‘The mind of love brings peace, joy, and happiness to ourselves and others. Mindful observation is the element which nourishes the tree of understanding, and compassion and love are the most beautiful flowers. When we realize the mind of love, we have to go to the one who has been the object of our mindful observation, so that our mind of love is not just an object of our imagination, but a source of energy which has a real effect in the world.
The meditation on love is not just sitting still and visualizing that our love will spread out into space like waves of sound or light. Sound and light have the ability to penetrate everywhere, and love and compassion can do the same. But if our love is only a kind of imagination, then it is not likely to have any real effect. It is in the midst of our daily life and in our actual contact with others that we can know whether our mind of love is really present and how stable it is. If love is real, it will be evident in our daily life, in the way we relate with people and the world.
The source of love is deep in us, and we can help others realize a lot of happiness. One word, one action, or one thought can reduce another person’s suffering and bring him joy. One word can give comfort and confidence, destroy doubt, help someone avoid a mistake, reconcile a conflict, or open the door to liberation. One action can save a person’s life or help him take advantage of a rare opportunity. One thought can do the same, because thoughts always lead to words and actions. If love is in our heart, every thought, word, and deed can bring about a miracle. Because understanding is the very foundation of love, words and actions that emerge from our love are always helpful.’
~~Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step, ‘Meditation on Love’
Thich Nhat Hanh, born in Central Vietnam, is a Zen Buddhist monk currently living in exile in France. He has taught at Columbia University and the Sorbonne, was Chair of the Vietnamese Buddhist Peace Delegation to the Paris Peace Talks, and was nominated by Martin Luther King, Jr. for the Nobel Peace Prize.