Friday, November 11, 2016

Thich Nhat Hanh’s Message to the Youth

Read deeply the following Thay's message.
The followings are key phrases excerpted from the above.

They might seem like the “living dead” to you, but give them space. They need love, like the rest of us. ... We do not want to live in illusion or die in illusion. ... There are ways of rebelling which only create more bondage and suffering. However, there are ways of rebelling that can offer us real freedom. ... Do not expect change to come from the outside. Yet, if inside, you are overwhelmed by loneliness and fear, you won’t be able to do anything either.

We sometimes feel very alone. Even within our own family, we are alone. We withdraw into our shell, hoping to find peace, but without success. Then we lose ourselves in the crowd. But when the party is over, we are more alone than before. We do not have the courage to face our loneliness. We continue to run day after day. Do not continue to drown in the ocean of loneliness you have created. Learn to still your mind, so that the storm within you can calm and the sky can clear. ... You are not alone and life is worth living. Life is wonderful. ... They (your body and mind) are manifestations of life, of truth, of the divine.

Deep needs and superficial needs
I find it tragic that so many people are wasting their lives. They do not know how to live fully. They do not know how to listen to their hearts. They continue to chase after unnecessary things without seeking what is most precious in life. ... The reality is that we’ve never needed alcohol or drugs. They do not help us to grow; on the contrary, they destroy us. Our true needs lift us up and bring us peace, joy and freedom. ... Your success depends on your ability to discern between what you really need and what you don’t. If you take time to listen to your heart, you will hear your deepest needs for growth, understanding, and love and you will give them a chance to blossom. ... I want to see you free, but please be aware that freedom without understanding can be a source of suffering. ... To be truly happy, freedom must go hand in hand with understanding.

To hear what your heart desires is already to touch happiness. You do not need to “create” a dream, an aspiration. Your dream is already in you, as the destination is already in the path. You only have to adjust the direction. Redirect the course of your life while there is still time. Use your energy. ... Do not expect too much from them, do not get discouraged and do not lose hope. This will save you a lot of energy. ... Instead, use your own intelligence, your own talent, and the resources at your disposal. Do what you can with the abilities you have. Revolution is built from the bottom up. Anything positive you offer will influence society for the better. I have no doubt you can help to create a better world, as I have no doubt about the immeasurable potential of youth.

Why do we study? To pass exams? To have a degree? To achieve a position in society? Are these the only reasons? No. Studying is first and foremost for the joy of learning, the joy of opening new horizons. ... There is so much to discover, yet we must not close our eyes to the problems of our society. Studying is therefore also to meet the real needs of society. ... However, be careful with mere intellectual knowledge because it can be too abstract. Stay in touch with reality, examine everything you learn, and keep only what is grounded in real life experience. Don’t think that you can’t go beyond your teachers. Keep learning. Don’t get caught in what you’ve already learned, because this will prevent you from recognizing and embracing new ideas and insights.

Love is a basic need. Only love, in any form, provided that it is healthy and true, can break the walls of loneliness. ... Love is always a response to a need, a lack, a suffering. As you grew more independent, you came to need your mother and father less and less. That is why your love for them might have diminished. However, the stream of love between you and your parents is still alive, deep inside of you. You only have to return to it and allow it to refresh your relationship. ... At your age, romantic love is a strong call that can easily cover up other callings in your heart. I say cover up, but not silence. ... Love has great power. It can help you heal deep wounds and realize great aspirations, provided that you know how to wait for it, how to recognize it, how to welcome it, how to go with it, how to protect it, how to nourish it, and how to direct it. For sure, you will meet difficulties and sorrows. But don’t worry. Learn from your experiences so as to be able to love better and better. ... It is not easy to find the right partner. Do not think that physical beauty, talent, or reputation are enough to guarantee a fulfilling relationship. Try to understand the other person – their character, their preferences, their aspirations and vision of life. Then ask yourself if they suit you. To suit does not mean to be alike, but rather not be in conflict, to complement each other. ... Intelligent lovers know to harmonize their deep aspirations. Finding a suitable partner and being able to love in such a way is a great happiness. Remind yourself often, and let the other person know, how lucky you are to be with them. This awareness will help you to cherish the relationship and to avoid damaging it through carelessness. You won’t be able to avoid moments of frustration and jealousy. Keep calm, do not do anything rash and don’t blow things out of proportion. ... Romantic love responds to natural needs of the human body and spirit. While some might perceive it as nothing more than a comfortable arrangement between two people, romantic love can also be a doorway to a wider and greater love. ... Love, like all things, is born, lasts for a while, and then passes away. Like a beautiful tree in your garden, your love needs your care and protection in order to stay healthy for a long time. ... Finally, love is not just tenderness. Love is also patience, courage, and sacrifice. Love is a basic human need, which is why you cannot afford not to love.

The aim of religion is to connect. True religion never separates. ... Religion, for most people, is little more than a set of customs and rituals handed down from family and society. Out of laziness or lack of interest, many are satisfied with a superficial understanding of their religion. They do not examine the truth of the teachings in the light of their own experience, let alone practice those teachings to better themselves and heal. These kinds of people are more likely to express dogmatism and intolerance. ... Study your religion intelligently, in all its depth and beauty, so that it can nourish your spiritual life. A healthy religion is a living religion. It should be able to evolve and learn to respond to the difficulties of our time.

I want us to make use of our own faculties to look directly at ourselves and people around us.  ... It is love that can help you transcend fear and isolation. It is understanding that can bring you to the heart of humanity, life, and the cosmos. Understanding and love will open you up to the real situation of society and the planet, and will guide you in your choices.  ... Your bags are packed. It’s time to go.

(My commentary)
I totally agree with Thay. Understanding and love are essential for our peaceful, joyful and happy life. For understanding, or insight, mindfulness and concentration are essential. And for love and compassion, understanding, or insight automatically generates them. That's why we need to start from mindfulness which enables us to revive true self, non-separate self, or awareness.


Stained glass at Plum Village (Mindfulness, Concentration, Insight)

No comments:

Post a Comment