• By Nhat Quan
    Kindness is something that each of you yearns for, compassion, spiritual beauty, all of you have these things. But you don't notice, don't care, and haven't woken it up yet so it's still sleeping.
    Because you were sleeping, many of you thought you didn't have it, so you went looking outside. Sometimes you think you have found your ideal partner who embodies everything that is considered good and beautiful. Your audience could be:
    - A hero
    - A romantic object,
    - A friend,
    - A spiritual teacher.
    You ask for such an object, then put all your trust and love, seeing all the good things in that person. But after a while, you discover that you had a wrong perception about that person and become frustrated.
    Remember, beauty and goodness are always within each of you. This is the basic teaching of Buddhism. A true teacher, a true spiritual partner, is one who encourages you to look deeply into your own beauty, into the life and love you are looking for. Buddha is the one who helps you discover Buddha nature within yourself.
    According to Buddha, the birth of a human being is not a beginning but a continuation. When you were born, all the seeds of kindness, of cruelty, of awakening, were also planted inside you. But whether kindness or cruelty develops in you depends on how you cultivate it. But you are ignorant and do not know, that's why, when he attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, Buddha declared:
    - How strange! Strange! All sentient beings have the full wisdom and virtue of the Tathagata, but because of ignorance, delusion, and attachment, they cannot realize it.
    - Tathagata is a Buddha who has become Buddha, sentient beings are Buddhas who will become Buddha.
    Buddha saw that day and night, you are searching for what is already within you. You can call it Buddha nature, true freedom, the foundation for all peace and happiness. The possibility of being enlightened is not something that someone else can give you. A teacher can only help you eliminate the unenlightened elements within you so that enlightenment can be revealed. If you have faith in beauty and goodness, your teacher is you.
    Therefore, you do not need to try to build any standards of happiness that you have to pressure yourself into. You have to give yourself the comfort to relax without worrying about other people's praise or criticism. You must practice contentment and never intend to do something different from everyone else in life. If there are any imperfections, you must review them and make them perfect. Wanting to be beautiful in the eyes of others is a good motivation to improve yourself. Either way, you have to be a confident person and always know what you want. The inner spirit determines a person's happiness and peace. So you need to put aside your shyness to do what you want, without having to worry about other people's judgments.
    No one has the right to pull you down, but you will go down yourself if you keep losing track of what you have achieved. Therefore, you should not allow yourself to be too lenient, you should not disappoint the people you love when you realize what you want in life, there is no need to be distracted by someone's words, you just need to live with true nature and positivity for what you want.
    Everyone knows that time passes and never comes back. But you also don't need to sit and mourn for your unlucky, miserable, or happy life. You must make an effort to pursue your heart's desire. Whoever is still prejudiced or criticized is their business, not yours. Your business is to still live a meaningful life, for the joy and value of yourself and those who love you. So you must determine sovereignty, each of you is the owner of your own being with the five elements. These factors are:
    - Body,
    - Feeling,
    - Perception,
    - Action and
    - Awareness.
    Be conscious of sovereignty, and your practice is to look deeply into these five elements and discover your true nature. Your true nature of your suffering, your happiness, your peace, and your courage.
    When you forget yourself, you are not responsible for mastering yourself. Every day you have not practiced, instead of taking care of your being you have run away from it and allowed conflicts and disorders to arise. You are afraid of returning to your true self and facing those difficulties and suffering. So whenever you have free time, you watch television, newspapers, music, chat, or the phone to forget and run away from the reality of the elements that make up who you are. Then from there, you think:
    - I suffer too much. I have too many problems. I don't want to go back to them anymore.
    So the tendency to sow kindness is for you to return to yourself and put things in order. The Buddha taught you very carefully how you can do this. He has told you that to cleanse and transform your own elements, you need to cultivate the energy of mindfulness. This is the element that will give you the strength to return to yourself.
    The energy of mindfulness is something real that can be cultivated. When you walk mindfully, the energy of mindfulness brings you back to the present moment. When you wash dishes or clothes or eat mindfully, you invest all of yourself in the present moment and awareness of the food and the people eating with you. You can cultivate the energy of mindfulness when you walk when you breathe, when you work, and this energy will help you protect yourself, and give you the courage to come back to yourself, to see and Embrace what is within you.
    When you start cultivating kindness according to Buddha's teachings, you start living like a part-time Buddha and slowly you become a full-time Buddha. Sometimes you fall back and become a part-time Buddha again, but with steady practice, you will become a full-time Buddha. This is completely within your reach because before, like you, Buddha was also a human being. You can become a Buddha whenever you like.
    Becoming a Buddha is not so difficult. Don't set a standard that's so high that it's almost unimaginable, meaning that if you want to become a Buddha, you have to do this, or you have to do that... When you set a standard that's too high, you think you're on your own and can not do it. But in fact, a true Buddha is nothing more than an enlightened person, a person capable of love and forgiveness.
    In every human being, there are seeds of kindness and enlightenment. You all have the seed of Buddha nature. Enjoy this miracle, because if you don't become a Buddha, who will?
    To give the Buddha seeds within you a chance to grow, you must first plant them, and then water them. When you act like a progressive person who has the seeds of goodness within you, you will feel empowered. If you act as if you don't believe in your own inherent goodness, you blame others for your suffering and loss of happiness.
    You can use the goodness within yourself to transform suffering and your tendencies toward anger, cruelty, and fear. But many times you want to throw away your suffering because you don't want to see it. It may sound harsh to say this, but the truth is, that your suffering is the fertilizer that provides understanding to nourish your happiness and the happiness of those around you. So you don't need to throw it away if you want to be happy. This is similar to a gardener.
    First, you must take care of your garden and master the art of gardening. In each of your gardens, there are flowers and sometimes also grass and trash. Flowers represent good qualities, gentleness, and serenity. Trash is the anger, fear, discrimination, and jealousy within you. So if:
    - If you throw the garbage of hatred, greed, and ego, you will strengthen the negative seeds.
    - If you plant the flowers of compassion, understanding, and love, you will strengthen the positive seeds.
    What grows is up to you.
    And if you don't know how to water and be selective in your own garden, you won't be able to water the flowers in the garden of someone you love. If you take care of your own garden well, you will be able to take care of other people's gardens well. If you know that, just a period of practice can give you a big difference. You will have more and be smarter enough to work. You need to pay attention to your actions and thoughts constantly, not allowing them to get out of your control. You can do it. Every time you practice mindful walking, investing your mind and body in each step, you are taking your situation into your own hands. Whenever you do anything, you are yourself, you are your own master, and you are the gardener in your own garden.
    Having succeeded with yourself and with the person you love, you will become a community of two, and now you can be a refuge for a third, then for a fourth, and more. In this way, a union will develop. There is mutual understanding between you and the person you love. When there is mutual understanding, the relationship will be good, then happiness will appear and you can become a refuge for others.
    If you have a feud and want to make peace with someone else, you must first go home to yourself. You must go to your home to plant flowers of peace, compassion, understanding, and joy in your garden. Then you can reach out to your partner and be patient, and compassionate.
    When you collaborate on something with others, you are making a promise to develop together, sharing achievements and progress. It is your responsibility to take care of each other.
    If you've been working with your partner for a few years, you probably think you know everything about this person, but that's not the case. Scientists can study a grain of dust for years, but they still don't dare assume they understand everything about it. If just a speck of dust is complex, how can you know everything about another person? Your partner needs your attention and water for positive seeds. If you don't pay attention, your relationship will wither.
    You must learn the art of creating happiness. If during your childhood you saw your parents or anyone else doing anything to create happiness in the family, now you know what to do. But many of you still don't know what to do. The issue is not right or wrong, but which one gets more, which one is more skillful.
    Living with anyone is the same, living is an art. Even with a lot of goodwill, you can still make others unhappy. The essence of the art of making others happy is mindfulness. When you are mindful, you will be more skillful. In this way you first consider yourself, you have two hands:
    - Right hand and left hand.
    Even though the right hand and left hand are different, the two have never fought. Look at your hands. The fingers are like five brothers from the same family. Let's say they are a family of five members. You remember that if one person is hurt, everyone is hurt, and then you have tact in dealing. Every time a finger on any hand is injured, you notice that the other hand naturally helps the hand that has the injured finger. So you must have something like body love. Sometimes they help each other, and sometimes they act separately, but they never fight each other.
    If others are happy then you are also happy. Happiness is not a personal matter.
    When you see your partner as not separate from you, as no one is better or worse or even equal, then you will feel happy.
    In short, cultivating kindness means you practice the goal of practicing mindfulness, you learn wisdom in behavior. You are noble thanks to virtue through thoughts, words, and actions. People who practice mindfulness diligently will gain tact in their behavior. Once you don't discriminate between yourself, your partner, and everyone else, then your love will grow and nothing can stop you. To do this, you should learn to cultivate kindness. 
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