Practices for Nurturing True Love: The Six Mantras Thich Nhat Hanh

Updated: Oct 28, 2020

Mantra One: I AM HERE FOR YOU.


The greatest gift we can make to others is our true presence. "I am here for you" is the first of the Six Mantras. When you are concentrated, body and mind together, you produce your true presence, and anything you say is a mantra, a sacred phrase that can change the situation. It doesn't have to be in Sanskrit or Tibetan; a mantra can be spoken in your own language. "Darling, I am here for you". If you are truly present, this mantra will produce a miracle. You become real, the other person becomes real, and life is real in that moment. You bring happiness to yourself and the other person.

To be continued.




Mantra Two: I KNOW YOU ARE THERE, AND I AM HAPPY


"I know you are there and I am very happy" is the second of the Six Mantras. When I look at the full moon, I breathe in and out deeply and say, "Full moon, I know you are there, and I am very happy." I do the same with the morning star. When you contemplate a beautiful sunset, if you are really there, you will recognize and appreciate it deeply. Whenever you are truly there, you can recognize how to treat and respect the presence of the other, whether that is the full moon, the North Star, the magnolia flowers, or the person you love.


Mantra Three: I KNOW YOU ARE SUFFERING


The third mantra is "I know you are suffering. That is why I am here for you." When you are mindful, you will notice when the person you love suffers. If we suffer and the person we love is not aware of our suffering, we will suffer even more. Just practice conscious breathing to produce your true presence. Then sit close to the one you love and say, "Darling I know you suffer. That is why I am here for you." Your presence, in itself, will already relieve some of [their] suffering. No matter how old or young, you can do this.



Mantra Four: I AM SUFFERING


The fourth mantra is one you can practice when you yourself suffer. "Darling I am suffering. Please help." These are only 6 words, but they can be difficult to say because of the pride in our hearts, especially if we believed that it was the person we love that caused our suffering. If it had been someone else, it wouldn't be so difficult. But because it was [them], we feel deeply hurt. We want to go to our room and weep. But, if we really love [them], we have to ask for help. We must overcome our pride.


Mantra Five: THIS IS A HAPPY MOMENT


The fifth mantra is, "This is a happy moment." When you are with the one you love, you can pronounce this mantra. It's not autosuggestion or wishful thinking; it's waking up to the conditions of happiness that are there. Maybe you're not mindful enough, so you don't recognize them. This mantra is to remind us that we are very lucky; we have so many conditions of happiness, and if we don't enjoy them, we're not wise at all. So when you're sitting together, walking together, eating or doing something together, breathe in mindfully, and realize how lucky you are. Mindfulness makes the moment into a wonderful moment.

[comment: a very good practice is doing gratitude lists for things you are grateful for, it changes your mental filter of your partner, life, and self - also you cannot experience fear and gratitude simultaneously ~ A. Walt].


Mantra Six: YOU ARE PARTLY RIGHT


The sixth mantra is, "You are partly right." When someone congratulates you or criticizes you, you can use this mantra. I have weakness in me and I also have strengths. If you congratulate me, I shouldn't get lost or forget that there are negative things with me. When we see the beautiful things in the other person, we tend to ignore the things that are not so beautiful. We are human, so when your beloved one congratulates you and tells you that you are the very image of perfection, you say, "you are partly right. You know that I have other things in me also." In this way, you can retain your humility. You are not a victim of illusion because you know that you are not perfect. And when another person criticizes you, you can also say "you are partly right."


When considering Thich Nhat Hahn's words, and how they fit into your dynamics - perhaps you are reminded of our culture of perfectionism and what a cruel un-attainable concept to live up to. Then other times, you might find yourself attached to being right in an argument, or perhaps thinking you're entitled to something that has not been given and it's creating resentment. Things can be so much more comfortable if we relax and be ourselves - accepting the "good" and the "bad", while loving nonjudgmentally. For many it takes a lot of practice - many many years to master if one truly desires full-acceptance of self, and involves living in alignment with an honourable way of living, and accepting who you are right now and what your weaknesses are. That doesn't mean not do to anything about them! But to be okay with vulnerability - fully accepting all consequences, then fear dissipates. When here becomes a power struggle between two people that can be extremely damaging to one's health, self-esteem, and life in general. So let's aim for the best we can do and accept that we are partly wrong in the process of learning what is our right way.



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