“Be like a tree, fresh and alive”- Thich Nhat Hanh

Q: It is very painful when someone we love has serious difficulties, such as mental illness, post-traumatic stress disorder, or addiction. Sometimes it feels like their problems are so big that we can’t really help them and so we may want to retreat from them and their problems. At other times, we try to help, and then get consumed by the other person’s struggles. What can we do to help in these difficult situations without getting overwhelmed?

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Thich Nhat Hanh : When you feel overwhelmed, you’re trying too hard. That kind of energy does not help the other person and it does not help you. You should not be too eager to help right away. There are two things: to be and to do. Don’t think too much about to do—to be is first. To be peace. To be joy. To be happiness. And then to do joy, to do happiness—on the basis of being. So first you have to focus on the practice of being. Being fresh. Being peaceful. Being attentive. Being generous. Being compassionate. This is the basic practice. It’s like if the other person is sitting at the foot of a tree. The tree does not do anything, but the tree is fresh and alive. When you are like that tree, sending out waves of freshness, you help to calm down the suffering in the other person.

Your presence should be pleasant, it should be calm, and you should be there for him or her. That is a lot already. When children like to come and sit close to you, it’s not because you have a lot of cookies to give, but because sitting close to you is nice, it’s refreshing. So sit next to the person who is suffering and try your best to be your best—pleasant, attentive, fresh.

source : http://www.lionsroar.com/be-beautiful-be-yourself-january-2012/

“Love fades almost all the time”-Woody Allen

Q: Since you are nearing 80, I’m curious: Do you still believe “love fades,” as Annie Hall claims?

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Woody :It fades almost all the time. Once in a while you get lucky and get into a relationship that lasts a very long time. Even a lifetime. But it does fade. Relationships are the most difficult thing people deal with. They deal with loneliness, meeting people, sustaining relationships. You always hear from people, “Well, if you want to have a good relationship you have to work at it.” But there’s nothing else in your life that you really love and enjoy that you have to work at. I love music, but I don’t have to work at it. A guy likes to go out boating on the weekends, he doesn’t think, “Oh, I have to work at it.” He can’t wait to leave work to get to it. That’s the way you have to feel about your relationship. If you feel that you have to work at it — a constant business of looking the other way, sweeping stuff under the rug, compromising — it’s not working.

source : http://www.npr.org/2015/07/29/426827865/at-79-woody-allen-says-theres-still-time-to-do-his-best-work

“All poetry is an expression of exile”-Mahmoud Darwish

Q: Have any of your poems not been written from the state of exile? Is not the state of exile a realistic parallel to the state of a poet–every poet in the world– between homeland and exile?

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Darwish :It is possible to describe everything that I’ve written as the poetry of an exile. I was born an exile. Exile is a very broad concept and very relative. There is exile in society, exile in family, exile in love, exile within yourself. All poetry is an expression of exile or otherness. And when it parallels experience in reality, then it is a concentrated, compressed exile. I find it in every word that I search for in my dictionary. I am not complaining. Despite everything, exile has contributed greatly to the development of my writing. It allowed me to manage a journey between cultures, between peoples, between cities, between colors.

source : http://www.palestine-studies.org/jps/fulltext/162552

Sadhguru :your only duty is that you grow to your full potential

Q: Who is a good human being? What are his primary duties towards himself/herself and society?

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Sadhguru: As a human being, your only duty is that you grow to your full potential. If you grow to your full potential, your very way of being is absolutely useful. The best things will happen around you; there is no need for you to do any duty.

If you do not know how to make yourself happy, is there any possibility of you making the world a happy place to live in? If you do not know how to manage your body, mind and emotions, can you manage the world? It is not going to happen. If you do not know how to keep yourself, you will definitely not know how to keep the world. So, don’t worry about your duty, see how to nurture yourself to the highest possible level. Then you will do what you should do.

Yehuda Amichai :if you meet the devil, take him with you into the synagogue

INTERVIEWER

What is the relationship between your politics and your poetry?

Yehuda Amichai

AMICHAI

First of all, whoever reads my poetry could never arrive at fundamentalist, absolutist thinking. If someone is attracted to my poetry, he or she is attracted to all of the metaphoric background that I throw up against violence. Dealing with political realities is part of what we need to do to survive as normal human beings. You have to acknowledge political realties as they are. There’s an old Jewish saying: if you meet the devil, take him with you into the synagogue. Try to take the evil of politics into yourself, to influence it imaginatively—to give it human shape. This is my attitude toward politics. I’ve often said that all poetry is political. This is because real poems deal with a human response to reality and politics is part of reality, history in the making. Even if a poet writes about sitting in a glass house drinking tea it reflects politics.

Simone de beauvoir and the problem of time

INTERVIEWER

In The Blood of Others and All Men Are Mortal you deal with the problem of time. Were you influenced, in this respect, by Joyce or Faulkner?

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DE BEAUVOIR

No, it was a personal preoccupation. I’ve always been keenly aware of the passing of time. I’ve always thought that I was old. Even when I was twelve, I thought it was awful to be thirty. I felt that something was lost. At the same time, I was aware of what I could gain, and certain periods of my life have taught me a great deal. But, in spite of everything, I’ve always been haunted by the passing of time and by the fact that death keeps closing in on us. For me, the problem of time is linked up with that of death, with the thought that we inevitably draw closer and closer to it, with the horror of decay. It’s that, rather than the fact that things disintegrate, that love peters out. That’s horrible too, though I personally have never been troubled by it. There’s always been great continuity in my life. I’ve always lived in Paris, more or less in the same neighborhoods. My relationship with Sartre has lasted a very long time. I have very old friends whom I continue to see. So it’s not that I’ve felt that time breaks things up, but rather the fact that I always take my bearings. I mean the fact that I have so many years behind me, so many ahead of me. I count them.

Source : https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/4444/simone-de-beauvoir-the-art-of-fiction-no-35-simone-de-beauvoir