The followings are key phrases excerpted from the article.
Buddhism has to do with your daily life, with your suffering and with the suffering of the people around you.
If you don’t have enough peace and compassion within you, there is no way you can be happy.
Nonviolence and compassion are the foundations of a peace movement. If you don’t have enough peace and understanding and loving-kindness within yourself, your actions will not truly be for peace. Everyone knows that peace has to begin with oneself, but not many people know how to do it.
If you don’t know the roots of these afflictions, you cannot see the path leading to their cessation. That’s why suffering is very important for our practice.
The practice of deep listening should be directed towards oneself first. If you don’t know how to listen to your own suffering, it will be difficult to listen to the suffering of another person or another group of people.
Violent action creates more violence. That’s why compassion is the only way to reduce violence.
The practice is to help the seed of compassion to grow and the seed of anger to shrink. ... That’s why recognizing the seed of anger and trying to neutralize it with understanding and compassion is the only way to reduce the anger in us. If you don’t understand the cause of your anger, you can never transform it.
Happiness and enlightenment are living things and they can grow. It is possible to feed them every day. ... The Buddha said that nothing can survive without food. That applies to enlightenment, to happiness, to sorrow, to suffering.
Small enlightenments have to succeed each other. And they have to be fed all the time, in order for a great enlightenment to be possible. So a moment of living in mindfulness is already a moment of enlightenment. If you train yourself to live in such a way, happiness and enlightenment will continue to grow.
Meditation is a matter of enjoyment. ... The practice can be done every moment. And not for the future, but for the present moment. If the present moment is good, then the future will be good because it’s made only of the present.
If you are mindful enough, you can see the Buddha in anything, especially in the sangha. The twentieth century was the century of individualism, but we don’t want that anymore. Now we try to live as a community. We want to flow like a river, not a drop of water. The river will surely arrive at the ocean, but a drop of water may evaporate halfway.
Every step, every breath, every word that is spoken or done in mindfulness—that is the manifestation of the Buddha. Don’t look for the Buddha elsewhere. It is in the art of living mindfully every moment of your life.
I agree with Thay that we have to set up a group of people—a kind of parliament—to practice listening to the suffering of people. I am one of those who are capable of listening deeply, with compassion in their hearts. So, please ask me to come and help you.
Thích Nhất Hạnh