From ‘Growing Together’, by Thich Nhat Hahn

Lift_ZhenyaGershman
Lift, by Zhenya Gershman (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The capacity to be enlightened isn’t something that someone else can offer to you. A teacher can only help you to remove the non-enlightened elements in you so that enlightenment can be revealed. If you have confidence that beauty, goodness, and the true teacher are in you, and if you take refuge in them, you will practice in a way that reveals these qualities more clearly each day.

[…]

We have two hands and we have names for them: right hand and left hand. Have you ever seen the two hands fighting each other? I have never seen this. Every time my finger gets hurt, I notice that my right hand comes naturally to help my left hand. So there must be something like love in the body. Sometimes they help each other, sometimes they each act separately, but they have never fought.

My right hand invites the bell, writes books, does calligraphy, and pours tea. But my right hand doesn’t seem to be proud of it. It doesn’t look down on the left hand to say, “Oh left hand, you are good for nothing. All the poems, I wrote them. All the calligraphy in German, French, and English—I’ve done it all. You are useless. You are good for nothing.” The right hand has never suffered from the complex of pride. The left hand has never suffered from the complex of unworthiness. It’s wonderful.

When the right hand has a problem, the left hand comes right away. The right hand never says, “You have to pay me back. I always come to help you. You owe me.”

When you can see your partner as not separate from you, not better or worse or even equal to you, then you have the wisdom of nondiscrimination. We see the happiness of others as our happiness. Their suffering is our suffering.

Look into your hand. The fingers are like five brothers and sisters from the same family. Suppose we are a family of five. If you remember that if one person suffers, you all suffer, you have the wisdom of nondiscrimination. If the other person is happy, you are also happy. Happiness is not an individual matter.

Our goal in practicing mindfulness and the deepest gift it can bring us is the wisdom of nondiscrimination.

From ‘Growing Together’, by Thich Nhat Hahn

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