I have been catching a bit of Thich Nhat Hanh on Buddhist TV lately. Last night he really left an impression on me, like never before, or, perhaps I have been “away” too long.
He talked about nourishing positivity in us, and steering away from the negative.
He also said something that surprised me just a little; ‘when you have a positive feeling, or are around a positive person, ask it/her to stay. Maintain it in your mind.’ It sounded a little like attachment, but I know that isn’t what he meant.
Finally, He said what we already know from the Buddha; that we nourish our depression, our anger, our negativity, and so it is a choice.
When he spoke about the negative outcome of our nourishment, thoughts, actions, and finally our states of mind, he talked of course about suffering. But he said that suffering is necessary. He even said that suffering is a part of the kingdom of God; it’s necessary for the understanding of pain, and thus the growth of compassion. I really appreciate Thich Nhat Hanh making Zen inclusive, rather than exclusive.
In the end, he sounded like Dae Heng Sunim, the Buddha, and all Zennists; we are all part of one another, just as the clouds are part of the flowers we see, meaning no one thing happens or exists without everything else; a lesson to not see ourselves as separate, which leads to self-righteousness and blame.