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…we were determined to speak the truth. Now I understand that truth and virtue must be joined by strength. When I first read the French author La Fontaine many years ago, I was disturbed by this statement: ‘The argument of the strongest party is always the best.’ …life has taught me more than once that his statement is at least partly true. Truth without strength cannot stand firm. Strength does not have to mean tyranny or violence, but one must be strong. Without strength, how could those with no more than a pen challenge powerful authorities? 

~Thich Nhat Hanh (Fragrant Palm Leaves)

 

 

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The spring sunlight, flowers blooming, and green trees create a landscape that looks like embroidery. This is an object of perception and it’s a beautiful thing to focus on. …if we don’t consider the role of our mind, and just focus on what we see as the independent reality around us, there will be contradictions.

The Vietnamese poet Nguyen Du said, ‘When a person is sad, the scenery is never happy.’ How we are feeling determines how we see the world. Why are some people able to experience happiness when they look at the moon and see its beauty, while others see the same moon as sad or depressing? This question can’t be answered unless both the subject [person] and object [moon] are taken into account.

~Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Battles