Thich Nhất Hanh

Thich Nhất
Hanh
1926

Vietnamese Peace Activist, Zen Buddhist Monk, Teacher, Community Leader, Author, Chair of Vietnamese Buddhist Peace Delegation to the Paris Peace Talks, Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize, Author of more than 100 books

Author Quotes

Those who are without compassion cannot see what is seen with the eyes of compassion.

Usually when we hear or read something new, we just compare it to our own ideas. If it is the same, we accept it and say that it is correct. If it is not, we say it is incorrect. In either case, we learn nothing.

We should be able to bring the practice of meditation hall into our daily lives. We need to discuss among ourselves how to do it. Do you practice breathing between phone calls? Do you practice smiling while cutting carrots? Do you practice relaxation after hard hours of work? These are practical questions. If you know how to apply meditation to dinner time, leisure time, sleeping time, it will penetrate your daily life, and it will also have a tremendous effect on social concerns.

When you say something really unkind, when you do something in retaliation your anger increases. You make the other person suffer, and he will try hard to say or to do something back to get relief from his suffering. That is how conflict escalates.

You have to do it by yourself. You cannot do it alone.

Each second of life is a miracle.

Freedom is the basic condition for you to touch life, to touch the blue sky, the trees, the birds, the tea, and the other person.

I practice going home by walking, sitting, and doing things in mindfulness so I do not lose myself.

If you are motivated by loving kindness and compassion, there are many ways to bring happiness to others right now, starting with kind speech.

In our consciousness, there are many negative seeds and also many positive seeds. The practice is to avoid watering the negative seeds, and to identify and water the positive seeds every day.

Life is available only in the present. That is why we should walk in such a way that every step can bring us to the here and the now.

Most of your suffering comes from the lack of understanding of yourself and others.

Peace in every step. The shining red sun is my heart. Each flower smiles with me. How green, how fresh all that grows. How cool the wind blows. Peace is every step. It turns the endless path to joy.

Smiling is very important. If we are not able to smile, then the world will not have peace. It is not by going out for a demonstration against nuclear missiles that we can bring about peace. It is with our capacity of smiling, breathing, and being peace that we can make peace.

The leaf and his body were one. Neither possessed a separate permanent self. Neither could exist independently from the rest of the universe.

The secret of Buddhism is to remove all ideas, all concepts, in order for the truth to have a chance to penetrate, to reveal itself.

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.

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.

We should be treated with great respect, great affection and compassion. It is very important to treat our bodies with the utmost respect, with understanding, with compassion. If you know how to treat your body and your feelings with such respect, you will also be able to treat another person with the same respect and that is how we build peace.

When you sit in a café, with a lot of music in the background and a lot of projects in your head, you're not really drinking your coffee or your tea. You're drinking your projects, you're drinking your worries. You are not real, and the coffee is not real either. Your coffee can only reveal itself to you as a reality when you go back to your self and produce your true presence, freeing yourself from the past, the future, and from your worries. When you are real, the tea also becomes real and the encounter between you and the tea is real. This is genuine tea drinking.

You have two gardens: your own garden and that of your beloved. First, you have to take care of your own garden and master the art of gardening. In each one of us there are flowers and there is also garbage. The garbage is the anger, fear… discrimination, and jealousy within us. If you water the garbage, you will strengthen the negative seeds. If you water the flowers of compassion, understanding, and love, you will strengthen the positive seeds. What you grow is up to you.

Each thought, each action in the sunlight of awareness becomes sacred. In this light, no boundary exists between the sacred and the profane.

From time to time, to remind ourselves to relax and be peaceful, we may wish to set aside some time for a retreat, a day of mindfulness, when we can walk slowly, smile, drink tea with a friend, enjoy being together as if we are the happiest people on Earth.

I promise myself that I will enjoy every minute of the day that is given me to live.

If you breathe in and are aware that you are alive--that you can touch the miracle of being alive--then that is a kind of enlightenment.

Author Picture
First Name
Thich Nhất
Last Name
Hanh
Birth Date
1926
Bio

Vietnamese Peace Activist, Zen Buddhist Monk, Teacher, Community Leader, Author, Chair of Vietnamese Buddhist Peace Delegation to the Paris Peace Talks, Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize, Author of more than 100 books