Book Review

How to Love – Thich Nhat Hanh – Book Review

I love reading Thich Nhat Hanh books not because I will learn something new but because he packs the book with peace he has accumulated in his practise. Every part of what he writes is something you already know or would have read somewhere but his style is simply mesmerizing. On any given day, if all you are looking for is peace, pick up his book and get lost in it for an hour, you will feel a change in your energy. You might also learn a thing or two.


Key concepts from How to Love


  • Expand your heart so that your suffering feels very small 
  • Respect your partner always
  • Love comes from a place of compassion
  • If there is no happiness inside you, how can you share it with others?
  • Love can’t exist without trust and confidence
  • You are already beautiful as you are. Learn to accept yourself 
  • Sometimes love is all about appreciating the other person for their virtues
  • Practise hugging meditation. When you hug, the other person should be able to feel your presence
  • Physical intimacy, emotional intimacy and spiritual intimacy go hand in hand
  • Loving someone doesn’t mean you say yes all the time
  • Love is not a prison. It is a space
  • Loving deeply involves understanding your loved one by asking about their sufferings and longings
  • Practice conscious breathing with your partner
  • Listen deeply to see the other person more deeply
  • A true partner helps you discover inside you the beauty you have been seeking outside
  • If a relationship doesn’t provide joy, it is not true love
  • When you love someone, you should be able to help them suffer less
  • Love brings protection and safety when you accept the other person’s weaknesses and help the person transform
  • When you are upset and hurt, express it openly for the other person to see the pain
  • Don’t allow pride to come in between to express your needs
  • Sometimes you need to take care of yourself to discover the beauty in the other person
  • If you don’t reconcile with yourself, happiness with another person is impossible
  • Humans make mistakes due to lack of skill and not on purpose
  • You have to feel at home with yourself before you let another person into your home
  • If you have a deep aspiration, a goal for your life, then your loving of others is part of this aspiration and not a distraction from it. 
  • If you don’t know how to nourish and feed your love, it will die
  • In the person we love there is suffering that we haven’t seen yet. If we haven’t yet understood that person, we can’t be their best friend
  • Understanding is the foundation of love
  • Treat your partner like a flower. A flower grows when you provide the right amount of sunshine and water
  • To love is not to possess the other person or to consume all their attention and love. To love is to offer the other person joy and a balm for their suffering
  • If we have happy parents, we have received the richest inheritance of all
  • Selective watering is the process of watering the good seeds and giving the healthy and positive elements in our consciousness a chance to manifest.


Happy learning to Love!


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