translated by Reverend Hubert Nearman, OBC, Shasta Abbey, CA, 1994, pp. 127-28)

heron-3“Disciples of the Buddha, should you yourself willingly and knowingly eat flesh, you defile yourself… Pray, let us not eat any flesh or meat whatsoever coming from living beings. Anyone who eats flesh is cutting himself off from the great seed of his own merciful and compassionate nature, for which all sentient beings will reject him and flee from him when they see him acting so. This is why all Bodhisattvas should abstain from eating the flesh of any and all sentient beings. Someone who eats flesh is defiling himself beyond measure…”
(The Scripture of Brahma’s Net, in Buddhist Writings, translated by Reverend Hubert Nearman, OBC, Shasta Abbey, CA, 1994, p. 138)

The fascinating Lankavatara Sutra is perhaps the most insistent of all the Buddhist scriptures that meat-eating is to be condemned. There is a whole chapter (Chapter Eight) in the Lankavatara devoted to this subject:
“…wherever there are living beings, let people cherish the thought of kinship with them, and, thinking that all beings are [one’s] child, let them refrain from eating meat. So with Bodhisattvas whose nature is compassion, meat is to be avoided by him. Even in exceptional cases, it is not of a Bodhisattva of good standing to eat meat…
“For fear of causing terror to living beings… let the Bodhisattva who is disciplining himself to attain compassion, refrain from eating flesh… let the Bodhisattva, who is disciplining himself to abide in great compassion, because of its terrifying living beings, refrain from eating meat…
“…let the Bodhisattva, whose nature is pity and who regards all beings as his only child…refrain from eating meat…”
(The Lankavatara Sutra, translated by Dr. D.T. Suzuki, Prajna Press, Boulder, CO, 1978, pp. 212-216)

zf road 4The Buddha was well aware that by sponsoring the meat-trade through eating meat we are implicated in the killing of animals. He says in the Lankavatara Sutra:
“If meat is not eaten by anybody, there will be no destroyer of life.”
(The Lankavatara Sutra, translated by Dr. D.T. Suzuki, Prajna Press, Boulder, CO, 1978, p. 217)

The Buddha firmly states that he does not permit any meat-eating, nor will he at any time in the future:
“It is not true that meat is proper food and permissible when [the animal] was not killed by himself, when he did not order others to kill it, when it was not specifically meant for him…there may be some unwitted people in the future time, who… under the influence of the thirst for [meat]-taste, they will string together in various ways some sophistic arguments to defend meat-eating… meat-eating I have not permitted to anyone, I do not permit, I will not permit.”
(The Lankavatara Sutra, translated by Dr. D.T. Suzuki, Prajna Press, Boulder, CO, 1978, p. 217-219)

An exchange between one of the Buddha’s disciples, Kasyapa, and the Buddha found in the Mahaparinirvana Sutra:
“O World-honoured One! Why is it that the Tathagata [the Buddha] does not allow us to take flesh?”
“O good man! One who takes flesh kills the seed of great compassion.”
(The Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra, in Three Volumes, translated by Kosho Yamamoto, The Karinbunko, Ube City, Japan, 1973 – 1975, p. 91)

One of the pre-eminent aims of Buddhism is to purify one’s heart. It is evident from the above words that by eating or advocating meat one is forsaking what is pure and committing a crime against Dharma. From a Buddhist point of view, that is a most serious offense…when Kasyapa asks what a Buddhist should do if offered a meal which contains meat. Is it permissible to eat such a meal and yet remain pure? Kasyapa wonders. The Buddha’s reply is unambiguous:
“Use water, wash off the meat [from the plate], and then take it [the rest of the meal]… If one sees that there is much meat, one must not accept such a meal. One must never take the meat itself. One who takes it infringes the rule. I now set this rule of segregating one’s own self from taking meat.”
(The Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra, in Three Volumes, translated by Kosho Yamamoto, The Karinbunko, Ube City, Japan, 1973 – 1975, p. 94)

SAM_1722The Buddhist precepts for moral living include prohibitions not to slander others nor drink alcohol. The Buddha himself refers to the vinaya [monastic] rules in the sutras of Mahayana Buddhism.
Some Buddhists have argued that a monk should accept and eat whatever food is offered – but this is clearly rejected by the Buddha here, who states that if there is a lot of meat on a preferred dish, the whole meal should be refused. And if there is only a small amount of meat with the rest of the food – then the meat must be washed clean away before the other food can be touched. It could not be more apparent how defiling and impure meat was in the Buddha’s eyes.
Not only meat is prohibited by the Buddha, but likewise the keeping of animals or the attending of animal ‘shows’ or fights. Speaking of what is not permissible for his brethren (and nuns), he says:
“One does not keep the elephant, horse, vehicle, cow, sheep, camel, donkey, hen, dog, monkey, peacock, parrot… jackal, wolf, cat, raccoon, dog, wild boar, and pig… nor does he enjoy himself looking at the fights of elephants, horses, vehicles, soldiers, men, women, cows, sheep, cocks, pheasants, parrots, etc. He does not look at— the fights of lions and elephants… and all kind of amusements.”
(The Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra, in Three Volumes, translated by Kosho Yamamoto, The Karinbunko, Ube City, Japan, 1973 – 1975, pp. 284-85)

Circle of compassion

Source: Tao & Zen – Timeline Photos

My dear heart

My dear heart..never think you are better than others.
Listen to their sorrows with compassion.
If you want peace, don’t harbor bad thoughts
do not gossip and don’t teach what you do not know.

~ Rumi

Source: Rumi

Real Monastics

Real Monastics | Great Middle Way.


Aug 15, 2015

10703509_589600204495275_8867174697818231324_nNeither going about naked, nor with matted locks,

nor filthy, nor fasting, nor lying on the ground,

nor smearing oneself with ashes and dust,

nor sitting on the heels in penance,

can purify one who has not overcome doubt.

Even though one be well attired, yet if one is poised,

calm, controlled and established in the holy life,

having set aside violence towards all beings,

one truly is holy, a renunciate, a monastic.

―Buddha Shakyamuni

Eating meat does not promote any virtues, and produces many faults

PemaDuddulThe roots of the Dharma are loving kindness and compassion. Do you have real love and compassion in you? How can anyone trained in compassion consume meat?

Look at the suffering is caused by eating meat! The consequences of our own acts will ripen on us, and there is nothing that the Buddhas of the three times can do about it.

Eating meat does not promote any virtues, and produces many faults: it is the source of the four hundred classes of disease, the eighty thousand obstacles, and the eighty four thousand afflicted emotions.

―Nyala Pema Dündul

The depraved

Hahaha, the depraved…

Universal Instruction | Great Middle Way.

From and with permission of


Feb 12, 2015

1467272_549254828492930_841537995_nThe Buddha Shakyamuni gives this instruction in the Griha Vinaya (Rules for Householders, Dharmika Sutra, Kshudraka Agama):

Let him not destroy, or cause to be destroyed,

any life at all, or sanction the acts of those who do so.

Let him refrain even from hurting any sentient being,

both those that are strong and those that tremble in the world.

If we fail to understand the universality of this injunction, the Buddha clarifies (Kshudraka Agama):

Whether they be creatures of the land or air,

whoever harms here any sentient being,

who has no compassion for all that live,

let such a one be known as depraved.

Releasing trauma into the clear space of awareness

“When you can let go of what is bothering you, joy and happiness will naturally re-surface. The really bad thing is reliving a bad event over and over; holding onto it without being able to let go. The issue is not that bad things have happened it’s whether or not we want to live and struggle with them or eventually let them go. That’s the key to meditation; dissolving and releasing trauma into the clear space of awareness.”
~ Bruce Frantzis — with Zainish Khan.

This heart is huge, vast, and limitless

When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it’s bottomless, that it doesn’t have any resolution, that this heart is huge, vast, and limitless..

~ Pema Chödrön ~


Thich Nhat Hanh is passing away in Plum Village

Tao & Zen Community Forum

“Dear Sangha Friends,

We get a sad news, it says that one of our great master, Thich Nhat Hanh, is passing away in Plum Village, with his disciples around him.They are calm and focused, and so should we be. His continuation is already here in his senior students, and we also are part of that continuation.

There will of course be official announcements as things unfold, and they will be passed on to you. But his passing out of this material manifestation is imminent.

The Sisters ask that you sit, peacefully for Thay, as they are doing, and send him your love. Also, that you might like to chant for him (you could do it along with the monks and nuns) this Avalokiteshvara Chant,

but to us, this day itself should be a very very mindful day in his honour, and because we know that is what would please him more than anything else.”

Deep bow,

Tao & Zen Community Forum



Awareness of impermanence and disgust with samsara

are the external preliminaries on the Noble Path.

They thoroughly dispel the preoccupation with ordinary life.

Compassion and ethical conduct are the special preliminaries.

They make advancement possible on the Great Vehicle of the Mahayana.

Therefore, at the beginning, cultivate these preliminaries.


Music to ease the suffering:

Mooji: The Way Out of Suffering

▶ The Way Out of Suffering re-upload – YouTube.


Medicine Buddha Mantra

May all sentient beings who hear this magical song obtain some relief from the suffering that permeates this dimension.

▶ Medicine Buddha Mantra with words – YouTube.


The Medicine Buddha: The Meaning and Symbolism of The Healing Buddha | Buddhaful Living.

The Meaning Behind the Medicine Buddha

The Medicine Buddha – The Meaning, Teachings, Mantra & Empowerment

“If one meditates on the Medicine Buddha, one will eventually attain enlightenment, but in the meantime one will experience an increase in healing powers both for oneself and others and a decrease in physical and mental illness and suffering.” Lama Tashi Namgyal

The Healing Buddha or Medicine Buddha is usually referred to as the doctor of the world. Not only is the Healing Buddha the granter of wishes for perfect health, the Medicine Buddha path of light is one that leads the practitioner to enlightenment.

The Medicine Buddha was the first Buddha statue I ever owned. It was a gift to me. I had become extremely ill and had just spent three months in the hospital.

One of my dearest friends gifted me the Medicine Buddha statue. A gift that I treasure to this day.

In this article we’ll look at:

The Meaning Behind the Medicine Buddha

Medicine Buddha

Every depiction of the Buddha has significance and meaning. Each hand gesture, posture and in the Medicine Buddha’s case even color has deep psychological inferences.

Why is the Medicine Buddha blue?

The deep blue that the Medicine Buddha is normally portrayed in wasn’t done so at random. It ties back a master healing stone – Lapis Lazuli.

For more than six thousand years this stone has been honored and cherished as the most precious of stones. Valued even more than the diamond or gold.

It may be because of how hard it is to obtain. Primarily mined in the Badakshan region of northeast Afghanistan, which is pretty much an inaccessible area located behind the Hindu Kush.

This deep blue is usually associated with the brow chakra. The main attributes of the brow chakra are discernment, clarity, vision and seeing beyond illusion,

What is the plant that the Medicine Buddha is holding?

The plant that the Medicine Buddha is holding is the myrobalan fruit. This plant represent all of the best medicines in the world.

What does the Medicine Buddha’s hand gestures mean?

The Medicine Buddha’s right hand gesture represents and symbolizes the eradication of suffering. Especially the suffering of sickness using the means of relative truth.

The Medicine Buddha’s left hand gesture – resting in his lap, palm upward symbolizes meditative stability or meditation as a whole. Meditation is is looked upon as a tool to aid in the eradication of sickness and suffering. How? By digging deep into the very roots of samsara. This will lead the practitioner to the realization of absolute truth.

Continue with article:

The Medicine Buddha: The Meaning and Symbolism of The Healing Buddha | Buddhaful Living.

An invisible cloak to mind your life


On the day when the weight deadens on your shoulders and you stumble, may the clay dance to balance you. And when your eyes freeze behind the grey window and the ghost of loss gets in to you, may a flock of colours, indigo, red, green, and azure blue come to awaken in you a meadow of delight. When the canvas frays in the currach of thought and a stain of ocean blackens beneath you, may there come across the waters a path of yellow moonlight to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow wind work these words of love around you,
an invisible cloak to mind your life.

~ John O’Donohue ~

30 Life Changing Lessons to Learn from Thích Nhất Hạnh

30 Life Changing Lessons to Learn from Thích Nhất Hạnh – Waking Times.

September 7, 2014
Luminita Saviuc, Purpose Fairy                   


When I think of Thích Nhất Hạnh, words like – stillness, love, compassion, peace and oneness, come to mind. And even though these are some really beautiful and powerful words, they somehow can’t really express the beautiful, pure and loving feelings that I get from reading Thích Nhất Hạnh’s books and watching his beautiful videos.

Thích Nhất Hạnh is someone who’s work I truly love and admire , and even though there are many beautiful lessons we can all learn from this wonderful and loving soul, today I will share 30 of these life changing lessons with you. Trusting that they will nurture your mind and soul and bring a lot of peace and happiness into your life.

Here are 30 Life Changing Lessons to Learn from Thích Nhất Hạnh:


1. Never underestimate the power of a kind word, a touch, or a smile.

“The source of love is deep in us and we can help others realize a lot of happiness. One word, one action, one thought can reduce another person’s suffering and bring that person joy.”

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.

“I promise myself that I will enjoy every minute of the day that is given me to live.”

2. If you love someone, the greatest gift you can give them is your presence.

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

“The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.”

3. Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos.

“Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos — the trees, the clouds, everything.”

4. To be beautiful means to be yourself.

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”

5. Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.

“When we walk like (we are rushing), we print anxiety and sorrow on the earth. We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the earth… Be aware of the contact between your feet and the earth. Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.”

“Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.”

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.”

“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.”

6. Take time to relax and renew yourself. 

“From time to time, to remind ourselves to relax and be peaceful, we may wish to set aside some time for a retreat, a day of mindfulness, when we can walk slowly, smile, drink tea with a friend, enjoy being together as if we are the happiest people on Earth.”

7. Get in touch with yourself. 

“In modern society most of us don’t want to be in touch with ourselves; we want to be in touch with other things like religion, sports, politics, a book – we want to forget ourselves. Anytime we have leisure, we want to invite something else to enter us, opening ourselves to the television and telling the television to come and colonize us.”

8. As long as you’re alive, everything is possible. 

“Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible.”

“Because you are alive, everything is possible.”

9. When you have peace within, real peace with others is possible.

“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. ”

“Root out the violence in your life, and learn to live compassionately and mindfully. Seek peace. When you have peace within, real peace with others is possible.”

10. You are more than your sorrows.

“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.”

“Suffering is not enough. Life is both dreadful and wonderful…How can I smile when I am filled with so much sorrow? It is natural–you need to smile to your sorrow because you are more than your sorrow.”

11. When another person makes you suffer, it only is because he suffers deeply within himself.

“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.”

12. Blaming has no positive effect at all.

“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for 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 family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.”

13. Never lose hope.

“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.”

14. Let go of everything that no longer serves you and you will be happy.

“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.”

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”

“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.”

15. Never underestimate the power of a kind word, a touch, or a smile.

“The source of love is deep in us and we can help others realize a lot of happiness. One word, one action, one thought can reduce another person’s suffering and bring that person joy.”

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.

“I promise myself that I will enjoy every minute of the day that is given me to live.”

16. True love is free from bondage. 

“If our love is only a will to possess, it is not love.”

“You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.”

“In true love, you attain freedom.”

17. Let go of fear. 

“Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.”

“In order to rally people, governments need enemies. They want us to be afraid, to hate, so we will rally behind them. And if they do not have a real enemy, they will invent one in order to mobilize us.”

“Some people live as though they are already dead. There are people moving around us who are consumed by their past, terrified of their future, and stuck in their anger and jealousy. They are not alive; they are just walking corpses.”

18. Breathe yourself back to life.

“Breathing in, there is only the present moment. Breathing out, it is a wonderful moment.”

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”

19. Free yourself of concepts and keeps your mind open to what is.

“For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.”

“Attachment to views is the greatest impediment to the spiritual path.”

20. Shift your focus from the negative on to the positive.

“I have noticed that people are dealing too much with the negative, with what is wrong. … Why not try the other way, to look into the patient and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?”

21. Welcome all of your feelings, no matter if they are negative or positive.

“Feelings, whether of compassion or irritation, should be welcomed, recognized, and treated on an absolutely equal basis; because both are ourselves. The tangerine I am eating is me. The mustard greens I am planting are me. I plant with all my heart and mind. I clean this teapot with the kind of attention I would have were I giving the baby Buddha or Jesus a bath. Nothing should be treated more carefully than anything else. In mindfulness, compassion, irritation, mustard green plant, and teapot are all sacred.”

22. The present moment is all you ever have.

“To dwell in the here and now does not mean you never think about the past or responsibly plan for the future. The idea is simply not to allow yourself to get lost in regrets about the past or worries about the future. If you are firmly grounded in the present moment, the past can be an object of inquiry, the object of your mindfulness and concentration. You can attain many insights by looking into the past. But you are still grounded in the present moment.”

“The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.”

“Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.”

“Life is available only in the present moment.”

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”

23. Love’s only interest is to love.

“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.”

24. True happiness is based on peace.

“Many people think excitement is happiness…. But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.”

“It is my conviction that there is no way to peace – peace is the way.”

25. At the core level we are all ONE.

“We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.”

26. It may be that humankind has created God in the image of humankind.

“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.”

27. Enlightenment is always available to you.

“Enlightenment is always there. Small enlightenment will bring great enlightenment. If you breathe in and are aware that you are alive—that you can touch the miracle of being alive—then that is a kind of enlightenment.”

28. To have peace in the world we have to have to first peace between religions.

“Until there is peace between religions, there can be no peace in the world.”

29. If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors.

“If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.”

30. Life bursts with miracles.

“Around us, life bursts with miracles–a glass of water, a ray of sunshine, a leaf, a caterpillar, a flower, laughter, raindrops. If you live in awareness, it is easy to see miracles everywhere. Each human being is a multiplicity of miracles. Eyes that see thousands of colors, shapes, and forms; ears that hear a bee flying or a thunderclap; a brain that ponders a speck of dust as easily as the entire cosmos; a heart that beats in rhythm with the heartbeat of all beings. When we are tired and feel discouraged by life’s daily struggles, we may not notice these miracles, but they are always there.”

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”

“The kingdom of God is available to you in the here and the now. But the question is whether you are available to the kingdom. Our practice is to make ourselves ready for the kingdom so that it can manifest in the here and the now. You don’t need to die in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. In fact, you have to be truly alive in order to do so.”

What is your favorite quote from Thích Nhất Hạnh? What is one lesson you have learned from Thích Nhất Hạnh that really impacted and changed your life?  You can share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below.

With all my love,

Empty your mind of all thoughts


 Empty your mind of all thoughts. Let your heart be at peace. Watch the turmoil of beings, but contemplate their return. Each separate being in the Universe returns to the common source. Returning to the source is serenity.
~Lao Tsu~
Tao Te Ching

The Real You – Alan Watts (3:57)

▶ The Real You – Alan Watts – YouTube.

Tragedy in life

“When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways–either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength.”

Dalai Lama


Namaste OM