How to Love, by Thich Nhat Hanh

thichn“Understanding is love’s other name,” Thich Nhat Hanh teaches in his latest meditation, How To Love.

He makes one of life’s great challenges so simple. And so beautiful, as summarized by Maria Popova in her weekly “interestingness digest,” BrainPickings.

“To know how to love someone, we have to understand them. To understand we need to listen,” Nhat Hanh tells us. That means expanding our hearts:

When our hearts are small, our understanding and compassion are limited. We can’t accept or tolerate others and demand that they change. But when our hearts expand…we accept others as they are and then they have a chance to transform. 

But the capacity to love doesn’t just transform our loved ones. It inevitably transforms us.

If you have understanding and love, then every moment—whether it’s spent making breakfast, driving the car, watering the garden or doing anything else in your day—can be a moment of joy.

howtoloveThere’s just one more piece of the equation, perhaps harder than any other: to love ourselves. Nhat Hahn’s advice:

Trust that you have a good and compassionate nature. You are part of the universe. You are made of stars.