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

To consume in order to cover up our suffering does not work. We need a spiritual practice to go deep into our suffering.

We all have the seeds of love in us. We can develop this wonderful source of energy, nurturing the unconditional love that does not expect anything in return.

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.

Wherever we are we have the capacity to enjoy the sunshine, the presence of each other and the wonder of our breathing.

Your breathing should flow gracefully, like a river, like a watersnake crossing the water, and not like a chain of rugged mountains or the gallop of a horse. To master our breath is to be in control of our bodies and minds. Each time we find ourselves dispersed and find it difficult to gain control of ourselves by different means, the method of watching the breath should always be used.

Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.

Happiness does not come from consumption of things.

If a child smiles, if an adult smiles, that is very important. If in our daily lives we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. If we really know how to live, what better way to start the day than with a smile? Our smile affirms our awareness and determination to live in peace and joy. The source of a true smile is an awakened mind.

If you love someone but rarely make yourself available to him or her; that is not true love.

It is best if we do not listen to or look at the person whom we consider to be the cause of our anger. Like a fireman, we have to pour water on the blaze first and not waste time looking for the one who set the house on fire. Breathing in, I know that I am angry. Breathing out, I know that I must put all my energy into caring for my anger. So we avoid thinking about the other person, and we refrain from doing or saying anything as long as our anger persists. If we put all our mind into observing our anger, we will avoid doing any damage that we may regret later.

Live your daily life in a way that you never lose yourself. When you are carried away with your worries, fears, cravings, anger, and desire, you run away from yourself and you lose yourself. The practice is always to go back to oneself. You have a wonderful vehicle. And you don't have to buy any gasoline. Mindful breathing and mindful walking are wonderful ways to go back to oneself.

One included all, and all were contained in one.

People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.

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 most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.

The war is in our souls.

To dwell in the here and now does not mean you never think about the past or responsibly plan for the future. The idea is simply not to allow yourself to get lost in regrets about the past or worries about the future. If you are firmly grounded in the present moment, the past can be an object of inquiry, the object of your mindfulness and concentration. You can attain many insights by looking into the past. But you are still grounded in the present moment.

We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.

When our heart is filled with loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity, its capacity becomes boundless, immeasurable. With such a vast heart, immense as the wide-open sea, suffering cannot overpower us, just as a small handful of salt cannot make a great river salty.

Words and thoughts concerning compassionate action that are not put into practice are like beautiful flowers that are colorful but have no fragrance.

Your first love has no beginning or end. Your first love is not your first love, and it is not your last. It is just love. It is one with everything.

Every day we do things, we are things that have to do with peace. If we are aware of our life...our way of looking at things, we will know how to make peace right in the moment, we are alive.

Harm no person, animal, plant or mineral.

If love is in our hearts, every thought, word, and deed can bring about a miracle. Because understanding is the very foundation of love, words and actions that emerge from our love are always helpful.

If you love someone, the greatest gift you can give them is your presence.

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