Now that we’ve covered how to love, all the time, despite the circumstances, it’s time to end the year by focusing on living in love, both now and in the future. I know so many people who aspire to this but then find themselves judging others harshly and immediately if they are in any way different from themselves. This is often so ingrained it can be very difficult to overcome. While you have some time off over the holidays, how about reading Teachings on Love by Thích Nhất Hạnh?
As described by Brian Bruya, Ph.D., “For venerated Vietnamese Zen master Thích Nhất Hạnh, love is more than an emotion. Drawing on millennia of Buddhist wisdom and his own therapeutic methods, Teachings on Love further develops his practical notion of interbeing in terms of love. If all things are interrelated, what could be more paramount to negotiating those relations than love? And more than just a way of relating, love is a way of living: ‘Love by the way you walk, the way you sit, the way you eat.’ Nhat Hanh supports his practical advice with numerous verses for enhancing mindfulness, prostrations for expressing reverence, and succinct formulas, such as the Five Awarenesses and the Five Mindfulness Trainings. The fifth mindfulness training exemplifies the broad scope of Nhất Hạnh love: ‘Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I am committed to cultivating good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking, and consuming.’ Thích Nhất Hạnh forever writes with reassuring warmth, from which readers may derive insight as well as comfort.”