MS. TIPPETT: The kingdom of God?
BROTHER THAY: Yeah, because I could not like to go to a place where there is no suffering. I could not like to send my children to a place where there is no suffering because, in such a place, they have no way to learn how to be understanding and compassionate. And the kingdom of God is a place where there is understanding and compassion, and, therefore, suffering should exist.
MS. TIPPETT: That’s quite different from some religious perspectives which would say that the kingdom of God is a place where we’ve transcended suffering or moved beyond it.
BROTHER THAY: Yes. And suffering and happiness, they are both organic, like a flower and garbage. If the flower is on her way to become a piece of garbage, the garbage can be on her way to becoming a flower.
Transcript: Thich Nhat Hanh, Cheri Maples, and Larry Ward — Mindfulness, Suffering, and Engaged Buddhism | On Being