Imagine a perfect relationship. You are always intensely happy with your partner because you live with the perfect woman or man for you. How would you describe your life with this person?
Well, the way you relate with this person will be exactly the way you relate with a dog. A dog is a dog. It doesn’t matter what you do, it’s going to be a dog. You are not going to change a dog for a cat or a dog for a horse; it is what it is.
Just accepting this fact in your relations with other humans is very important. You cannot change other people. You love them the way they are or you don’t. You accept them the way they are or you don’t. To try to change them to fit what you want them to be is like trying to change a dog for a cat, or a cat for a horse. That is a fact. They are what they are; you are what you are. You dance or you don’t dance. You need to be completely honest with yourself—to say what you want, and see if you are willing to dance or not. You must understand this point, because it is very important. When you truly understand, you are likely to see what is true about others, and not just what you want to see.
“We often ask, ‘What’s wrong?’ Doing so, we invite painful seeds of sorrow to come up and manifest. We feel suffering, anger, and depression, and produce more such seeds. We would be much happier if we tried to stay in touch with the healthy, joyful seeds inside of us and around us. We should learn to ask, ‘What’s not wrong?’ and be in touch with that. There are so many elements in the world and within our bodies, feelings, perceptions, and consciousness that are wholesome, refreshing, and healing. If we block ourselves, if we stay in the prison of our sorrow, we will not be in touch with these healing elements.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step
“Consciousness exists on two levels: as seeds and as manifestations of these seeds. Suppose we have a seed of anger in us. When conditions are favorable, that seed may manifest as a zone of energy called anger. It is burning, and it makes us suffer a lot. It is very difficult for us to be joyful at the moment the seed of anger manifests. Every time a seed has an occasion to manifest itself, it produces new seeds of the same kind. If we are angry for five minutes, new seeds of anger are produced and deposited in the soil of our unconscious mind during those five minutes. That is why we have to be careful in selecting the kind of life we lead and the emotions we express. When I smile, the seeds of smiling and joy have come up. As long as they manifest, new seeds of smiling and joy are planted. But if I don’t practice smiling for a number of years, that seed will weaken, and I may not be able to smile anymore.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step
“Anger is rooted in our lack of understanding of ourselves and of the causes, deep-seated as well as immediate, that brought about this unpleasant state of affairs. Anger is also rooted in desire, pride, agitation, and suspicion. The primary roots of our anger are in ourselves. Our environment and other people are only secondary. It is not difficult for us to accept the enormous damage brought about by a natural disaster, such as an earthquake or a flood. But when damage is caused by another person, we don’t have much patience. We know that earthquakes and floods have causes, and we should see that the person who has precipitated our anger also has reasons, deep-seated and immediate, for what he has done.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step
“We can realize peace right in the present moment with our look, our smile, our words, and our actions. Peace work is not a means. Each step we make should be peace. Each step we make should be joy. Each step we make should be happiness. If we are determined , we can do it. We don’t need the future. We can smile and relax. Everything we want is right here in the present moment.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step
“Enlightenment, peace, and joy will not be granted by someone else. The well is within us, and if we dig deeply in the present moment, the water will spring forth. We must go back to the present moment in order to be really alive.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step
“Hope is important, because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today. But that is the most that hope can do for us—to make some hardship lighter. When I think deeply about the nature of hope, I see something tragic. Since we cling to our hope in the future, we do not focus our energies and capabilities on the present moment. We use hope to believe something better will happen in the future, that we will arrive at peace, or the Kingdom of God. Hope becomes a kind of obstacle. If you can refrain from hoping, you can bring yourself entirely into the present moment and discover the joy that is already here.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step
“The foundation of happiness is mindfulness. The basic condition for being happy is our consciousness of being happy. If we are not aware that we are happy, we are not really happy. When we have a toothache, we know that not having a toothache is a wonderful thing. But when we do not have a toothache, we are still not happy. A non-toothache is very pleasant. There are so many things that are enjoyable, but when we don’t practice mindfulness, we don’t appreciate them. When we practice mindfulness, we come to cherish these things and we learn how to protect them. By taking good care of the present moment, we take good care of the future. Working for peace in the future is to work for peace in the present moment.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step
“If a child smiles, if an adult smiles, that is very important. If in our daily lives we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. If we really know how to live, what better way to start the day than with a smile? Our smile affirms our awareness and determination to live in peace and joy. The source of a true smile is an awakened mind.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step
“We can smile, breathe, walk, and eat our meals in a way that allows us to be in touch with the abundance of happiness that is available. We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma, and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive. Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step
The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy. Everything That Remains is a book about reprioritizing your materialistic desires with experiential desires. It’s about spending less money at the mall and about spending more time with friends; about wasting less money on fancy cars and designer clothes and investing more money into trips to new places and people you hold dear; about focusing on ways that you can enrich your life rather than ways you can become rich.
“There are millions of ways to express your happiness, but there is only one way to really be happy, and that is to love. There is no other way. You cannot be happy if you don’t love yourself. That is a fact. If you don’t love yourself, you don’t have any opportunity to be happy. You cannot share what you do not have.” ~ Don Miguel Ruiz, The Mastery of Love
“The happiest moments in our lives are when we are playing just like children, when we are singing and dancing, when we are exploring and creating just for fun. It is wonderful when we behave like a child because this is the normal human mind, the normal human tendency. As children, we are innocent and it is natural for us to express love. But what has happened to us? What has happened to the whole world?” ~ Don Miguel Ruiz, The Mastery of Love
By: The Minimalists
Book Overview: What if everything you ever wanted isn’t what you actually want? Twenty-something, suit-clad, and upwardly mobile, Joshua Fields Millburn thought he had everything anyone could ever want. Until he didn’t anymore. Blindsided by the loss of his mother and his marriage in the same month, Millburn started questioning every aspect of the life he had built for himself. Then, he accidentally discovered a lifestyle known as minimalism…and everything started to change. Everything That Remains is the touching, surprising story of what happened when one young man decided to let go of everything and begin living more deliberately. Heartrending, uplifting, and deeply personal, this engrossing memoir is peppered with insightful (and often hilarious) interruptions by Ryan Nicodemus, Millburn’s best friend of twenty years.
Post(s) Inspired by this Book:
- 12 Minimalist Quotes from Everything That Remains by The Minimalists
- Happy But Never Satisfied – Motivational or Misleading?
“Eventually, happiness was just a speck on the horizon, way off in the distance. The closer I got, the farther I had to go. Turns out that I’d been running as fast as I could in the wrong direction. Oops. The stuff wasn’t doing its job; it wasn’t making me happy. Depression set in when I no longer had time for a life outside of work, laboring eighty hours a week just to pay for the stuff that wasn’t making me happy. I didn’t have time for anything I wanted to do: no time to write, no time to read, no time to relax, no time for my closest relationships. I didn’t even have time to have a cup of coffee with a friend, to listen to his stories. I realized that I didn’t control my time, and thus I didn’t control my own life. It was a shocking realization.” ~ The Minimalists, Everything That Remains