thich nhat hahn: true love

peace beginsa practice for awakening the heart

i’m currently sharing much of my time reading and being with dear teacher thich nhat hahn, known affectionally as thay. thay’s ability to distill down the practice has always been very appealing, and i’m finding the simplicity of his words particularly useful at this point in my life. as i’ve deepened my practice it seems that mindfulness, or heartfulness, is where the real healing occurs.

whether on my cushion, teaching asana in the comfort of the garageshala, or while sitting as the mediator in an extremely challenging mediation by the jail in harris county, breathing in i feel my body, breathing out i smile, dwelling in the present moment, this is the most beautiful moment.

thay’s book true love is a particularly poignant and useful guidebook for mindfulness in relationship. he highlights the importance of creating time in ones life to understand and recognize the person you love. in the book he explains the four aspects of true love from a buddhist perspective:
1. maitri: loving kindness or benevolence
2. karuna: compassion
3. mudita: joy
4. upeksha: equanimity or freedom

he says a beautiful question to ask your beloved is, “Dear one, do you have enough space in your heart and all around you?” 

he also includes four effective mantras for slowing down and bringing true presence to the here and now in the context of relationship.

below are the concepts followed by the mantras. let’s practice them together with our beloved friends, family members and partners, si?

  1. love is being there
    Dear one, I am here for you.
  1. recognizing the presence of the other
    Dear one, I know that you are here/there and it makes me very happy.
  1. being there when someone is suffering
    Dear one, I know that you are suffering, that is why I am here for you.
  1. overcoming pride
    Dear one, I am suffering, please help.

dear ones, thank you for reading this post. please let me know your thoughts about how these mantras participate in bringing you closer to the present moment.