Thich Nhat Hanh: Caring for Good and Evil

Each time pain–the duality of positive and negative, good and evil–manifests, and we embrace it and receive it with the energy of mindfulness, then it will return to the depths of the mind a little bit weaker. Pain loses energy every time it is embraced in this way, because the energy of mindfulness is really the energy of a mother.

Learn this healing Buddhist way of looking at the conflicts between positive and negative in our own minds, using mindfulness:

There is no battle between good and evil, positive and negative; there is only the care given by the big brother to the little brother. In Buddhist meditation, we observe, we act in a nondualistic fashion, and thus the waste materials of the conscious mind can always be transformed into flowers of compassion, love, and peace.

Our consciousness is a living thing, something organic in nature. There are always waste materials and flowers in us. The gardener who is familiar with organic gardening is constantly on the alert to save the waste materials because he knows how to transform them into compost and then transform that compost into flowers and vegetables. So be grateful for your pains, be grateful for suffering–you will need them.

The Buddha taught us to invite fear into our mindful consciousness and care for it every day.

Adapted from True Love, A Practice for Awakening the Heart, by Thich Nhat Hanh (Shambhala, 1997). Copyright (c) 1997 by Thich Nhat Hanh. Reprinted by permissin of Shambhala.
Adapted from True Love, A Practice for Awakening the Heart, by Thich Nhat Hanh (Shambhala, 1997).

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Winn Adams
Winn Adams3 years ago


K s Goh
KS Goh4 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Patricia S.
Patricia S.6 years ago

Budhism makes alot of sense to me. Thich Nhat Tanh is one of my favorite writers.