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Lions Roar : March 2006
l? p::: ÇQ Q .....:i o l? Z o Q @ V) o E--< o ::r: p., life that are available in the here and now. That is why happiness is not possible. To go home to the present moment, to take care of oneself, to get in touch with the wonders of life that are really avail- able-that is already love. Love is to be kind to yourself, to be compassionate to yourself, to generate images of joy, and to look at everyone with eyes of equanimity and nondiscrimination. That is something to be cultivated. Non-self can be achieved. It can be touched slowly. The truth can be cultivated. When you discover something, in the beginning you discover only part of it. If you continue, you have a chance to discover more. And finally you discover the whole thing. When you love, if your love is true, you begin to see that the other person is a part of you and you are a part of her or him. In that realization there is already non -self. If you think that your happiness is different from their happiness, you have not seen anything of non -self, and happi- ness cannot be obtained. So as you progress on the path of insight into non -self, the happiness brought to you by love will increase. When people love each other, the distinction, the limits, the frontier between them begins to dissolve, and they become one with the person they love. There's no longer any jealousy or anger, because if they are angry at the other person, they are angry at themselves. That is why non -self is not a theory, a doctrine, or an ideology, but a realization that can bring about a lot of happiness. Melvin McLeod interviews Thich Nhat Hanh at Deer Park Monastery And peace. Sure. Peace is the absence of separation, of discrimination. You are renowned for teachings on community, which in Buddhism is called sangha. Through practices such as the Fourteen Mindful- ness Trainings of the Order of lnterbeing, you define mindfulness in ways that are social, even political. You teach about communication techniques and the power of deep listening and loving speech. Why do you emphasize the community, the interpersonal aspect? You have experiences in the practice-peace, joy, transforma- tion, and healing-and on that foundation, you help other peo- ple. You don't practice just as an individual, because you realize very soon on the path of practice that you should practice with community if you want the transformation and healing to take place more quickly. This is taking refuge in the sangha. In sharing the practice with others, the energy of mindfulness, concentration, and joy is much more powerful. That is what the Buddha liked to do. Everywhere he went, many monastics ac- companied him, and that way the monastics could learn from his way of walking and sitting and interacting with people. Soon the community began to behave like an organism, with everyone en- gaged in the same energy of peace, joy, calm, and brotherhood. At the same time, everyone in the sangha speaks for the Bud- dha, speaking for him not just by their words but by the way they SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2006 53