HAVE YOU EVER seen yourself in a mirror that distorts the image? Your face is long, your eyes are huge, and your legs are really short. Don't be like that mirror. It is better to be like the still water on the mountain lake. We often do not reflect things clearly, and we suffer because of our wrong perceptions. When we see things or listen to other people, we often don't see clearly or really listen. We see and hear out projections and prejudices.
We need to make our water still if we want to receive reality as it is. If you feel agitated, don't do or say anything. Just breathe in and out until you are calm enough. Then ask your friend to repeat what he has said. This will avoid a lot of damage. Stillness is the foundation of understanding and insight. Stillness is strength.
- an excerpt from Your True Home, Thich Nhat Hanh