Nonattachment and Nonfear – 6 quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh’s book – How To Love

by Mark Votava

51dsB9JVlLL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_1. Rest in your body

“If you can accept your body, then you have a chance to see your body as your home. You can rest in your body, settle in, relax, and feel joy and ease. If you don’t accept your body and your mind, you can’t be at home with yourself. You have to accept yourself as you are. This is a very important practice. As you practice building a home in yourself, you become more and more beautiful.”

2. We need to listen

“To know how to love someone, we have to understand them. To understand, we need to listen…”

3. To accept ourselves

“To love is, first of all, to accept ourselves as we actually are. The first practice of love is to know oneself… The practice of love meditation is not autosuggestion. We have to look deeply at our body, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness. We can observe how much peace, happiness, and lightness we already have. We can notice whether we are anxious about accidents or misfortunes, and how much anger, irritation, fear, anxiety, or worry are still in us. As we become aware of the feelings in us, our self-understanding will deepen. We will see how our fears and lack of peace contribute to our unhappiness, and we will see the value of loving ourselves and cultivating a heart of compassion. Love will enter our thoughts, words, and actions.”  

4. Come home to yourself

“Once you know how to come home to yourself, then you can open your home to other people, because you have something to offer. The other person has to do exactly the same thing if they are to have something to offer you. Otherwise, they will have nothing to share but their loneliness, sickness, and suffering. This can’t help heal you at all. The other person has to heal themselves and get warm inside, so that they will feel better, at ease, and can share their home with you.”

5. Walk with true awareness of every step

“If you want to walk with true awareness of every step, without having a goal to get anywhere, happiness will arise naturally. You don’t need to look for happiness. When we’re in touch with the wonders of life, we become aware of the many conditions of happiness that are already there, and naturally we feel happy. The beauty around us brings us back to the present moment so we can let go of the planning and worries that preoccupy us… This is mindfulness; we become aware of what is happening now and we are in touch with the conditions of happiness that are there inside us and all around us.”

6. Nonattachment and nonfear

“One of the greatest gifts we can offer people is to embody nonattachment and nonfear. This is a true teaching, more precious than money or material resources. Many of us are very afraid, and this fear distorts our lives and makes us unhappy. We cling to objects and to people like a drowning person clings to a flouting log. Practicing to realize nondiscrimination, to see the interconnectedness and impermanence of all things, and to share this wisdom with others, we are giving the gift of nonfear. Everything is impermanent. This moment passes. That person walks away. Happiness is still possible.”

Which quote do you like the best?

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