Born October 11, 1926, Thich Nhat Hanh, whom many rightly consider a living Buddha, is now 89 years of age. Here are some ten ‘mini’ teachings (quotes) from him which you won’t find on the internet:
- A life that is too comfortable will make spiritual growth difficult. Food, clothing, and lodging should always be adequate, but not excessive.
- Mindfulness, the capacity to be here, to witness deeply everything that happens in the present moment, is the beginning of enlightenment.
- We do not speak about Original Sin in Buddhism, but we do talk about negative seeds that exist in every person – seeds of hatred, anger, ignorance, intolerance and so on – and we way that these seeds can be transformed when we touch the qualities of a Buddha, which are also seeds within us.
- When a sage is present and you sit near him or her, you feel peace and light.
- To breathe and know you are alive is wonderful. Because you are alive, everything is possible.
- Please don’t practice ‘religious imperialism.’ Even if you have a beautiful temple or church with fine decorations and artwork, if inside there is no tolerance, happiness, understanding or love, it is a false Sangha, a false church. Please continue to do better.
- We must bring forth the Buddha in ourselves. We have to evoke the living Buddha in ourselves in order to become more understanding and more loving.
- The practice of generosity is like this: we do whatever we can to benefit others without seeing ourselves as helpers and the others as the helped. This is the spirit of non-self.
- When you practice with others, it is much easier to obtain stability, joy and freedom.
- The Buddha made every effort to remove the barriers between classes. He accepted untouchables and other outcasts into his holy community. Are we doing the same with the poor and oppressed of our day? Are we bringing the service of the Sangha and the church to those who suffer, to those who are discriminated against politically, racially and economically?
Victor M. Parachin, M. Div. is a yoga/meditation teacher in Tulsa, Oklahoma and author of several books including Sit A Bit: Five Minute Meditations For Greater Health, Harmony and Happiness. Find out more at www.dharmaroundup.blogspot.com and www. tulsayogameditationcenter.com