Mindrolling – Raghu Markus – Ep. 378 – Wait: How to Stop the Fighting Within w/ Cuong Lu

Author Cuong Lu drops by Mindrolling to talk about his new book, share stories of studying with Thich Nhat Hanh, and explore how we can all stop the fighting within ourselves.

Cuong Lu, a Buddhist teacher, scholar, and writer, was born in Vietnam in 1968 and emigrated to Holland with his family in 1980. In 1993, he was ordained a monk at Plum Village in France under the guidance of Thich Nhat Hanh. Cuong is the founder of the Mind Only School, where he teaches Buddhist philosophy and psychology. His latest book, Wait: A Love Letter to Those in Despair, is available on February 9, 2021.

How to Stop the Fighting Within

Raghu welcomes Cuong to Mindrolling and asks about his spiritual journey. Cuong talks about growing up in war-torn Vietnam, and how it felt like he had a war going on within himself, even after moving away. He explores his time with Thich Nhat Hanh at Plum Village, what it was like to be a monk, and the events that helped him learn how to stop the fighting within.

“I met my teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, in 1987, and for the first time, I met someone, I met a human being, who didn’t have a war inside, who didn’t have the fighting inside.” – Cuong Lu

Suffering Is Not a Problem (19:23) 

Raghu asks Cuong about his experience witnessing violence during the Vietnam War. Cuong talks about how you cannot find solutions with guns and bullets, only with insight and wisdom that comes from inside ourselves. Raghu shares a quote from Cuong’s book about how suffering is not a problem, but a truth.

“Thanks to my suffering, I understand your suffering. That’s the basic definition of compassion.” – Cuong Lu

Jack Kornfield talks about how suffering is not the end of the story on Heart Wisdom Ep. 122
Love in Action (39:45)

Raghu reads more from Cuong’s book as they discuss the importance of having dreams. Cuong shares his dreams of helping other people discover the Buddha within, and using that insight and wisdom to put love in action. We are all the Buddha, we are all enlightened; we just need help to remember.

“My dream is you can discover that you are a Buddha.” – Cuong Lu