Thursday, September 15, 2011

to look deeply is to understand. this is what it means to love.

When you love someone, you want him to be happy. If he is not happy, there is no way you can be happy. Happiness is not an individual matter. True love requires deep understanding. In fact, love is another name for understanding. If you do not understand, you cannot love properly. Without understanding, your love will only cause the other person to suffer.

...In order to love properly you have to understand. Understanding means to see the depth of the darkness, the pain, and the suffering of the other person. If  you don't see that, the more you do for her, the more she will suffer. Creating happiness is an art.

To meditate is to look deeply into the nature of things, including our own nature and the nature of the person in front of us. When we see the true nature of that person, we discover his or her difficulties, aspirations, sufferings, and anxieties. We can sit down, hold our partner's hand, look deeply at him, and say, "Darling, do I understand you enough? Do I water your seeds of joy? Please tell me how I can love you better." If we say this from the bottom of our heart, he may begin to cry, and that is a good sign. It means the door of communication may be opening again.

Loving speech...this is the way to water seeds of happiness.

If we practice the art of mindful living together, we can do this. We see that the other person, like us, has both flowers and compost inside, and we accept this. Our practice is to water the flowerness in her, not bring more garbage.

~from Teachings On Love by Thich Nhat Hanh
with photography by Eliza


  1. Love all these pondering words! And Eliza has quite the eye for beauty but then again I knew she had that before. Nice tough seeing her explore different media for it! The pics are beautiful say much about the photographer too!

  2. very nice - photos and words.