DAN: This was very much a part of the style of Merton -- the inside/outside. And it had very rich consequences, I think. For him and for others. He used to say that he would never become a monk again, but now that he was a monk, he would be a monk. Absolutely. Yes.
JIM FOREST: A man playing hide and seek with tradition.
NHAT HANH: Anyway, being a monk or not being a monk, that is not the problem. The problem is the way you are a monk or the way you are a non-monk. I think if we greet events in that way, we can master the situation.
In China, they tell the story of a man who lost his horse. He was sad and he wept about it. But a few days later the horse returned with another horse. So the man was now very happy. His loss turns out to be lucky. But the next day his son tried the new horse and fell and broke one leg. So now it is not good luck any more, but bad luck. So he deserts the other horse and takes his son to the hospital and is content with what he has. So they say, if you greet these event with a calm mind, then you can make the most of these events for the sake of your happiness. That's not me, but the Chinese! (Laughter.)
-from a slightly edited transcript of a conversation recorded in Paris in 1973 by Jim Forest between Thich Nhat Hanh and Daniel Berrigan.