Becoming a Flower

“That flower is a formation. If you look deeply into the flower you see the sunshine. Without sunshine there would be no flower. There is a cloud in it, there are the minerals in the earth, the compost, the gardener, many elements have come together to make the flower manifest…

Yet all flowers become garbage. That is the meaning of impermanence: all flowers have to become garbage. If you practice Buddhist meditation, you find out about very interesting things–like about the garbage.

Although garbage stinks, although garbage is not pleasant to hold in your hand, if you know how to take care of the garbage, you will transform it back into flowers. You know gardeners don’t throw away garbage. They preserve the garbage and take care of the garbage, and in just a few months the garbage becomes compost. They can use that compost to grow lettuce, tomatoes, and flowers. We have to say that organic gardeners are capable of seeing flowers in garbage, seeing cucumbers in garbage.

If you see things like that, you will understand that the garbage is capable of becoming a flower, and the flower can become garbage. Thanks to the flowers there is garbage, because if you keep flowers for three weeks they become garbage, and thanks to the garbage there will be flowers.”

Thich Nhat Hanh is a poet, Zen master, and peacemaker. He was nominated by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for the Nobel Peace Price. He is Author of more than thirty-five books.