The paradox of life

February 07, 2013

If you know how to be happy with the wonders of life that are already there for you to enjoy, you don’t need to stress your mind and your body by striving harder and harder, and you don’t need to stress this planet by purchasing more and more stuff. The Earth belongs to our children. We have already borrowed too much from it, from them; and the way things have been going, we’re not sure we’ll beable to give it back to them in decent shape. And who are our children, actually? They are us, because they are our own continuation. So we’ve been shortchanging our own selves.

Much of our modern way of life is permeated by mindless overborrowing. The more we borrow, the more we loser. That’s why it’s critical that we wake up and see we don’t need to do that anymore. What’s already available in the here and now is plenty for us to be nourished, to be happy. Only that kind of insight will get us, each one of us, to stop engaging in the compulsive, self-sabotaging behaviors of our species. We need a collective awakening. One Buddha is not enough. All of us have to become Buddhas in order for our planet to have a chance. Fortunately, we have the power to wake up, to touch enlightenment from moment to moment, in our very own ordinary and, yes, busy lives. So let’s start right now. Peace is your every breath.

Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Breath: A Practice for Our Busy Lives


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