Perception

“When you look at the night sky, you might see a very beautiful star, and you smile at it. But a scientist may tell you that the star is no longer there, that it was extinct ten million years ago. So our perception is not correct. When we see a very beautiful sunset, we are very happy, perceiving that the sun is there with us. In fact it was already behind the mountain eight minutes ago. It takes eight minutes for the sunshine to reach our planet. The hard fact is that we never see the sun in the present, we only see the sun of the past. Suppose while walking in the twilight, you see a snake, and you scream, but when you shine your flashlight on it, it turns out to be a rope. This is an error of perception. During our daily lives we have many misperceptions. If I don’t understand you, I may be angry at you all the the time. We are not capable of understanding each other, and that is the main source of human suffering.”
—Thich Nhat Hanh

Help yourself to it

“When you have a toothache, you think that not having a toothache will make you very happy. But when you don’t have a toothache, often you are still not happy. If you practise awareness, you suddenly become very rich, very very happy. Buddhism is a clever way to enjoy life. Happiness is available. Please help yourself to it.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh