Books and Movies

There are good books and movies that you can enjoy. That’s okay—it’s good to enjoy them. But sometimes the quality of the film or book is not good at all, yet you don’t turn it off because if you do, you will have to go back and experience the suffering inside you. That is the practice of many people in our society. Many people cannot be with themselves. They have pain, sorrow, or worries inside, and they read or watch or listen to cover this up, to run away from themselves.

Consuming media like that is just running away and it doesn’t have a lasting effect. You can forget your suffering for some time, but eventually you have to go back to yourself. The Buddha recommended that we should not try to run away from ourselves, but learn to take good care of ourselves and transform our suffering.

– Thich Nhat Hanh.

And I am thinking about tomato soup

“We are practicing sitting meditation and we see a bowl of tomato soup in your mind’s eye, so we think that is wrong practice, because we are supposed to be mindful of our breathing. But if we practice mindfulness, we will say, ‘I am breathing in and I am thinking about tomato soup.’ That is Right Mindfulness already. Rightness or wrongness is not objective. It is subjective.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh, Linji School, Zen.