Fear into Love


The public conversation in Australia at present is truly poisonous. Come hither Thich Nhat Hanh and speak to me of love.¹

“We have a great, habitual fear inside ourselves. We’re afraid of many things – of our own death, of losing our loved ones, of change, of being alone … Sorrow, fear and depression are like a kind of garbage. But these bits of garbage are part of real life, and we must look deeply into their nature. We can practice so as to turn these bits of garbage into flowers. We should not throw anything out. All we have to do is learn the art of composting, of transforming our garbage into flowers …

A mantra is a kind of magic formula that, once uttered, can entirely change a situation … I share these four mantras as supports for … releasing fear, cultivating true love and restoring communication. These mantras can be very effective for watering the seeds of happiness in yourself and your beloved and for transforming fear, suffering and loneliness.

Mantra for offering your presence

The most precious gift you can give to the one you love is your true presence. So the first mantra is very simple: ‘Dear one, I am here for you’ … When you love someone, the best thing you can offer that person is your presence. How can you love if you are not there? Come back to yourself, look into his eyes, and say, ‘Darling, you know something? I’m here for you.’

Mantra for recognising your beloved

The second mantra is, ‘Darling, I know you are there, and I am so happy.’ To be there is the first step, and recognising the presence of the other person is the second step. Because you are fully there, you recognise the presence of your beloved is something very precious. You embrace your beloved with mindfulness, and he or she will bloom like a flower …

Mantra for relieving suffering

The third mantra is what you practice when your beloved is suffering: ‘Darling, I know you’re suffering. That’s why I am here for you.’ Even before you do anything to help, your wholehearted presence already brings some relief, because when we suffer, we have great need for the presence of the person we love … Your presence is a miracle, your understanding of his or her pain is a miracle, and you are able to offer this aspect of your love immediately …

Mantra for reaching out to ask for help

The fourth mantra is a little bit more difficult: ‘Dear one, I am suffering; please help.’ This mantra is for when you are suffering and you believe that your beloved has caused your suffering … this is the person you love the most, so you suffer deeply, and the last thing you feel like doing is to ask that person for help. You prefer to go to your room, lock the door, and cry there all alone. So now it is your pride that is the obstacle to reconciliation and healing … When you are suffering like this, you must go to the person you love and ask for his or her help. That is true love …

Begin [to practice the mantras] with yourself …”


1. Thich Nhat Hanh, Fear

Image: My father’s favourite rose, the glorious Papa Meilland



4 thoughts on “Fear into Love

  1. I had just finished writing (less than a minute ago) some thoughts about fear in my journal. Needless to say this was beautiful reinforcement. Thanks you


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