How to Love By Thich Nhat Hanh (Book Summary)


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You’re probably going to read about the mindfulness frenzy if you’ve bought a journal or looked at a blog in these days. Living the minute and enjoying all the meals you get, steps you take or blossom you view may create miracles. Mindfulness can make you delighted and more efficiency, increase your notice time and aid you see stable passions.



An opinion came to the mind of world-famous Vietnamese Buddhist hermit and psychic teacher Thich Nhat Hanh after one of his reports about how this old Asian style was making a breach in modern Western communities. What would happen if you use methods of mindfulness to the most important thing named love?

His reply is How to Love. This is an inevitable lead that lights the complicated ways of the heart and, a concise guide filled with senses and suitable recommendations on love.


1- You must feed love with bliss and share it with people.


Think of you suffix a spoon of salt to a cup of water. You can’t drink it, isn’t it correct? Anyway, what would happen if you suffix the equal quantity to a river? Just a little salt can’t change anything at all.

It’s kinda like love.

The smallest mistakes and wrongs can make us angry if we have minor hearts. We become talented in getting well with people and feeling mercy and empathy if we make our hearts bigger, as well.

So how can you be filled with more love?

Love must be fed. It wants bliss.

Because love is all alive like us and, like other living things, it wants food.

Love’s food is bliss. Happiness makes you talented in adoring both yourself and other people.

In any case, there is a question: What is bliss?

Some opinions can be explained by Zen Buddhism.



The long-term bliss is not about people’s shallow passions. This is a product of mindfulness. Take a step.  You’ll start to see what bliss is if you focus on all individual action of your frame and escape your final aim and the reason you want to take there.

Because living and valuing the available minute is concerning mindfulness. We start to realize the world’s charms while we’re living the available moment. We’re able to actually discretion the delights of something so basically like a developing blossom.


Don’t do it individually! Beauties, such as love and bliss, are about splitting.

A major method of realizing how to split these presents with humanity is applying mindfulness.

Think that you’re hiking with a pensive and anxious mate. Only by mentioning the stuff that makes your heart hot, you can carry bliss and love into their distressed reflex whether it’s the sun or the game of plumes in the air.


2 – You have to meet love’s four properties to figure out the actual character of it.


When you see the term ”love”, what comes to your mind?

Some of us amalgamate the notion with a special type of attractive mate – the best is a beautiful and accomplished one!

Anyway, it’s not the actual love.

Firstly, you must learn to sense the character of love to clutch this.

Real love isn’t concerning what you try to win, it’s concerning pretty about being acquainted with and sensing the pain of other ones. Love makes you observe agony from the view of a different individual, and that makes you want to relief them. Empathy is an alternative method of defining this character of real love.

When you discover it, it’s not difficult to perceive genuine romance. It uncovers a universe of excellence and senses both reviving and strong. It brings you a feeling of opportunity, quietness, and delight. In the event that you figure you may be infatuated, question thyself if you’re loaded up with a feeling of unadulterated bliss or not. On the off chance that you aren’t, it’s not probably genuine romance.

Happiness is supplemented by respect. There’s a tradition in numerous pieces of Asia, that companions ought to be treated as respectfully as visitors by each other. That is a significant piece of keeping up a connection, and even long haul mates ought to behave with similar profound regard.

Extensiveness is the last trait of genuine romance. First and foremost, love is centered around a solitary individual. Well, in time it develops and starts to stretch out outward to envelop every living thing.



You have to take care of its four important features to meet real love.

These are compassion, mercy, delight, and calmness.

We’ll open those notions.

Handling mindfulness to make people delighted is concerned with compassion. It’s like a talent which makes the daystar bright in even the most shut heart.


Loving-kindness makes us realize the pain of people and define ourselves with their status. We get tender, we may view actually and hear meaningfully, once we handle with their pain.

Delight is permanent and profound bliss. Carrying delight to people is an excellent present.

Calmness is the last property. We can also name it like all-embracing stuff. It’s the talent of melting the borders between yourself and a different human to make their pains yours.


3 – You are wanted by love to confidence and esteem yourself and your mate.


Well, you understand the most important characters of real love now. What else would you like to realize?

We can count two different major factors to love, such as esteem and faith.

Love isn’t only about the other person; it’s concerning faith that you feel to yourself and, esteem that you behave yourself.

Actually, love starts by staring deeply all the time. To love, you must realize to being in faith to your kindness and merciful internal.

It’s like loving yourself. You have to regard and believe your frame as it is, in order to success. You’ll discover your frame, by receiving yourself as you are, as a temple in which you may look for relaxing and housing in stressful hours.

Imagine a pasture full of blossoms. Every single blossom is different. So we are; every person is like a flower which is completely dissimilar than others.

In any case, we got used to finding fault in ourselves and the people around us. Rather than searching beauty in things we see, we see blossom and think that it’s not that pretty, that this leaf might be pruned off and that shaft rooted out.

So we must understand to know that we’re pretty anyway and bring it to our minds, and other’s minds that fact, particularly sensitive teenagers. Isn’t it nonsense to attack a flower for its hue, on the contrary than just praising the shadow of its petals?

Love is an avenue that has two roads. You’ll demand to understand to spread that to your mate too once you’ve begun to believe and esteem yourself.



Love can’t exist with no belief. You can’t live real love with them if you can’t believe somebody.

Don’t think that it’s sufficient that only esteeming and believing in your mate individually; you also should show it to them.

The event that the writer has been in of seeing a pair from Bordeaux who’d visit his retreat hub in France can be a model for you. While they were in a three-way speech, the lady started to cry without control. Something wasn’t in her living – such as a blossom that wanted to be watered.


What was missing in her life? The writer explained to her partner that she needs love and esteem.

After lunch on that day, the man took the recommendation of the writer into account. He began to explain to his partner all the things he admired and esteemed about her and didn’t leave it for a few hours.


4 – We can be helped by the moral application to realize how to love and set up the right candor.


Who do we know as a symbol of love in the past of the world? Jesus, Gandhi, the Dalai Lama or Mother Theresa are simply examples that most of us give.

Supernaturalism and religion are not that popular in our new laic world. But when the topic is about real love in practice, religious and moral people come to most of the minds first.

That’s not one of the happenstances. Moral praxis is like a stair to realize how to love.

Well, it still matters to tell openly in descriptions. We shouldn’t see it like a non-true belief or an empty creed. It’s an exercise that feeds the bliss and supports us to do better.

Actually, while being relaxed and gathered, if we’d like to learn the defiances in our livings, it’s pretty important. 

Because we’re not only somatic creatures. Every single person has double bodies: first is the physical one and the second is the ghostly body. Contemplation and mindfulness practices are concerning to blend those two systems of people. It’s pretty simple for us to figure out our feelings when we’ve completed that for the one time.

The purpose of mental exercise is connecting with our actual feelings. It also makes us understand the pain of other people and love them anyway.



Cognizance of other one’s emotions is about love because real love makes us look for sincerity.

A decent method for building up genuine closeness is profound tuning in, a procedure that gives you a chance to find increasingly about your mate. Everything necessary is an hour or two wherein you focus on being absolutely available for them. The procedure is unending on the grounds that we all include bottomless deepness.


Another method for setting up closeness is somatic closeness. Sex transcends the usual every day and turns into a thing of genuine excellence when it is all while a statement of enthusiastic and otherworldly closeness. That is actually quite difficult, however, and it possibly works when the two mates are completely careful and loaded up with adoration for each other.


5 – Sex must be experienced intelligently because it doesn’t set up real sincerity all alone.


People sometimes mix sincerity and sex. Sayings like ”we were sincere” support it. In any case, they’re completely dissimilar terms at all.

Because sex doesn’t set up real sincerity all alone.

It may be enjoyable to sex without romance, but it’s unsanitary anyway. Eventually, lust and true love can be conflated.

We own double systems as we have discovered. The actual body can be pleased simply without dealing with the spiritual second one. Sex without romance ruins the linkage among the heart and consciousness.

Individuals frequently go to sex to assuage their alone situation, overlooking that loneliness is a status that can’t be mended by minor somatic touch. A relationship wherein the two mates share indistinguishable dreams and desires from well as interfacing on a profound passionate grade is the main genuine solution for loneliness. 

We don’t suppose that sex doesn’t include a real sincere event. It can while doing it intelligently.



Disapproving of sex when you don’t feel like it is a fundamental piece of this sort of care. Not consenting to sex just to satisfy your mate or to save yourself the ponderousness of saying you’re not in the state of mind is the main method for remaining consistent with your needs and effectively conveying them. Loving sex can’t exist if it doesn’t mirror your emotions and desires.

Rehearsing sex admirably is tied in with orchestrating your wants with those of your mate. Genuinely cozy sex is the product of this feeling of association. 


It may disappoint you; some of the time you can’t be in a similar part with your mate.

In any case, you can figure out how to put your sexual vitality to use in different pieces of your living. Simply consider unmarried priests. It doesn’t mean that they don’t encounter sexual want. They create procedures to outfit it for different closures, giving it something to do in slashing wood, keeping an eye on the garden, cooking, thinking or committing their regard for loved ones.


6 – Mates should have similar yearnings and try to discuss affectionately with one another. 


It’s hard to keep up an adoring relation. That is a valid justification not to make the entire business considerably trickier by living with a partner who doesn’t split your qualities and life objectives. 

It’s essential that a feeling of shared longing to solidifying a sound relationship.

Because it builds up solidarity. At the point when both of you have similar thoughts regarding where you need to go throughout everyday life, you can move as one. That, thusly, is more probable while you’re effectively investing energy discussing what’s essential to two of you.

Get a pair who has set out on a way of profound learning. They can likewise split their encounters by ruminating together or making their general surroundings an all the more cherishing spot because they split similar thoughts regarding what they esteem best.

Well, we can’t know where that may carry you. The thing that begins with only two individuals can bloom into an entire network soon! That is the manner by which bunches of profound focuses begin. At last, several similarly invested individuals unite to tell their yearnings and livings to each other.



Lovely transmission is important for uniting you and your mate in a similar division.

So how are you concerning that?

A decent standard guideline is that you shouldn’t expect that you recognize what comes to your mate’s mind or what they demand. That underscores tuning in. Inquire them what it is that they demand or what might fulfill them and watch that you’ve comprehended them effectively. 


Putting this methodology energetically will stay you in a great place with regards to strife. So delay and take a full breath as opposed to bouncing into habitual pettiness when the unavoidable contention gets up. You should hold up until you’ve discovered something really helpful and wanting to state. 

Profound listening takes place to carry out here as well. Figuring out how to tune in to your mate’s perspectives without intrusion is a conscious method for settling a difference. Keep in mind, regardless of whether you imagine that you’re morally justified, you can generally come to your meaningful conclusion in the wake of accepting your mate’s perspectives!


7 – Being in love includes carefulness and helping to be a cure.


Opportunities are that you’ll have met the notion of mindfulness in a quite number of several places. The opinion has become very effective in the West so that we methodically resist with recommendations on how to hike, get food and practice in a careful method.

So why don’t you love in a careful method as well?

This is essentially repeating again that real love is nothing but mindfulness.

You should begin with the word ”love”. It’s a nice term. It has a sense that we have to be attentive not to deplume its effect by just telling that we ”love” hamburgers. It becomes more meaningful when we use it the way of only having a conversation concerning real love.

The love with carefulness is overall. Loving everything concerning a person is about valuing their charms and their frailties and mistakes as well. Care is a curb on the compulsory, negligent decisions which make us dismiss troublesome parts of those we adore instead of committing ourselves to calmly helping them replace.

The careful lover becomes a therapy by putting aside the self-acting decision.



We can look back to the west to understand this. Karuna is ”Mercy” in Sanskrit which is an old philosophic tongue that greatly talked across South Asia. It means the capability to be in pain from another person. But it still has a more meaningful point as well.

Karuna isn’t only concerning understanding other people; trying to decrease other’s pains and being in a major status to get their sorrows well immediately also have meanings of it.


Imagine a medic. If she was merciful and was likely to share the suffering of your appendicitis it would be awesome, but you’d also ask for her to heal it, right? Well, medics are working to do that – in this status by lifting your appendix, they get you well and destroy the reason for suffering.

In this meaning, love is like a remedy. It’s a craft that makes you get the pain of your mate and get them well.

Well, as we saw, love is a double biased coin. Two of you and your mate have to be therapy. When you have pain, you should certainly request help. This can be complicated in light of the fact that it takes boldness to concede that you need help, particularly when it’s your mate who’s the reason for your agony. Engaging each other for assistance, in any case, is the only method to accomplish shared recuperating.


8 – Your thoughts of the relationship must be examined by you and you should trust these important senses.


An intelligent small elf which is sitting on your shoulder and telling your ear what you should say would be great, right?

Just like people causing fighting by choosing the unwanted mistaken sayings thinks, it’d be great for dealing with disagreements!

Fortunately, to help you in hard times, there are three clauses that you may remember at any time.

First of all, your mate has to know that you’re furious and it is taking you to pain. You may write them a note if you have a problem with speaking to hem face to face.

Secondly, they have to see that you’re dedicated to the relationship and understand that you’re doing your best about love. (Certainly, you should say it only if it is actual!) Question yourself about being really careful about the relationship after taking a deep breath. While you’re furious, try not to say anything.

Third one: Request your mate to aid you to solve the case.



Owning an arrangement like this to back on might be a priceless instrument for dealing with your relationship. In any case, it’s insufficient all alone.

Genuine romance is the product of a receptive outlook. You should be set up to scrutinize your suspicions about the relationship.

Imagine the set of the day. In the end, we’re persuaded that there is still daystar in the sky. If you ask a researcher, in any case, and they’ll disclose to you that what we’re taking a gander at is a picture of where the sun was around eight minutes prior, because of the speed of light and the World’s separation from the sun.


Our sensations and the guesses we foundation onto them are frequently like that. Taking the mistaken tip of the rod is simple. So, being modest and querying our appearance of things are the best ways.

We frequently suffer the most because of the thoughts our mate did something on goal. But if we search deeply, we immediately see that they were just trying to struggle with their sorrow, not trying to break us.


How to Love by Thich Nhat Hanh, Jason DeAntonis Book Review


Sex, charm or the ideal mate aren’t concerning love. Real love means living the day, realizing how to listen and understand the pain of people. We become talented in being mercy and empath when we learn how to be careful. And that’s the key method of an adoring living based on esteem and true sincerity.


We have an instance of mindfulness from the writer’s living. When a Western lady inquired him for a cuddle, the writer acted weird because of a custom that doesn’t see cuddling as a regular social action. So what was his reaction? He tried the moral methods which he has learned before on this strange event. He found a great cuddling meditation which let him learn a new practice and become more careful and merciful in his daily life, by condensing on the minute and dedicate all interest of his brain, body, and spirit to the move of cuddling.


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Savaş Ateş

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