Gone Sailing…Hang with Thich

"The world of form and color is a miracle that offers blissful joys every day. After we have this realization, we cannot look at the blue sky and the white clouds without smiling." _Thich Nhat Hanh

I’m on a passage…not sure when I’ll find the world wide web again, so until then, I’m leaving you to ponder my favorite quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh’s early journals in Fragrant Palm Leaves:

“Clinging to what you have learned is worse than not learning it in the first place.” 

“Let compassion pour from your eyes and don’t let a ripple of blame or anger rise up in your heart.” 

“One is always the first beneficiary of one’s own good acts.” 

“They did not know that when the mind divides reality up, when it judges and discriminates, it kills paradise. Please do not scold the sunlight. Do not chastise the clear stream or the little birds of spring.” 

“Our eyes are filled with dust. There is no need to seek a Pure Land somewhere else. We only need to lift our heads and see the moon and the stars. The essential quality is awareness.” 

“Most important is knowing how to ride the waves of impermanence, smiling as one who knows he has never been born and will never die.”  “Begin by looking deeply at yourself and seeing how miraculous your body is…Consider your eyes. How can we take something as wonderful as our eyes for granted? Yet we do. We don’t look deeply at these wonders. We ignore them, and as a result, we lose them. It’s as though our eyes don’t exist. Only when we’re struck blind do we realize how precious our eyes were, and then its too late…” 

“If we want freedom, we must invite those phantoms up to our conscious mind, not to fight with them, like the old man fishing for snakes, but to befriend them. If we don’t, they will trouble us everyday. If we wait for the right moment to invite them up, we’ll be ready to meet them, and eventually, they will become benign.” 

“The best medicine to chase away the heart’s dark isolation is to make direct contact with life’s sufferings, to touch and share the anxieties and uncertainties of others.” 

“Life is simpler here, and it fills my heart with love…I’m not romanticizing poverty, but I have seen people in affluent societies suffer from loneliness, alienation, and boredom, problems unimaginable here.” 

“The destructive capacity of nonstop busyness rivals nuclear weapons and is as addictive as opium. It empties the life of the spirit. False heroes find it easier to make war than deal with the emptiness in their own souls. They may complain about never having time to rest, but the truth is, if they were given time to rest, they would not know what to do.” 

“Without fierce resolve and a mature spiritual life, private demons cannot be controlled.”