shayarisms4lovers June18 199 - 21 Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes to Help You Transform Negative Emotions

21 Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes to Help You Transform Negative Emotions

Quotes

thich hahn quotes - 21 Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes to Help You Transform Negative Emotions

Negative emotions can be nothing short of overwhelming.

Negative emotions have a way of affecting — even controlling — us to where it seems impossible to escape their influence. To the overwhelming sensation of anger to the deep reservoir created by sadness, emotions are one of the most powerful forces known to humankind. It goes without saying, then, that we’d want a way to help manage these challenging emotions. However, for most of us, we’re altogether unsuccessful.

But there’s much that we can do. And few people understand how to take control of negative emotions and manage difficult conditions as Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh does.

I discovered Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh over seven years ago when I was training in the martial arts.

I was obsessed with Bruce Lee at the time and had been for many years. What most people don’t know about Bruce, though, is that he was as much a philosopher as he was a martial artist. And he drew great inspiration from Zen Buddhism.

It was through Bruce that I eventually found Nhat Hanh, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King, Jr. and has served as an example for several decades of what’s possible not only when we work on ourselves from within, emotionally and in pursuit of happiness, but also when we work together towards peace.

Through his writing, Thich Nhat Hanh introduced me to the practice of mindfulness, which has had a significant effect on my life and he has a wealth of wisdom for helping people deal with negative emotions, more than anyone I know.

Here are twenty-one incredible quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh to help you transform negative emotions and live a happier, more peaceful, and more balanced life.

I would not look upon anger as something foreign to me that I have to fight… I have to deal with my anger with care, with love, with tenderness, with nonviolence.

To take good care of ourselves, we must go back and take care of the wounded child inside of us. You have to practice going back to your wounded child every day. You have to embrace him or her tenderly, like a big brother or a big sister. You have to talk to him, talk to her. And you can write a letter to the Little child in you, of two or three pages, to that you recognize his or her presence, and will do everything you can to heal his or her wounds.

Thicht hahn joy - 21 Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes to Help You Transform Negative Emotions

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.

People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.

Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.

When you say something really unkind, when you do something in retaliation your anger increases. You make the other person suffer, and he will try hard to say or to do something back to get relief from his suffering. That is how conflict escalates.

When we get angry, we suffer. If you really understand that, you also will be able to understand that when the other person is angry, it means that she is suffering. When someone insults you or behaves violently towards you, you have to be intelligent enough to see that the person suffers from his own violence and anger. But we tend to forget. We think that we are the only one that suffers, and the other person is our oppressor. This is enough to make anger arise, and to strengthen our desire to punish. We want to punish the other person because we suffer. Then, we have anger in us; we have violence in us, just as they do. When we see that our suffering and anger are no different from their suffering and anger, we will behave more compassionately. So understanding the other is understanding yourself, and understanding yourself is understanding the other person. Everything must begin with you.

According to the Buddha’s teachings, the most basic condition for happiness is freedom. Here we do not mean political freedom, but freedom from the mental formations of anger, despair, jealousy, and delusion. These mental formations are described by the Buddha as poisons. As long as these poisons are still in our heart, happiness cannot be possible.

This is a very important practice. Live your daily life in a way that you never lose yourself. When you are carried away with your worries, fears, cravings, anger, and desire, you run away from yourself and you lose yourself. The practice is always to go back to oneself.

To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.

If your house is on fire, the most urgent thing to do is to go back and try to put out the fire, not to run after the person you believe to be the arsonist. If you run after the person you suspect has burned your house, your house will burn down while you are chasing him or her. That is not wise. You must go back and put out the fire. So when you are angry, if you continue to interact with or argue with the other person, if you try to punish her, you are acting exactly like someone who runs after the arsonist while everything goes up in flames.

Anger is like a howling baby, suffering and crying. The baby needs his mother to embrace him. You are the mother for your baby, your anger. The moment you begin to practice breathing mindfully in and out, you have the energy of a mother, to cradle and embrace the baby. Just embracing your anger, just breathing in and breathing out, that is good enough. The baby will feel relief right away.

With compassion you can die for other people, like the mother who can die for her child. You have the courage to say it because you are not afraid of losing anything, because you know that understanding and love is the foundation of happiness. But if you have fear of losing your status, your position, you will not have the courage to do it.

We will be more successful in all our endeavors if we can let go of the habit of running all the time, and take little pauses to relax and re-center ourselves. And we’ll also have a lot more joy in living.

Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.

From time to time, to remind ourselves to relax and be peaceful, we may wish to set aside some time for a retreat, a day of mindfulness, when we can walk slowly, smile, drink tea with a friend, enjoy being together as if we are the happiest people on Earth.

We often think of peace as the absence of war, that if powerful countries would reduce their weapon arsenals, we could have peace. But if we look deeply into the weapons, we see our own minds- our own prejudices, fears and ignorance. Even if we transport all the bombs to the moon, the roots of war and the roots of bombs are still there, in our hearts and minds, and sooner or later we will make new bombs. To work for peace is to uproot war from ourselves and from the hearts of men and women. To prepare for war, to give millions of men and women the opportunity to practice killing day and night in their hearts, is to plant millions of seeds of violence, anger, frustration, and fear that will be passed on for generations to come.

The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.

Suffering is not enough. Life is both dreadful and wonderful…How can I smile when I am filled with so much sorrow? It is natural–you need to smile to your sorrow because you are more than your sorrow.

thicht hahn suffering - 21 Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes to Help You Transform Negative Emotions

People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.

Feelings, whether of compassion or irritation, should be welcomed, recognized, and treated on an absolutely equal basis; because both are ourselves. The tangerine I am eating is me. The mustard greens I am planting are me. I plant with all my heart and mind. I clean this teapot with the kind of attention I would have were I giving the baby Buddha or Jesus a bath. Nothing should be treated more carefully than anything else. In mindfulness, compassion, irritation, mustard green plant, and teapot are all sacred.

And I’ll leave you with one final quote, a short excerpt of a conversation with Oprah on the nature of fear and anxiety and how to more skillfully handle each:

Oprah: What if in a moment of mindfulness you are being challenged? For instance, the other day someone presented me with a lawsuit, and it’s hard to feel happy when somebody is going to be taking you to court.

Nhat Hanh: The practice is to go to the anxiety, the worry…

Oprah: The fear. First thing that happens is that fear sets in, like, What am I going to do?

Nhat Hanh: So you recognize that fear. You embrace it tenderly and look deeply into it. And as you embrace your pain, you get relief and you find out how to handle that emotion. And if you know how to handle the fear, then you have enough insight in order to solve the problem. The problem is to not allow that anxiety to take over. When these feelings arise, you have to practice in order to use the energy of mindfulness to recognize them, embrace them, look deeply into them. It’s like a mother when the baby is crying. Your anxiety is your baby. You have to take care of it.

You have to go back to yourself, recognize the suffering in you, embrace the suffering, and you get relief. And if you continue with your practice of mindfulness, you understand the roots, the nature of the suffering, and you know the way to transform it.


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