Tips On Love From A Buddhist Monk

Tips On Love From A Buddhist Monk

Like using weights and physical exercise to build strong bodies, there are exercises and techniques for building strength in relationships. In honor of Valentine's Day, we're sharing Thich Nhat Hanh's Four Mantras, which are aimed at romantic relationships. They're simple and straightforward and start with being fully present - which itself is no small feat!

"Dear one, I am here for you." is the first mantra.

"When you love someone, the best thing you can offer that person is your presence. How can you love if you are not there? Come back to yourself, look into (their) eyes, and say, 'Darling, you know something? I'm here for you.'  You're offering (them) your presence. You're not preoccupied with the past or future; you are there for your beloved. You must say this with your body and with your mind at the same time, and then you will see the transformation."

"Darling, I know you are there and I am so happy." is the second mantra.

"To be there is the first step, and recognizing the presence of the other person is the second step. Because you are fully there, you recognize that the presence of your beloved is something very precious. You embrace your beloved with mindfulness, and he or she will bloom like a flower. To be loved means first of all to be recognized as existing."

"Dear one, I know you are suffering. That is why I am here for you." is the third mantra.

"Even before you do anything to help, your wholehearted presence already brings some relief, because when we suffer, we have great need for the presence of the person we love. If we are suffering and the person we love ignores us, we suffer more. So what you can do- right away- is to manifest your true presence to your beloved and say the mantra with all your mindfulness... And already your loved one will feel better."

"Dear one, I am suffering; please help." is the fourth mantra.

"This mantra is for when you are suffering and you believe that your beloved has caused you suffering. If someone else had done the same wrong to you, you would have suffered less. But this is the person you love the most so you suffer deeply, and the last thing you feel like doing is to ask that person for help...So now it is your pride that is the obstacle to reconciliation and true love there is no place for pride... You must go to the person you love and ask for his or her help. That is true love. Do not let pride keep you apart. You must overcome your pride. You must always go to him or her...This is very simple but very hard to do."

Thich Nhat Hanh
From the book Fear: Essential Wisdom For Getting Through The Storm

For more: 

Read an essay on The Four Buddhist Mantras For Turning Fear into Love here

Watch Thich Nhat Hanh on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday talking about The Four Mantras here


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