The Heart of the Matter
by Thich Nhat Hanh
|Thich Nhat Hanh answers three questions about our emotions.|
Q: My desire for achievement has led to much suffering. No matter what I do, it never feels like it's enough. How can I make peace with myself?
A: The quality of
your action depends on the quality of your being. Suppose
youíre eager to offer happiness, to make someone happy. Thatís
a good thing to do. But if youíre not happy, then you canít do
that. In order to make another person happy, you have to be
happy yourself. So thereís a link between doing and being. If
you donít succeed in being, you canít succeed in doing. If you
donít feel that youíre on the right path, happiness isnít
possible. This is true for everyone; if you donít know where
youíre going, you suffer. Itís very important to realize your
path and see your true way.
A: Silence is
something that comes from your heart, not from outside.
Silence doesnít mean not talking and not doing things; it
means that you are not disturbed inside. If youíre truly
silent, then no matter what situation you find yourself in you
can enjoy the silence. There are moments when you think youíre
silent and all around is silent, but talking is going on all
the time inside your head. Thatís not silence. The practice is
how to find silence in all the activities you do.
A: We can look
deeply to see that our mother is not only out there, but in
here. Our mothers and fathers are fully present in every cell
of our bodies. We carry them into the future. We can learn to
talk to the father and the mother inside. I often talk to my
mother, my father, and all of the ancestors inside me. I know
that I am only a continuation of them. With that kind of
insight, you know that even with the disintegration of the
body of your mother, your mother still continues inside you,
especially in the energies she has created in terms of
thought, speech, and action. In Buddhism we call that energy
karma. Karma means action, the triple action of thinking,
speaking, and doing.
From ďAnswers from the HeartĒ ©2009 by Thich Nhat Hanh