Read deeply the following Thay's teaching on "Building a Community of Love". http://www.lionsroar.com/bell-hooks-and-thich-nhat-hanh-on-building-a-community-of-love/?blm_aid=24265
The followings are the excerpts.
bell hooks: I have taken my vows as a bodhisattva, and so I always feel very depressed when I have anger.
Thich Nhat Hanh: You want to be human. Be angry, it’s okay. But not to practice is not okay. To be angry, that is very human. And to learn how to smile at your anger and make peace with your anger is very nice. That is the whole thing—the meaning of the practice, of the learning. By taking a look at your anger it can be transformed into the kind of energy that you need—understanding and compassion. It is with negative energy that you can make the positive energy. A flower, although beautiful, will become compost someday, but if you know how to transform the compost back into the flower, then you don’t have to worry. You don’t have to worry about your anger because you know how to handle it—to embrace, to recognize, and to transform it. So this is what is possible.
bell hooks: I think this is what people misunderstand about Martin Luther King saying to love your enemies. They think he was just using this silly little phrase.
Thich Nhat Hanh: When we have anger in us, we suffer. When we have discrimination in us, we suffer. When we have the complex of superiority, we suffer. When we have the complex of inferiority, we suffer also. So when we are capable of transforming these negative things in us, we are free and happiness is possible.
If the people who hurt us have that kind of energy within them, like anger or desperation, then they suffer. When you see that someone suffers, you might be motivated by a desire to help him not to suffer anymore. That is love also, and love doesn’t have any color. Other people may discriminate against us, but what is more important is whether we discriminate against them. If we don’t do that, we are a happier person, and as a happier person, we are in a position to help. And anger, this is not a help.
bell hooks: What can love do for that fear?
Thich Nhat Hanh: Fear is born from ignorance. We think that the other person is trying to take away something from us. But if we look deeply, we see that the desire of the other person is exactly our own desire—to have peace, to be able to have a chance to live. So if you realize that the other person is a human being too, and you have exactly the same kind of spiritual path, and then the two can become good practitioners. This appears to be practical for both.
The only answer to fear is more understanding. And there is no understanding if there is no effort to look more deeply to see what is there in our heart and in the heart of the other person. The Buddha always reminds us that our afflictions, including our fear and our desiring, are born from our ignorance. That is why in order to dissipate fear, we have to remove wrong perception.
bell hooks: And what if people perceive rightly and still act unjustly?
Thich Nhat Hanh: They are not able yet to apply their insight in their daily life. They need community to remind them. Sometimes you have a flash of insight, but it’s not strong enough to survive. Therefore in the practice of Buddhism, samadhi is the power to maintain insight alive in every moment, so that every speech, every word, every act will bear the nature of that insight. It is a question of cleaning. And you clean better if you are surrounded by sangha—those who are practicing exactly the same.
bell hooks: The intellectual tradition of the West is very individualistic. It’s not community-based. The intellectual is often thought of as a person who is alone and cut off from the world.
Thich Nhat Hanh: Right, and then we learn to operate as a community and not as individuals. In Plum Village, that is exactly what we try to do. We are brothers and sisters living together. We try to operate like cells in one body.
bell hooks: I think this is the love that we seek in the new millennium, which is the love experienced in community, beyond self.
Thich Nhat Hanh: So please, live that truth and disseminate that truth with your writing, with your speaking. It will be helpful to maintain that kind of view and action.
The most important factor of true love is equanimity, inclusiveness, non-discrimination, non-separation, or non-duality. True love is equal to unconditional love. So, we can extend our true love even to our enemies. True love does not depend on other's attitudes. Therefore, Martin Luther King's "to love your enemies" is not a silly little phrase. The best way to generate true love for our enemies is to understand the root cause of their sufferings by deep looking. Once we attain insight of the root cause of their sufferings, we will understand that what they need is not punishment but healing. Then, true love will be automatically generated. And it will be impossible for us to get angry and hate our enemies. Nobody was born as an evil. Environment influences people. If we have true love, there will be no separation and no discrimination. And we will attain perfect freedom. The keys are mindfulness, concentration and insight. In other words, to revive awareness by stopping thinking, to understand the ultimate truth for the extinction of all notions, they are the keys.