After many years the woman died, of natural causes. And a few years after that, the ogre died. Eventually, his mistresses died, down on the ground, in the people village, over decades. The war men and women died. The human girl who had escaped her early death died, across the land, over by the ocean, in her shack of blue bowls and rocking chairs. The witch, who had originally made the cake and made up up the spell and given it as a gift to her beloved ogre friend, died. The cake went on and on. Time passed...And the cake, always wanting to please, the cake who had found a way to survive its endlessness by recreating its role over and over again, tried to figure out, in its cake way, what this light-dappled object might want to eat. So it became darkness, a cake of darkness. It did not have to be human food. It did not have to be digestible through a familiar tract. It lay there on the dirt, waiting, a simmering cake of darkness. Through time and wind and earthquakes and chance. At last the cloak fell out of the tree and blew across the land and happened upon the cake where it ate its darkness and extinguished its own dappled light. The cloak disappeared into night and was not seen again, as it was only a piece of coat shaped darkness now and could not be spotted so easily, had there been any eyes left to see it. It floated and joined with nowhere. Darkness was overtaking everything, anyway, pouring over the land and sky. The cake itself, still in the shape of darkness, sat on the hillside. 'What's left?' said the cake. It thought in blocks of feeling. It felt the thick darkness all around it. 'What is left to eat me, to take me in?'Darkness did not want to eat more darkness, not especially. Darkness did not care for carrot cake, or apple pie. Darkness did not seem interested in a water cake or a cake of money. Only when the cake filled with light did it come over. The darkness circling around the light, devouring the light. But the cake kept refilling, as we know. This is the spell of the cake. And the darkness eating light and again, light and again, light, lifted.
Aimee Bender
From 'Creating True Peace' by Thich Nhat HanhTo better understand the practise of protection, please study the Five Mindfulness Trainings in Chapter 3, particularly the third, sexual responsibility. By practising the Third Mindfulness Training, we protect ourselves, our family and society. In addition, by observing all the trainings we learn to eat in moderation, to work mindfully and to organise our daily life so we are there for others. This can bring us great happiness and restore our peace and balance.Expressing Sexual Feelings with Love and CompassionAnimals automatically follow their instincts, but humans are different. We do not need to satisfy our cravings the way animals do. We can decide that we will have sex only with love. In this way we can cultivate the deepest love, harmony and nonviolence. For humans, to engage only in nonviolent sexuality means to have respect for each other. The sexual act can be a sacred expression of love and responsibility.The Third Mindfulness Training teaches us that the physical expression of love can be beautiful and transcendent. If you have a sexual relationship without love and caring, you create suffering for both yourself and your partner, as well as for your family and our entire society. In a culture of peace and nonviolence, civilised sexual behaviour is an important protection. Such love is not sheer craving for sex, it is true love and understanding.Respecting Our CommitmentsTo engage in a sexual act without understanding or compassion is to act with violence. It is an act against civilization. Many people do not know how to handle their bodies or their feelings. They do not realise that an act of only a few minutes can destroy the life of another person. Sexual exploitation and abuse committed against adults and children is a heavy burden on society. Many families have been broken by sexual misconduct. Children who grow up in such families may suffer their entire lives, but if they get an opportunity to practise, they can transform their suffering. Otherwise, when they grow up, they may follow in the footsteps of their parents and cause more suffering, especially to those they love.We know that the more one engages in sexual misconduct, the more one suffers. We must come together as families to find ways to protect our young people and help them live a civilised life. We need to show our young people that happiness is possible without harmful sexual conduct. Teenage pregnancy is a tragic problem. Teens are not yet mature enough to understand that with love comes responsibility. When a thirteen-or fourteen-year-old boy and girl come together for sexual intercourse, they are just following their natural instincts. When a girl gets pregnant and gives birth at such a young age, her parents also suffer greatly. Public schools throughout the United States have nurseries where babies are cared for while their mothers are in the classroom. The young father and mother do not even know yet how to take care of themselves - how can they take care of another human being? It takes years of maturing to become ready to be a parent.
Thich Nhat Hanh