Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes
Thich Nhat Hanh (pronounced Tik · N’yat · Hawn) is a global spiritual leader, poet and a peace activist. He has been a pioneer in bringing Buddhism to the West, starting up six monasteries and dozens of practice centers in America and Europe, as well as over 1,000 local mindfulness practice communities, known as ‘sanghas’.
Martin Luther King called him “An Apostle of peace and nonviolence.”
His key teaching is that, through mindfulness, we can learn to live happily in the present moment—the only way to truly develop peace, both in one’s self and in the world.
**As of this posting, 88-year-old Hanh is recovering from a brain hemorrhage he suffered in November 2014.**
Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
In the rush of modern life, we tend to lose touch with the peace that is available in each moment. World-renowned Zen master, spiritual leader, and author Thich Nhat Hanh shows us how to make positive use of the very situations that usually pressure and antagonize us. For him a ringing telephone can be a signal to call us back to our true selves. Dirty dishes, red lights, and traffic jams are spiritual friends on the path to “mindfulness”—the process of keeping our consciousness alive to our present experience and reality. The most profound satisfactions, the deepest feelings of joy and completeness lie as close at hand as our next aware breath and the smile we can form right now.
Lucidly and beautifully written, Peace Is Every Step contains commentaries and meditations, personal anecdotes and stories from Nhat Hanh’s experiences as a peace activist, teacher, and community leader. It begins where the reader already is—in the kitchen, office, driving a car, walking a part—and shows how deep meditative presence is available now. Nhat Hanh provides exercises to increase our awareness of our own body and mind through conscious breathing, which can bring immediate joy and peace. Nhat Hanh also shows how to be aware of relationships with others and of the world around us, its beauty and also its pollution and injustices. the deceptively simple practices of Peace Is Every Step encourage the reader to work for peace in the world as he or she continues to work on sustaining inner peace by turning the “mindless” into the mindFUL.
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Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes
- There are people we cannot live without, but have to let go.
- Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.
- When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.
- Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
- To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.
- People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.
- People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.
- Because you are alive, everything is possible.
- When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you
don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not
doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or
less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have
problems with our friends or family, we blame the other
person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will
grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive
effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason
and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no
reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you
understand, and you show that you understand, you can
love, and the situation will change.
- Smile, breathe and go slowly.
- Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.
- Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.
- Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.
- The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.
- Many people think excitement is happiness…. But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.
- Through my love for you, I want to express my love for the whole cosmos, the whole of humanity, and all beings. By living with you, I want to learn to love everyone and all species. If I succeed in loving you, I will be able to love everyone and all species on Earth… This is the real message of love.
- My actions are my only true belongings.
- Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.
- Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.
This is Plum Village Mantra No.2: We acknowledge the presence of the ones we love. When we say this to our beloved, it will make them very happy. We can practice the mantra by saying it in person, by phone, or in an email.
- If you love someone but rarely make yourself available to him or her, that is not true love.
Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.
For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.
By eating meat we share the responsibility of climate change, the destruction of our forests, and the poisoning of our air and water. The simple act of becoming a vegetarian will make a difference in the health of our planet.
Our own life has to be our message.
Life is available only in the present moment.
We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.
You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.
Suffering is not enough. Life is both dreadful and wonderful…How can I smile when I am filled with so much sorrow? It is natural–you need to smile to your sorrow because you are more than your sorrow.
The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.
The source of love is deep in us and we can help others realize a lot of happiness. One word, one action, one thought can reduce another person’s suffering and bring that person joy.
I promise myself that I will enjoy every minute of the day that is given me to live.