29 Life Lessons…

…to learn from Thich Nhat Hanh:

1.) Never underestimate the power of a kind word, a touch, or a smile. 
“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”

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

susans

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.) Because you are alive, everything is possible. 

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

heart

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.”

15.) True love is free from bondage. 
“In true love, you attain freedom.”

love

16.) 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.”

17.) Breathe yourself back to life. 
“Breathing in, there is only the present moment. Breathing out, it is a wonderful moment.”

18.) Free yourself of concepts and keep your mind open to what is.
“For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.”

19.) 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?”

20.) 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.”

pink

21.) The present moment is all you ever have. 
“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.”

22.) 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.” 

23.) 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.”

24.) At the core level we are all one. 
“We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.”

25.) 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.”

sunflowers

26.) 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.”

27.) Until there is peace between religions, there can be no peace in the world.

28.) 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.”

29.) 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.”

sunshine

Wonderful wisdom accompanied by some lovely things I’ve seen this week.

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