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

In the West you have been struggling for many years with the problem of evil. But in the light of non-duality, there is not any problem. You need both right and left to have a branch. Do not take sides, if you take sides, you are trying to eliminate half of reality, which is impossible. For many years, the United States has been trying to describe the Soviet Union as the evil side. Some Americans even have the illusion they can survive alone, without the other half. If we look at America very deeply, we see the Soviet Union. And if we look deeply at the Soviet union, we see America. If we look deeply at the rose, we see the garbage; if we look deeply at the garbage, we see the rose. In this international situation, each side is pretending to be the rose, and calling the other side garbage. Survival means the survival of human kind as a whole, not just a part of it. If the South cannot survive, then the North is going to crumble. If countries of Third World cannot pay their debts, you are going to suffer here in the North. If you do not take care of the Third World, your well-being is not going to last, and you will not be able to continue living in the way you have been much longer. It is leaping out at us already. You cannot leave the job to the governments or the political scientists alone. You have to do it yourself.

Life is filled with suffering, but it is also filled with many wonders, like the blue sky, the sunshine, the eyes of a baby. To suffer is not enough. We must also be in touch with the wonders of life. They are within us and all around us, everywhere, any time.

Most people are afraid of suffering. But suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower grow. There cannot be a lotus flower without the mud.

Peace in ourselves, peace in the world.

So if we love someone, we should train in being able to listen. By listening with calm and understanding, we can ease the suffering of another person.

The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.

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.

To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.

Walk and touch peace every moment. Walk and touch happiness every moment. Each step brings a fresh breeze. Each step makes a flower bloom. Kiss the Earth with your feet. Bring the Earth your love and happiness. The Earth will be safe when we feel safe in ourselves.

We try to cover up the suffering in us by way of consuming. We turn on the television, we talk on the phone. We get on the internet. We read the pages of a novel… Many of the items we consume every day are highly toxic. Because they are filled with anger, violence, and despair.

When you understand the roots of anger in yourself and in the other, your mind will enjoy true peace, joy and lightness.

You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.

Each time you look at a tangerine, you can see deeply into it. You can see everything in the universe in one tangerine. When you peel it and smell it, it’s wonderful. You can take your time eating a tangerine and be very happy.

Going vegetarian may be the most effective way to fight global warming. Buddhist practitioners have practiced vegeterianism over the last 2000 years. We are vegetarian with the intention to nourish our compassion towards the animals. Now we also know that we eat vegetarian in order to protect the earth.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry, to fear and to hope. The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death of all that is alive.

If you do not give right attention to the one you love, it is a kind of killing. When you are in the car together, if you are lost in your thoughts, assuming you already know everything about her, she will slowly die.

In true dialog, both sides are willing to change.

Life is so precious, yet in our daily lives we are usually carried away by our forgetfulness, anger, and worries, lost in the past, unable to touch life in the present moment. When we are truly alive, everything we do or touch is a miracle. To practice mindfulness is to return to life in the present moment. The practice of the First Precept is a celebration of reverence for life. When we appreciate and honor the beauty of life, we will do everything in our power to protect all life.

My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground on which I stand.

Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. Every breath we take, every step we take, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.

So please smile. Smile with your eyes, not just with your lips.

The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive.

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.

To be loved means to be recognized as existing.

Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.

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