THICH NHAT HANH:
“If we’re a free person, we aren’t conditioned by things around us. We just smile to them and we make our path. Our surroundings are like a mirror. If we smile, the mirror smiles. If we cry, the mirror cries. If we’re angry, then the situation becomes angry. But even if the situation looks angry, if we’re able to smile, then the situations smile with us. So the surroundings are coming from our mind.
“Master Linji taught,
‘When mind arises, the objects of mind arise. When the mind does not arise, the objects of mind do not arise. When thought does not arise, all the phenomena that are cannot harm us.
‘As far as the mundane world and the supramundane world are concerned, there is no Buddha and no Dharma. They do not really exist in this moment and they will not cease to exist in the future. Whatever you talk of as really existing is just words, chapters, and phrases. All they are able to do is guide infants. Skillful means are devised as medicines to heal sickness. The display of words and phrases is part of these skillful means. It is you who are present here in this moment with your living perception of sight and hearing clear as a torch flame illuminating all around – you are the one who displays all the words and phrases.’ ”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Nothing to Do, Nowhere to Go, p. 176, 177