“The unreal is more powerful than the real. Because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. Because its only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. Stone crumbles. Wood rots. People, well, they die. But things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on. If you can change the way people think. The way they see themselves. The way they see the world. You can change the way people live their lives. That’s the only lasting thing you can create.”
“When we look deeply into our fear, we see the desire for permanence. We’re afraid of change. Our anger, our fear, our despair are born from our wrong perceptions, from our notions of being and non-being, coming and going, rising and falling. If we practice looking deeply, we find out that these notions cannot be applied to reality. We can touch our true nature, we can touch the ultimate dimension, and this brings about non-fear. When we trust that insight of no-birth and no-death, joy becomes possible every moment of our lives.
Visualize a cloud floating in the sky. The cloud doesn’t want to change. She is afraid of dying, of becoming nothing, and that is what makes the cloud suffer. But if the cloud practices looking deeply, she will find out that it’s impossible for a cloud to die. A cloud can be transformed into rain, snow or ice, but a cloud cannot become nothing; it’s impossible. When the cloud has found her nature of no-death, she loses her fear. She comes to understand that to be a cloud floating in the sky is wonderful, but to be rain or snow falling on the Earth is wonderful. So she is no longer a victim of her fear, because she has practiced looking deeply and touched her nature of deathlessness. Nothing can die. You can not reduce being into non-being. Life is a process of change. Without changing, life is impossible. Once you accept that with joy, there is no fear. That is the practice of looking deeply.”
-Thich Nhat Hanh