1. Looking For Each Other

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    I have been looking for you, World Honored One,
    since I was a little child.
    With my first breath, I heard your call,
    and began to look for you, Blessed One.
    I’ve walked so many perilous paths,
    confronted so many dangers,
    endured despair, fear, hopes, and memories.
    I’ve trekked to the farthest regions, immense and wild,
    sailed the vast oceans,
    traversed the highest summits, lost among the clouds.
    I’ve lain dead, utterly alone,
    on the sands of ancient deserts.
    I’ve held in my heart so many tears of stone.

    Blessed One, I’ve dreamed of drinking dewdrops
    that sparkle with the light of far-off galaxies.
    I’ve left footprints on celestial mountains
    and screamed from the depths of Avici Hell, exhausted, crazed with despair
    because I was so hungry, so thirsty.
    For millions of lifetimes,
    I’ve longed to see you,
    but didn’t know where to look.
    Yet, I’ve always felt your presence with a mysterious certainty.

    I know that for thousands of lifetimes,
    you and I have been one,
    and the distance between us is only a flash of though.
    Just yesterday while walking alone,
    I saw the old path strewn with Autumn leaves,
    and the brilliant moon, hanging over the gate,
    suddenly appeared like the image of an old friend.
    And all the stars confirmed that you were there!
    All night, the rain of compassion continued to fall,
    while lightning flashed through my window
    and a great storm arose,
    as if Earth and Sky were in battle.
    Finally in me the rain stopped, the clouds parted.
    The moon returned,
    shining peacefully, calming Earth and Sky.
    Looking into the mirror of the moon, suddenly
    I saw myself,
    and I saw you smiling, Blessed One.
    How strange!

    The moon of freedom has returned to me,
    everything I thought I had lost.
    From that moment on,
    and in each moment that followed,
    I saw that nothing had gone.
    There is nothing that should be restored.
    Every flower, every stone, and every leaf recognize me.
    Wherever I turn, I see you smiling
    the smile of no-birth and no-death.
    The smile I received while looking at the mirror of the moon.
    I see you sitting there, solid as Mount Meru,
    calm as my own breath,
    sitting as though no raging fire storm ever occurred,
    sitting in complete peace and freedom.
    At last I have found you, Blessed One,
    and I have found myself.
    There I sit.

    The deep blue sky,
    the snow-capped mountains painted against the horizon,
    and the shining red sun sing with joy.
    You, Blessed One, are my first love.
    The love that is always present, always pure, and freshly new.
    And I shall never need a love that will be called “last.”
    You are the source of well-being flowing through numberless troubled lives,
    the water from you spiritual stream always pure, as it was in the beginning.
    You are the source of peace,
    solidity, and inner freedom.
    You are the Buddha, the Tathagata.
    With my one-pointed mind
    I vow to nourish your solidity and freedom in myself
    so I can offer solidity and freedom to countless others,
    now and forever.

    ~Thich Nhat Hanh

     

  2. Rationality and Emotion

    Comment

     

    If you love rational thought and are attached to ideas and perceptions, then you tend to despise the emotions. You can notice this tendency if, when you start to feel emotions, you say, ‘I’m going to shut this out. I don’t want to feel those things.’ You don’t like to be feeling anything because you can get into a kind of high from the purity of intelligence and the pleasure of rational thinking. The mind relishes the way it is logical and controllable, the way it makes sense. It is just so clean and neat and precise like mathematics – but the emotions are all over the place aren’t they? They are not precise, they are not neat and they can easily get out of control.

    So the emotional nature is often despised. We are frightened of it. For example, men often feel very frightened of emotions because we are brought up to believe that men do not cry. As a little boy, at least in my generation, we were taught that boys do not cry so we’d try to live up to the standards of what boys are supposed to be. They would say, ‘You are a boy’, and so we’d try to be what our parents said we should be. The ideas of the society affect our minds, and because of that, we find emotions embarrassing. Here in England, people generally find emotions very embarrassing; if you get a little too emotional, they assume that you must be Italian or some other nationality.

    If you are very rational and you have figured everything out, then you don’t know what to do when people get emotional. If somebody starts crying, you think, ‘What am I supposed to do?’ Maybe you say, ‘Cheer up; it’s all right, dear. It’ll be all right, there’s nothing to cry about.’ If you are very attached to rational thoughts, then you just tend to dismiss it with logic, but emotions do not respond to logic. Often they react to logic, but they do not respond. Emotion is a very sensitive thing and it works in a way that we sometimes do not comprehend. If we have never really studied or tried to understand what it is to feel life, and really opened and allowed ourselves to be sensitive, then emotional things are very frightening and embarrassing to us. We don’t know what they are all about because we have rejected that side of ourselves.

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