Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers by Thich Nhat Hanh came out in 1999. It is a very simple teaching “This is like because that is like that.” Because the waves are, this wave is like this. Touching yourself, you touch the whole. Touching yourself deeply and touching others deeply you touch the other dimension of reality. A wave is made of other waves after all. It is also made of water.
Dharmalakshana School teaches phenomenon as aspects of reality. Madhyamaka School teaches emptiness. We know that the person is made of non-person elements and vice versa. The non-self is known as Anatta. In Christianity they talk of the true self, while in Buddhism they talk of the no-self.
Emptiness means the emptiness of a separate existence, the emptiness of a permanent entity, emptiness of all concepts. The teaching of emptiness helps you to transcend the notion of birth, death and the notion of coming and going—the notion of being and non-being.
Mindfulness is to be aware of everything you do everyday. Mindfulness is a kind of light that shines upon all your thoughts, all your feelings and all your words. Mindfulness is the Buddha. Mindfulness is the equivalent of the Holy Spirit or the Energy of God.
When you are mindful, you realize that the other person suffers. You see her suffering and suddenly you don’t want him or her to suffer any more. When you begin to see the suffering in the other person, compassion is born and you no longer consider that person your enemy. You can love your enemy. When we hate someone, we are angry at him or her because we do not understand him or her or their environment. Understanding is the foundation of loving.
Faith has to do with understanding and knowing. Faith is a living thing. It has to grow. The food that helps it to grow is the continued discoveries, the deeper understanding of reality. Faith is nourished by understanding. As you understand better, you faith grows.
Love is a kind of energy. Love can also be described as faith because faith is a source of energy that can sustain us and give us strength.
In the process of love, you learn a lot. You love better, you make fewer mistakes. You are more capable of being happy and making other people happy. That develops your faith in your ability to love. And faith here is not being caught in any idea or thought or dogma. True faith comes from how the path you are taking can bring you to life and love and happiness every single day.
People who don’t believe in anything are those who suffer the most. When you don’t believe in anything, you become a sort of wandering soul. You don’t know where to go or what to do. You don’t see any meaning in being alive. Because of that you may try to destroy yourself physically and mentally.
Hungry Ghosts are described as beings whose belly is as big as a drum but whose throats are as tiny as needles. So their capacity to receive food is limited. Even if people have an understanding of love and love to offer, sometimes they are still suspicious and feel they cannot receive it.
We forget that in us there other kinds of energy that can manifest besides hate, anger and despair. If we know how to practice we bring back the energy of insight, of love and of hope in order to embrace the energy of fear, of despair and anger.
Non-duality is the main characteristic of Buddhist Practice. You can embrace your suffering and your negative energies in a very tender way. For the Buddhist knows that everything is changing. There is a saying, “No one can ever step in the same river twice.” Rebirth happens to us daily. Rebirth is merely a continuation.
The nature of Enlightenment is the very base of your being and of your practice. If you have, there is not reason for you to get lost. The Bodhicitta is the deepest desire in all of us, the desire to become awakened, to liberate ourselves from suffering and help other living beings. Because you can touch the Buddha in you, you can produce the mind of enlightenment. Once you are filled with the energy of Bodhicitta, you become a Bodhisattva right away.
Love cannot exist without suffering. In fact, suffering is the ground on which love is born. Love is born from suffering Jesus teaches us. True love needs patience. A tree without roots cannot survive as a person without roots cannot survive either. It takes time to put down roots and let love grow.
Jesus is our brother. Love your teacher. Love your students. We need our teacher and we need our students. And with his presence around us, we feel happy. This love is quite tangible, touchable and conceivable. You can feel the love of God full time. You touch one wave, you touch them all. They are all interconnected.
Two people of different religions should marry and be open to other religions. It is important to be tolerant. You can love apples and mangoes. You can love French and Chinese cooking.