Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.
There is a Vietnamese proverb, “Tri tuc, tien tuc, dai tuc, ha thoi tuc.” That means, settling for “good enough” is enough. If we wait until all our needs and wants are met, we may wait forever. “Tri tuc” means “good enough.” “Good enough” means being content with the minimum amount necessary. Your shirt and pair of shoes can last another year. It’s all right for three or four people to share a desk for studying, there’s no need for each to have her own desk. Settling for “good enough” in terms of simple living will bring us contentment, satisfaction, and happiness immediately. As long as we think our lives are not good enough (materially), we will not have happiness. As soon as we realize our lives are good enough, happiness immediately appears. That is the practice of contentment.
In Vietnam there’s a school of Buddhism called the Four Gratitudes. Just by practicing gratitude, we can find happiness. We must be grateful to our ancestors, our parents, our teachers, our friends, the Earth, the sky, the trees, the grass, the animals, the soil, the stones. Looking at the sunlight or at the forest, we feel gratitude. Looking at our breakfast, we feel gratitude. When we live in the spirit of gratitude, there will be much happiness in our life. The one who is grateful is the one who has much happiness while the one who is ungrateful will not be able to have happiness.
Thich Nhat Hanh.
Photo by Jeremy Villasis.
Leave the mind in its natural, undisturbed state. Don’t follow thoughts of “This is a problem, that is a problem!” Without labeling difficulties as problems, leave your mind in its natural state. In this way, you will stop seeing miserable conditions as problems.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
Photo by Connie “Permanent Stranger.”