Excerpts from “The Heart of Buddha’s Teaching” by Thich Nhat Hanh
Submitted by Ceci Pineda
"To practice is to go beyond ideas, so you can arrive at the suchness of things. 'No idea' is the path of nonconception. As long as there is an idea, there is no reality, no truth. 'No idea' means no wrong idea, no wrong conception. It does not mean no mindfulness. Because of mindfulness, when something is right, we know it's right, and when something is wrong, we know it's wrong."
"Relatively speaking, there are right views and there are wrong views. But if we look more deeply, we see that all views are wrong views. No view can ever be the truth. It is just from one point; that is why it is called a 'point of view.' If we go to another point, we will see things differently and realize that our first view was not entirely right. Buddhism is not a collection of views. It is a practice to help us eliminate wrong views. The quality of our views can always be improved. From the viewpoint of ultimate reality, Right View is the absence of all views.
When we begin the practice, our view is a vague idea about the teachings. But conceptual knowledge is never enough. The seeds of Right View, the seed of Buddhahood, are in us, but they are obscured by so many layers of ignorance, sorrow, and disappointment. We have to put our views into practice. In the process of learning, reflecting, and practicing, our view becomes increasingly wise, based on our real experience. When we practice Right Mindfulness, we see the seed of Buddhahood in everyone, including ourselves. This is Right View. Sometimes it is described as the Mother of all Buddhas (prajña paramita), the energy of love and understanding that has the power to free us. When we practice mindful living, our Right View will blossom and all the other elements of the path in us will flower, also."