Smile

Don’t Miss the Flower – A Short Zen Story from Thich Nhat Hanh

One day the Buddha held up a flower in front of an audience of 1,250 monks and nuns.  He did not say anything for quite a long time.  The audience was perfectly silent.  Everyone seemed to be thinking hard, trying to see the meaning behind the Buddha’s gesture.

Then, suddenly, the Buddha smiled.  He smiled because someone in the audience smiled at him and at the flower.  The name of that monk was Mahakashyapa.  He was the only person who smiled, and the Buddha smiled back and said, “I have a treasure of insight, and I have transmitted it to Mahakashyapa.”

That story has been discussed by many generations of Zen students, and people continue to look for its meaning.  To me the meaning is quite simple.  When someone holds up a flower and shows it to you, he wants you to see it.  If you keep thinking, you miss the flower.  The person who was not thinking, who was just himself, was able to encounter the flower in depth, and he smiled.

That is the problem of life.  If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything.  When a child presents himself to you with his smile, if you are not really there—thinking about the future or the past, or preoccupied with other problems—then the child is not really there for you.  The technique of being alive is to go back to yourself in order for the child to appear like a marvelous reality.  Then you can see him smile and you can embrace him in your arms.

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If you enjoyed this story you can find more quotes, resources, and info from the book below:

Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh

By: Thich Nhat Hanh

Book Overview: In the rush of modern life, we tend to lose touch with the peace that is available in each moment. World-renowned Zen master, spiritual leader, and author Thich Nhat Hanh shows us how to make positive use of the very situations that usually pressure and antagonize us. For him a ringing telephone can be a signal to call us back to our true selves. Dirty dishes, red lights, and traffic jams are spiritual friends on the path to “mindfulness”—the process of keeping our consciousness alive to our present experience and reality. The most profound satisfactions, the deepest feelings of joy and completeness lie as close at hand as our next aware breath and the smile we can form right now.

Post(s) Inspired by this Book:  13 Powerful Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes on Happiness, Anger, and Peace  ///  Focus on what’s going RIGHT – The Power of Mindfulness [VIDEO].

Quotes from Book! Buy from Amazon!
 

“Oh shut up.  Every time it rains, it stops raining.  Every time you hurt, you heal.  After darkness, there is always light and you get reminded of this every morning but still you choose to believe that the night will last forever.  Nothing lasts forever.  Not the good or the bad.  So you might as well smile while you’re here.” ~ Iain Thomas, I Wrote This For You

 

Peace is Every Step

Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh

By: Thich Nhat Hanh

Book Overview: In the rush of modern life, we tend to lose touch with the peace that is available in each moment. World-renowned Zen master, spiritual leader, and author Thich Nhat Hanh shows us how to make positive use of the very situations that usually pressure and antagonize us. For him a ringing telephone can be a signal to call us back to our true selves. Dirty dishes, red lights, and traffic jams are spiritual friends on the path to “mindfulness”—the process of keeping our consciousness alive to our present experience and reality. The most profound satisfactions, the deepest feelings of joy and completeness lie as close at hand as our next aware breath and the smile we can form right now.

Post(s) Inspired by this Book:  13 Powerful Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes on Happiness, Anger, and Peace  ///  Focus on what’s going RIGHT – The Power of Mindfulness [VIDEO].  /// Don’t Miss the Flower – A Short Zen Story from Thich Nhat Hanh

Quotes from Book! Buy from Amazon!
 

“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

 

“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