Monday, January 26, 2015

Contemplative Monday

The following is from 'The Pocket Thich Nhat Hanh' (click)
published by 'Shambhala Pocket Classics'.


"Being in contact with life in the present moment, we observe deeply what is.
Then we are able to see the impermanent and selfless nature of all that is.

Impermanence and selflessness are not negative aspects of life 
but the very foundations on which life is built.
Impermanence is the constant transformation of things.

Without impermanence, there can be no life.

Selflessness is the interdependent nature of all things.
Without interdependence, nothing could exist.
Without the sun, the clouds, and the Earth, the tulip could not be.

We often feel sad about the impermanence and selflessness of life,
because we forget that, without impermanence and selflessness,
life cannot be.

To be aware of impermanence and selflessness does not take away the joy of being alive.

On the contrary, it adds healthiness, stability, and freedom.
It is because people cannot see the impermanent 
and selfless nature of things that they suffer.

They take what is impermanent as permanent and that what is selfless as having a self.

Life is suffering, but it is also wonderful.

Sickness, old age, death, accident, starvation, unemployment,
and natural disasters cannot be avoided in life.

But, if our understanding is deep and our mind free,
we can accept these things with tranquility,
 and the suffering will already be greatly lessened. 

This is not to say we should close our eyes before suffering.
By being in contact with suffering, we give rise to
and nourish our natural love and compassion.

Suffering becomes the element that nourishes our love and compassion,
and so we are not afraid of it.

When our heart is filled with love and compassion,
 we will act in ways to help relieve the suffering of others."

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