bell hooks & Thich Nhat Hanh: “Building a Community of Love”
Thich Nhat Hanh
All living beings deserve to be cherished because of the tremendous kindness they have shown us.
All our temporary and ultimate happiness arises through their kindness.
Even our body is the result of the kindness of others. We did not bring it with us from our previous life.
The mere fact that we are alive today is a testimony to the great kindness of others.
It is because we have this present body with human faculties that we are able to enjoy all the pleasures and opportunities of human life.
Even simple pleasures such as going for a walk or watching a beautiful sunset can be seen to be a result of the kindness of innumerable living beings.
Our skills and abilities all come from the kindness of others: we had to be taught how to eat, how to walk, how to talk, and how to read and write.
Even the language we speak is not our own invention but the product of many generations.
Without it we could not communicate with others or share their ideas.
We could not read this book, learn Dharma or even think clearly.
All the facilities we take for granted, such as houses, cars, roads, shops, schools, hospitals and cinemas, are produced solely through others’ kindness.
When we travel by bus or car we take the roads for granted, but many people worked very hard to build them and make them safe for us to use.
“Mindfulness of breathing is your island, where you can be safe and happy, knowing that whatever happens, you are doing your best thing. This is the way to take refuge in the Buddha, not as mere devotion but as a transformational practice. You do not have to abandon this world. You do not have to go to heaven or wait for the future to take refuge. You can take refuge here and now. You only need to dwell deeply in the present moment.”
— Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
It is night.
Rain pelts the roof.
The soul awakens
to a flooded Earth—
a sea of storm
In that short moment,
shifting lines and shapes,
Before the passing moment tilts
and falls to melancholy,
in quiet raindrops.
“This poem was written in Saigon in 1965. It was raining hard. There was so much death and killing, so much destruction. And yet in one moment, I could hear the laughter in a raindrop.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh