We can gain great experience and training from our relationships with our enemies. It is in relation to enemies that we can primarily practice patience and tolerance and thus reduce the burden of anger and hatred.
We are asking a much more fundamental, deeper question: Why is man against man? Aren’t you against somebody? Aren’t you violent? And you are the whole of humanity. I know we like to think we are separate individuals, private souls—but we are not. You are the rest of mankind because you suffer, agonize, are lonely, depressed like all the rest. So you are basically, fundamentally the rest of mankind. You are humanity, and you are, whether you like it or not, in the global sense.
If you have no love—do what you will, go after all the gods on earth, do all the social activities, try to reform the poor, enter politics, write books, write poems—you are a dead human being. Without love your problems will increase, multiply endlessly. And with love, do what you will, there is no risk, there is no conflict. Then love is the essence of virtue.
You have to voluntarily examine your life, not condemn it, not say this is right or this is wrong but look. When you do look in that way, you will find that you look with eyes that are full of affection—not with condemnation, not with judgement, but with care. You look at yourself with care and therefore with immense affection—and it is only when there is great affection and love that you see the total existence of life.
Find your place and close your eyes, so your heart can start to see. When you give up being self-absorbed, your being becomes a great community.
You are not an isolated entity. You are a unique, irreplaceable part of the cosmos. Don’t forget this. You are an essential piece of the puzzle of humanity.
Living our life fully and deeply requires courage. If we cannot be happy right now, we need to ask ourselves why. We need to find out what it is. What’s weighing us down or pulling us away from the present moment?
Thich Nhat Hanh
Be empty, that is all. The perfect people use their mind like a mirror—going after nothing, welcoming nothing, responding but not storing.