Those who can't afford to attend a theology school should just get cable. OWN continues to build on its brand as the inspirational, spiritual education network. In contrast to Christian TV channels, the Oprah Winfrey Network is non-sectarian and examines a wide variety of views. The motivational programming presently includes "Master Class," "Lifeclass" and "Super Soul Sunday."
This past week on "Super Soul Sunday" Oprah introduced us to the Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. Thich Nhat Hanh was once nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by none other than civil rights activist and non-violent teacher, Martin Luther King, Jr. If that doesn't say it all, I don't know what does. Talk about a spiritual resume credit!
Thich Nhat Hanh spent much of his life exiled from his native Vietnam for his anti-war stance. One of Hanh's most famous quotes is "To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don't need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself." The Buddhist monk sat down with Oprah Winfrey in Manhattan.
With a feeling of peace that radiated from the television, Thich told Oprah about his dharma and life's journey. He talked about studying comparative religion at Princeton and being an activist. As a love and lifestyle columnist, I was most moved by the mantras that the guru shared for better relationships. His goal is to help us all become free of suffering and violence.
The spiritual teacher shared four love mantras with Oprah:
"Darling, I'm here for you."
Hanh explains that our presence is the greatest gift we can give to someone we love. By saying, "Darling, I'm here for you," you reassure your partner that no matter what is transpiring, they are not alone. As he put it, "How can you love if you're not there?"
"Darling, I know you are there, and I am so happy."
With the second mantra, you are acknowledging the presence of your partner. In other words, it is the reversal of the first. You are gifting your beloved with mindfulness. We can't know that another is fully present for us until we are fully present ourselves.
"Darling, I know you're suffering. That is why I am here for you."
The third mantra is useful when your significant other is experiencing issues. Sometimes, all we need is assurance that someone else acknowledges our pain. Hanh explains, "Before you do something to help, your presence already can bring some relief."
"Darling, I suffer. Please help me."
The final mantra is in essence saying, "I suffer, and I want you to know." You are asking for help. This is the power of being vulnerable to your partner.
Watch "Super Soul Sunday" on OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network. Check your local listings for airtimes.
More from this Contributor