Alvin’s Note: Our dear fellow Life Coach, and passionate personal development extraordinaire, Paiboon Busayarak, has embarked on a 3-month initiation into Buddhist monkhood in his native Thailand. He just sent me this post via email sharing the conversations he’s had with his teacher. The words are his, the grammar tweaking is mine 😉 Enjoy!)

What would Buddha do if someone hated him?

Not by hate is hate defeated;
Hate is quenched by love.
This is the eternal law.

Dhammapada 5

In these few words, Buddha teaches what might be the greatest spiritual law. The Roman poet Virgil wrote “love conquers all.” I believe there are things that love is not well-suited to conquer, but love is perfectly suited to conquer hate.


Because it is so hard for hate to combat. Violence, revenge, sometimes even civil disobedience, add to the tremendous energy embodied in hatred. Love, on the other hand, takes the energy of hate and redirects it, as a martial artist might – only here the arts are not the war but of love. As the song tells us, “Only love can conquer hate.”

Love confronts hate in the way hate cannot comprehend, with something beyond itself with compassion. Hate cannot go beyond itself. It draws its strength from the self’s defense of self.

Love lives to go beyond itself, drawing its strength from that very act. Love can thus comprehend hate, integrating it into something larger. Slowly hate is defeated, as a grain of salt dissolves into the sweetness of a pond.