Human life revolves around a continuous search for happiness. Every action, every thought, and every goal that we set ourselves is simply an attempt by which to achieve well-being and find something that can make us truly happy. We are not always successful, and what we choose to pursue is not always really in our own interests. So why is this?
Mental patterns often make our choices more complex, as they feed on negative feelings such as anger, jealousy, and disappointment, and end up making us feel trapped. Freeing ourselves from these patterns, and the emotional and behavioural mechanisms they trigger, is the key to achieving true happiness.
We should avoid seeing this problem as a kind of rivalry, however, between one side of us that seeks its own well-being and the other that wants us to be unhappy. Splitting ourselves in two, in fact, often leads to problems: a rash choice, for instance, might be the result of another unexpressed desire, which we have ignored for too long. We often compartmentalise the human experience into good and evil, body and mind, but this suppresses our natural internal communication that serves as our inner guide, and which lies at the core of Buddhist teachings. According to Buddha, body and mind are not separate entities, but represent a unity called namarupa which, sometimes manifests as a wave and sometimes as a particle, in a similar way to light
Embracing the teachings of Buddhism helps us to reconcile the delicate issues of inner and outer existence. Thich Nhat Hanh explains the spirit of Buddhism in this book, and provides practical solutions that can help us overcome one of the main threats to our inner balance: anger.