Reader Deidre Everist posted these words from Thích Nhất Hạnh on Improvised Life’s facebook. First we thought, What great advice for caregivers. Then we thought, What great advice.

When you feel overwhelmed, you’re trying too hard. That kind of energy does not help the other person and it does not help you. You should not be too eager to help right away.

There are two things: to be and to do. Don’t think too much about to do—to be is first. To be peace. To be joy. To be happiness. And then to do joy, to do happiness—on the basis of being.

So first you have to focus on the practice of being. Being fresh. Being peaceful. Being attentive. Being generous. Being compassionate. This is the basic practice. It’s like if the other person is sitting at the foot of a tree. The tree does not do anything, but the tree is fresh and alive. When you are like that tree, sending out waves of freshness, you help to calm down the suffering in the other person.  Thích Nhất Hạnh


There is so much here. YES, when we feel overwhelmed, most likely we are trying to hard.

But what we really love is the idea of DOING JOY, which flows out of being joy…

(If we think TREE, will be be like a tree?)



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One thought on “Balancing Advice from Thích Nhất Hạnh

  1. This brought some much-needed calm/perspective. Fantastic advice.

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