The Seeds of War
by Thic Nhat Hanh
from Shambahala Sun, January 2016
Violence is never far away. It is possible to identify the seeds of violence in our everyday thoughts, speech, and actions. We can find these seeds in our own minds, in our attitudes, and in our fears and anxieties about ourselves and others. Thinking itself can be violent, and violent thoughts can lead us to speak and act violently. In this way, the violence in our minds manifests in the world.
We usually think of violence and war as an act or event with a definite beginning and a definite end. But when we look into the true nature of war, we see that, whether war breaks out or not, the seeds of war are already here. We do not have to wait until the war is officially declared to recognize its presence.
When we recognize the voilence that has taken root within us, in the everyday way we think, speak, and act, we can wake up and live in a new way. We can make a strong determination to live mindfully, to live in peace. Shining the light of awareness on the roots of violence within our own hearts and thoughts, we can stop the war where it begins, in our minds. Stopping the war in our minds an in our hearts, we will surely know how to stop the war outside.