Inclusiveness

You open your heart to include the other side. You want to give them the opportunity to live in peace, as you wish to live.

Each of us must ask ourselves, how large is my heart? How can I help my heart grow bigger and bigger everyday?

The practice of inclusiveness is based on the practice of understanding, compassion, and love.  When you practice looking deeply to understand suffering, the nectar of compassion will arise naturally in your heart. Loving-kindness and compassion can continue to grouw indefinitely, and  with enough understanding and loved you can embrace and accept everything and everyone.

If we truly want to live in peace, safety , and security, we must create an opportunity for those on the other side to live this way as well. If we know how to allow the other side into our heart, if we have that intention, we not only suffer less right away but we also increase our own chances of having peace and security.

When we’re motivated by the intention to practice inclusiveness, it becomes very easy to ask, “How can we best help you so that you can injoy safety? Please tells.” We express our concern for their safety, their need to live in peace, to rebuild their country, to strengthen their society. When you are able to approach a situation of conflict in this way, it can help transform the situation very quickly.

The basis for this transformation, the first thing that must happen, is the change withing your own heart. You open your heart to include the other side; you want to give them the opportunity to live in peaces, as you wish to live.

Societies and nations that are locked in conflict need to learn the practice of inclusiveness if they really want to find a way to live together in peace. Can our side accept the fact that the other side also needs a place to live and the safety and stability that can guarantee a peaceful and prosperous society? When we look deeply in the situation of those on the other side, we see that they are just like us – they also want only to have  place where they can live in safety and peace. Understanding our own suffering and our own hopes can lead to understanding the suffering and hopes of the other group.

We know that if the other side does not have peace and safety, then it will not be possible for us to have peace and safety. That is the nature of interbeing. With this insight we’ll be able to open our hearts and embrace the other side.

Excerpt from “Peacful Action, Open Heart” by Thich Nhat Hanh

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Scorpion Nature

Excerpt from Mindfulness Bell “Scorpion Nature” by Sister Dang Nghiem

There is a story about a scorpion and a frog. One day, the scorpion needs to cross a pond. So the scorpion tells the frog, “Frog, my friend, would you please take me across the pond?” The frog replies, “Well, I want to be helpful to you, but what if you sting me midway? I will die.” The scorpion says, “Why would I do that? If I sting you, you’ll die and I’ll die too.” The frog feels reassured, so it says, “Okay, that is reasonable. I do not mind carrying you across the pond. You can jump up.” The scorpion jumps on the back of the frog, and the frog gets into the water and begins to swim. Everything is going well until, halfway across the pond, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog is in deep pain, and as it is drowning, it cries out to the scorpion, “Why did you sting me? Now I’ll die, and you are going to die, too.” The scorpion replies, “I know that, but I cannot help myself. It is my scorpion nature.”

When the scorpion stings the frog, it knows that it is going to harm itself and the frog, and yet it still does it; that is the scorpion nature. Do we have scorpion nature? What is our scorpion nature? Certain things we do and say, certain thoughts we have—we know that they are not going to help anybody, including ourselves, and yet we still do them. Why is that? It is because we cannot help it; we simply cannot resist it.

One time, Thay said to me, “It is not an issue whether you like it or not.” I did not understand what he meant, but I did not like what he said. However, out of total respect and confidence in my teacher, I received his teaching and kept it in my mind. After a few years, suddenly it came to me: when we like something or we do not like something, that is our habit energy, and it is already ingrained in us. “I like this color. I hate that color.” “I want this iPad.” “I want to sleep in, and I don’t want to wake up early in the morning to go to sitting meditation.” “I need another degree.” “I need another outfit.” There are things that we like and things that we do not like. There are things that we want and things that we do not want. These likes and dislikes, wants and not-wants, needs and not-needs are clearly defined in our minds. We can understand this as our scorpion nature, driving us to think, speak, and behave reflexively.

In medical school, when I rotated through the hospital ward with patients with Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and other chronic intestinal problems, I was told that they could be the most irritable and needy patients. Now I can understand this phenomenon from an insider’s perspective. Chronic physical pain can cause a person to feel uncomfortable, restless, irritable, and reactive. When you are sick for a long time, your family members and friends become used to your illness, so they may not pay as much attention to you. It is easy to feel lonely, deserted, depressed, and needy as a result. If people say something insensitive or unskillful, you may replay their words a thousand times, harboring feelings of unworthiness, disappointment, resentment, and even hatred. All of these emotions are harsh and powerful, and they can cause your speech and bodily actions to be unpleasant and difficult for others to tolerate. Therefore, others avoid you, and your negative feelings are confirmed and strengthened, creating a vicious cycle. These fleeting feelings, if fed day after day, can become our attitudes and then our personality.

From my own illness, I have learned to pay close attention to my likes and dislikes, wants and not-wants, needs and not-needs. For example, monastic brothers and sisters are preparing to go hiking. Usually I would not miss a chance to go hiking, but when my energy level is low, the thought of walking under the sun for a long distance feels repugnant, and the mind translates this feeling with conviction: “I don’t want to go hiking.” It even goes so far as to say, “I don’t like hiking anymore.” Aware of this thought, I breathe and smile, returning my mind to right view: “It is not that I don’t want to go hiking or that I don’t like hiking. I simply do not have enough energy to do that right now. Perhaps I will have enough energy to do it tomorrow or some other time.” When you are not well, you find yourself not wanting to do many things and not liking many people. It is important to recognize the reason behind your likes and dislikes and not to identify yourself with these feelings, which can mold you into a certain personality.

Transforming Scorpion Nature

Mindfulness will help us to recognize our Buddha nature as well as our scorpion nature as they are. Walking meditation is one of the practices that can help us to transform our scorpion nature. The cultivation of gratitude is essential to the transformation of our suffering.

There is a practice called “tri tuc,” meaning you know that you have enough. “Tri” means “to know, to master, to remember,” and “tuc” means “enough.” Interestingly, this character “tuc” also means “feet.” You remember that you have enough and you master what you have. It also means you remember that you have feet, and you master your feet! In your daily life, do you have awareness that you have feet? When you walk across the parking lot or around your office, do you have mastery of your steps?

To know that we have feet—that is enough to make us happy. Therefore, our feet symbolize all the conditions of happiness that are available to us right here and right now. Without mindfulness, we take what we have for granted, and we feel forever impoverished. We can even take the mindfulness practice for granted; as a result, we are actually less fortunate than those who are sincerely seeking a spiritual path. With awareness of our steps, of our bodily movements, of the in-breaths and out-breaths, we train to dwell stably and gratefully in the present moment. This is also a concrete way to check whether we are practicing correctly and authentically or not.

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Six Paramitas

Excerpt from “The Heart of Buddha’s Teaching” by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Six Paramitas are a teaching of Mahayana Buddhism. Paramita can be translated as “perfection” or “perfect realization.” The Chinese character used for paramita means “crossing over to the other shore,” which is the shore of peace, non-fear, and liberation.

The practice of the paramitas can be the practice of our daily lives. We are on the shore of suffering, anger, and depression, and we want to cross over to the shore of well-being. To cross over, we have to do something, and that is called paramita. We return to ourselves and practice mindful breathing, looking at our suffering, anger, and depression, and smile. Doing this, we overcome our pain and cross over.

We can practice “perfection” every day.

Every time you take one mindful step, you have a chance to go from the land of sorrow to the land of joy. The Pure Land is available right here and now. The Kingdom of God is a seed in us. If we know how to plant that seed in moist soil, it will become a tree, and birds will come and take refuge. Please practice crossing over to the other shore whenever you feel the need.

The Buddha said, “Don’t just hope for the other shore to come to you. If you want to cross over to the other shore, the shore of safety, well-being, non-fear,and non-anger, you have to swim or row across. You have to make an effort.”

This effort is the practice of the Six Paramitas.

(1) dana paramita – giving, offering, generosity.

(2) shila paramita – precepts or mindfulness trainings.

(3) kshanti paramita – inclusiveness, the capacity to receive, bear, and transform the pain inflicted on you by your enemies and also by those who love you.

(4) virya paramita – diligence, energy, perseverance.

(5) dhyana paramita – meditation.

(6) prajña paramita – wisdom, insight, understanding.

Practicing the Six Paramitas helps us to reach the other shore — the shore of freedom, harmony, and good relationships.

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The Silence that Heals and Nourishes Us

Excerpt from “The Practice of Mindfulness” by Thich Nhat Hanh posted by Lions Roar

Mindfulness practice should be enjoyable, not work or effort. Do you have to make an effort to breath in? You don’t need to make an effort. To breathe in, you just breathe in. Suppose you are with a group of people contemplating a beautiful sunset. Do you have to make an effort to enjoy the beautiful sunset? No, you don’t have to make any effort. You just enjoy it.

The same thing is true with your breath. Allow your breath to take place. Become aware of it and enjoy it. Effortlessness. Enjoyment. The same thing is true with walking mindfully. Every step you take is enjoyable. Every step helps you to touch the wonders of life, in yourself and around you. Every step is peace. Every step is joy. That is possible.

First Mindfulness Exercise: Mindful Breathing

The first exercise is very simple, but the power, the result, can be very great. The exercise is simply to identify the in-breath as in-breath and the out-breath as the out-breath. When you breathe in, you know that this is your in-breath. When you breathe out, you are mindful that this is your out-breath.

Just recognize: this is an in-breath, this is an out-breath. Very simple, very easy. In order to recognize your in-breath as in-breath, you have to bring your mind home to yourself. What is recognizing your in-breath is your mind, and the object of your mind—the object of your mindfulness—is the in-breath. Mindfulness is always mindful of something. When you drink your tea mindfully, it’s called mindfulness of drinking. When you walk mindfully, it’s called mindfulness of walking. And when you breathe mindfully, that is mindfulness of breathing.

So the object of your mindfulness is your breath, and you just focus your attention on it. Breathing in, this is my in-breath. Breathing out, this is my out-breath. When you do that, the mental discourse will stop. You don’t think anymore. You don’t have to make an effort to stop your thinking; you bring your attention to your in-breath and the mental discourse just stops. That is the miracle of the practice. You don’t think of the past anymore. You don’t think of the future. You don’t think of your projects, because you are focusing your attention, your mindfulness, on your breath.

It gets even better. You can enjoy your in-breath. The practice can be pleasant, joyful. Someone who is dead cannot take any more in-breaths. But you are alive. You are breathing in, and while breathing in, you know that you are alive. The in-breath can be a celebration of the fact that you are alive, so it can be very joyful. When you are joyful and happy, you don’t feel that you have to make any effort at all. I am alive; I am breathing in. To be still alive is a miracle. The greatest of all miracles is to be alive, and when you breathe in, you touch that miracle. Therefore, your breathing can be a celebration of life.

An in-breath may take three, four, five seconds, it depends. That’s time to be alive, time to enjoy your breath. You don’t have to interfere with your breathing. If your in-breath is short, allow it to be short. If your out-breath is long, let it to be long. Don’t try to force it. The practice is simple recognition of the in-breath and the out-breath. That is good enough. It will have a powerful effect.

Second Mindfulness Exercise: Concentration

The second exercise is that while you breathe in, you follow your in-breath from the beginning to the end. If your in-breath lasts three or four seconds, then your mindfulness also lasts three or four seconds. Breathing in, I follow my in-breath all the way through. Breathing out, I follow my out-breath all the way through. From the beginning of my out-breath to the end of my out-breath, my mind is always with it. Therefore, mindfulness becomes uninterrupted, and the quality of your concentration is improved.

So the second exercise is to follow your in-breath and your out-breath all the way through. Whether they are short or long, it doesn’t matter. What is important is that you follow your in-breath from the beginning to the end. Your awareness is sustained. There is no interruption. Suppose you are breathing in, and then you think, “Oh, I forgot to turn off the light in my room.” There is an interruption. Just stick to your in-breath all the way through. Then you cultivate your mindfulness and your concentration. You become your in-breath. You become your out-breath. If you continue like that, your breathing will naturally become deeper and slower, more harmonious and peaceful. You don’t have to make any effort—it happens naturally.

Third Mindfulness Exercise: Awareness of Your Body

The third exercise is to become aware of your body as you are breathing. “Breathing in, I am aware of my whole body.” This takes it one step further.

In the first exercise, you became aware of your in-breath and your out-breath. Because you have now generated the energy of mindfulness through mindful breathing, you can use that energy to recognize your body.

“Breathing in, I am aware of my body. Breathing out, I am aware of my body.” I know my body is there. This brings the mind wholly back to the body. Mind and body become one reality. When your mind is with your body, you are well-established in the here and the now. You are fully alive. You can be in touch with the wonders of life that are available in yourself and around you.

This exercise is simple, but the effect of the oneness of body and mind is very great. In our daily lives, we are seldom in that situation. Our body is there but our mind is elsewhere. Our mind may be caught in the past or in the future, in regrets, sorrow, fear, or uncertainty, and so our mind is not there. Someone may be present in the house, but he’s not really there, his mind is not there. His mind is with the future, with his projects, and he’s not there for his children or his spouse. Maybe you could say to him, “Anybody home?” and help him bring his mind back to his body.

So the third exercise is to become aware of your body. “Breathing in, I’m aware of my body.” When you practice mindful breathing, the quality of your in-breath and out-breath will be improved. There is more peace and harmony in your breathing, and if you continue to practice like that, the peace and the harmony will penetrate into the body, and the body will profit.

Fourth Mindfulness Exercise: Releasing Tension

The next exercise is to release the tension in the body. When you are truly aware of your body, you notice there is some tension and pain in your body, some stress. The tension and pain have been accumulating for a long time and our bodies suffer, but our mind is not there to help release it. Therefore, it is very important to learn how to release the tension in the body.

In a sitting, lying, or standing position, it’s always possible to release the tension. You can practice total relaxation, deep relaxation, in a sitting or lying position. While you are driving your car, you might notice the tension in your body. You are eager to arrive and you don’t enjoy the time you spend driving. When you come to a red light, you are eager for the red light to become a green light so that you can continue. But the red light can be a signal. It can be a reminder that there is tension in you, the stress of wanting to arrive as quickly as possible. If you recognize that, you can make use of the red light. You can sit back and relax—take the ten seconds the light is red to practice mindful breathing and release the tension in the body.

So next time you’re stopped at a red light, you might like to sit back and practice the fourth exercise: “Breathing in, I’m aware of my body. Breathing out, I release the tension in my body.” Peace is possible at that moment, and it can be practiced many times a day—in the workplace, while you are driving, while you are cooking, while you are doing the dishes, while you are watering the vegetable garden. It is always possible to practice releasing the tension in yourself.

Walking Meditation

When you practice mindful breathing you simply allow your in breath to take place. You become aware of it and enjoy it. Effortlessness. The same thing is true with mindful walking. Every step is enjoyable. Every step helps you touch the wonders of life. Every step is joy. That is possible.

You don’t have to make any effort during walking meditation, because it is enjoyable. You are there, body and mind together. You are fully alive, fully present in the here and the now. With every step, you touch the wonders of life that are in you and around you. When you walk like that, every step brings healing. Every step brings peace and joy, because every step is a miracle.

The real miracle is not to fly or walk on fire. The real miracle is to walk on the Earth, and you can perform that miracle at any time. Just bring your mind home to your body, become alive, and perform the miracle of walking on Earth.

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EARTH PEACE TREATY COMMITMENT SHEET

From Thich Nhat Hanh, “The World We Have”

This sheet offers a number of steps we can take to reduce the impact of our ecological footprint. Please look over this and, if you feel inspired, commit to a few or more of them by downloading and marking the blank with a “√” check. If you already are practicing the step, mark an “X” on the blank. When you are done, please print your commitments onto paper copy so you have them as a reminder.

I commit to:

__Walk or bike to work __ days per week.

__Walk or bike to places within 5 miles.

__Carpool to work or use mass transit.

__Reduce flight travel to less than ____ flight hours per year.

__Have a car-free day once a week.

__Have a car-free day once a month.

__Work at home one day a week.

__Reduce car trips by ____ percent.

__Use stairs, not elevators.

__Have an electricity-fee day once a week.

__Get an energy audit of my home and improve its efficiency.

___Purchase and install solar panels at home.

__Purchase renewable-source electricity (wind, geothermal).

__Air-dry clothes (without a dryer).

__Reducer the use of hair dryers and appliances.

__Support farmers and reduce food-miles by buying local produce.

__Grow produce at home.

__Not use pesticides or herbicides.

__Purchase ____ percent organic food.

__Join a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) group near my home.

__Replace light bulbs at home with compact fluorescents.

__Eliminate the use of air-conditioning at home.

__Reduce air-conditioning at home by ___ degrees.

__Reduce hearting at home by ___ degrees.

__Install a programmable thermostat at home.

__Install energy-efficient insulation and windows at home.

__Eat only vegetarian food.

__Drive a fuel-efficient vehicle.

__Avoid purchasing disposable items with lots of packaging.

–Replace paper napkins, towels and plates with reusable equivalents.

__Use the library instead of buying books, as much as possible.

__Use cloth or other reusable bags for shopping, etc.

__Use biodegradable cleaning products.

__Compost kitchen waste.

__Encourage office/school to recycle.

__Share magazines and catalogs by donating them to clinics, etc.

__Reuse and recycle all items possible.

__Buy clothing in used clothing/thrift shops.

__Plant native and drought-tolerant plants where applicable.

__Plant ___ trees in my neighborhood.

__Turn off computers while not in use.

__Install a power strip for appliances to avoid drawing ghost electricity.

__Set computer and display to turn off after 10 minutes of inactivity.

__Reduce use of hot water by ____ percent.

__Take only short, warm showers.

__Install a solar water heating unit.

__Re-use gray water.

__Flush only when necessary.

__Reduce overall water use by ___percent.

__Install a system to recapture and store rainwater.

__Pick up trash along walking/jogging route.

__Encourage a friend to commit to items on this list.

__Educate myself on ecological issues.

__Write articles/stories to help others get in touch with their ecosystem.

__Meditate once a week on my relationship to the ecosystem in which I live.

__Mediate once a week on how I can reduce my consumption, and act on this.

__Write to local and national politicians calling for more effective environmental legislation.

__Support local environmental organizations.

 

Add my own commitment proposals here:

 

 

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Earth Gathas

by Thich Nhat Hanh, re-posted from Lion’s Roar

Gathas help us to practice mindfulness in our daily lives and to look deeply. Reciting these short verses will bring awareness, peace, and joy to the simple activities we may take for granted, like eating a meal, washing our hands, or taking out the garbage. These gathas remind us that Earth provides us with precious gifts every day.

Taking the First Step of the Day

Walking on the Earth
is a miracle!
Each mindful step
reveals the wondrous dharmakaya.

This poem can be recited right as we get out of bed and our feet touch the floor. It can also be used during walking meditation or any time we stand up and walk. Dharmakaya literally means the “body” (kaya) of the Buddha’s teachings (dharma), the way of understanding and love. Before passing away, the Buddha told his disciples, “Only my physical body will pass away. My dharma body will remain with you forever.” In Zen, the word has come to mean “the essence of all that exists.” All phenomena—the song of a bird, the warm rays of the sun, a cup of hot tea—are manifestations of the dharmakaya. We, too, are of the same nature as these wonders of the universe. We do not have to walk in space or on water to experience a miracle; the real miracle is to be awake in the present moment. Walking on the green Earth, we realize the wonder of being alive. When we make steps like this, the sun of the dharmakaya will shine.

Turning on the Water

Water flows from high mountain sources.
Water runs deep in the Earth.
Miraculously, water comes to us
and sustains all life.

Even if we know the source of our water, we often take its appearance for granted. But water is what makes all life on Earth possible. Our bodies are more than 70 percent water. Our food can be grown and raised because of water. Water is a good friend, a bodhisattva, which nourishes the many thousands of species on Earth. Its benefits are infinite. Reciting this gatha before turning on the faucet or drinking a glass of water enables us to see the stream of fresh water in our own hearts so that we feel completely refreshed. To celebrate the gift of water is to cultivate awareness and help sustain our life and the lives of others.

Looking at Your Empty Bowl

My bowl, empty now,
will soon be filled with precious food.
Beings all over the Earth are struggling to live.
How fortunate we are to have enough to eat.

When many people on this Earth look at an empty bowl, they know their bowl will continue to be empty for a long time. So the empty bowl is as important to honor as the full bowl. We are grateful to have food to eat, and with this gatha, we can vow to find ways to help those who are hungry.

Serving Food

In this food,
I see clearly
the entire universe
supporting my existence.

When we look at our plate, filled with fragrant and appetizing food, we should be aware of the bitter pain of people who suffer from hunger and malnutrition. Looking at our plate, we can see Mother Earth, the farm workers, and the tragedy of the unequal distribution of resources. We who live in North America and Europe are accustomed to eating foods imported from other countries, whether it is coffee from Colombia, chocolate from Ghana, or fragrant rice from Thailand. Many children in these countries, except those from rich families, never see the fine products that are put aside for export in order to bring in money. Before a meal, we can join our palms in mindfulness and think about those who do not have enough to eat. Slowly and mindfully, we breathe three times and recite this gatha. Doing so will help us maintain mindfulness. May we find ways to live more simply in order to have more time and energy to change the system of injustice that exists in the world.

Touching the Earth

Earth brings us into life
and nourishes us.
Earth takes us back again.
We are born and we die with every breath.

The Earth is our mother. All life arises from her and is nourished by her. Each of us is a child of the Earth and, at some time, the Earth will take us back to her again. In fact, we are continuously coming to life and returning to the bosom of the Earth. We who practice meditation should be able to see birth and death in every breath. Touching the earth, letting your fingers feel the soil, and gardening are wonderful, restorative activities. If you live in a city, you may not have many opportunities to hoe the earth, plant vegetables, or take care of flowers. But you can still find and appreciate a small patch of grass or earth and care for it. Being in touch with Mother Earth is a wonderful way to preserve your mental health.

Watering the Garden

Water and sun
green these plants.
When the rain of compassion falls,
even the desert becomes a vast fertile plain.

Water is the balm of compassion. It has the capacity to restore us to life. Rain enlivens crops and protects people from hunger. The Bodhisattva of Compassion is often depicted holding a vase of water in her left hand and a willow branch in her right. She sprinkles down compassion, like drops of nurturing water, to revitalize tired hearts and minds weak from suffering. Watering the garden, the compassionate rain falls on the plants. When we offer water to plants, we offer it to the whole Earth. When watering plants, if we speak to them, we are also speaking to ourselves. We exist in relationship to all other phenomena. The feeling of alienation among so many people today has come about because they lack awareness of the interconnectedness of all things. We cannot separate ourselves from society or anything else. This is like this, because that is like that is a phrase taken from the sutras, summarizing the principle of interrelatedness. To water plants and experience compassion and interconnectedness is a wonderful practice of meditation.

Recycling

In the garbage, I see a rose.
In the rose, I see the garbage.
Everything is in transformation.
Even permanence is impermanent.

Whenever we throw something away, whether in the garbage can, the compost, or the recycling, it can smell terrible. Rotting organic matter smells especially terrible. But it can also become rich compost for fertilizing the garden. The fragrant rose and the stinking garbage are two sides of the same existence. Without one, the other cannot be. Everything is in transformation. The rose that wilts after six days will become a part of the garbage. After six months the garbage is transformed into a rose. When we speak of impermanence, we understand that everything is in transformation. This becomes that, and that becomes this. Looking deeply, we can contemplate one thing and see everything else in it. We are not disturbed by change when we see the interconnectedness and continuity of all things. It is not that the life of any individual is permanent, but that life itself continues. When we identify ourselves with life and go beyond the boundaries of a separate identity, we shall be able to see permanence in the impermanent, or the rose in the garbage.

Adapted from “The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology,” by Thich Nhat Hanh. © 2008 by Unified Buddhist Church. With permission from Parallax Press, www.parallax.org.

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Peace Is Every Step

—Excerpt from “Peace is Every Step” by Thich Nhat Hanh,

“The roots of war are in the way we live our daily lives–the way we develop our industries, build up our society, and consume goods. We have to look deeply into the situation, and we will see the roots of war. We cannot just blame one side or the other. We have to transcend the tendency to take sides. …

… Anger is an unpleasant feeling. It is like a blazing flame that burns up our self-control and causes us to say and do things we regret later. When someone is angry, we can see clearly that he or she is abiding in hell. Anger and hatred are the materials from which hell is made. A mind without anger is cool, fresh, and sane. The absence of anger is the basis of real happiness, the basis of love and compassion.

When our anger is placed under the lamp of mindfulness, it immediately begins to lose some of its destructive nature. We can say to ourselves, “Breathing in, I know that anger is in me. Breathing out, I know that I am my anger.” If we follow our breathing closely while we identify and mindfully observe our anger, it can no longer monopolize our consciousness. …

…When we are angry, our anger is our very self. To suppress or chase it away is to suppress or chase away our self. When we are joyful, we are the joy. When we are angry, we are the anger. When anger is born in us, we can be aware that anger is an energy in us, and we can accept that energy in order to transform it into another kind of energy. ….

…If you are mindful in the morning and try to nourish mindfulness throughout the day, you may be able to come home at the end of the day with a smile, which proves that mindfulness is still there.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh, from Peace is Every Step, Bantam Books. The full version of this essay appears in Parabola, Winter 1991: “The Golden Mean.” This issue is available here.

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