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

Our own life has to be our message.

Please don't wait until the doctors tell you that you are going to have a baby to begin to take care of it. It is already there. Whatever you are, whatever you do, your baby will get it. Anything you eat, any worries that are on your mind will be for him or her. Can you tell me that you cannot smile? Think of the baby, and smile for him, for her, for the future generations. Please don't tell me that a smile and your sorrow just don't go together. It's your sorrow, but what about your baby? It's not his sorrow, it’s not her sorrow.

The amount of happiness that you have depends on the amount of freedom you have in your heart.

The practice of peace and reconciliation is one of the most vital and artistic of human actions.

There is a Boddhisattva, whose name is Avalokitesvara, in Vietnamise we call her Quan The Âm, in Chinese, Quan Yin. It means: 'Listening deeply to the sound of the cries of the world'. And listening deeply is the practice of mindfulness. But if you are full of pain, full of anxiety, full of projections, and especially full of prejudices, full of ideas and notions, it may be very difficult for you to practice deep listening. You are too full. And that is why to practice in order for you to have space, to have freedom within, to have some joy within is very important for deep listening. Avalokitesvara, Quan Yin, she practices deep listening to herself, and to the world, outside. She practices touching with her ears.

Training is needed in order to love properly; and to be able to give happiness and joy, you must practice DEEP LOOKING directed toward the other person you love. Because if you do not understand this person, you cannot love properly. Understanding is the essence of love. If you cannot understand, you cannot love. That is the message of the Buddha. --

We have to continue to learn. We have to be open. And we have to be ready to release our knowledge in order to come to a higher understanding of reality.

When we come into contact with the other person, our thoughts and actions should express our mind of compassion, even if that person says and does things that are not easy to accept. We practice in this way until we see clearly that our love is not contingent upon the other person being lovable.

You are like fireworks. You go out into your children, your friends, your society, and the whole world.

Every thought you produce, anything you say, any action you do, it bears your signature.

I am breathing in and liberating my mind. I am breathing out and liberating my mind. One practices like this.

If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything.

If you touch the phenomenal realm deeply, you touch the ultimate realm which is the realm of no birth and no death. The ultimate is nirvana, it is God, and it is available to us twenty four hours a day.

It never helps to draw a line and dismiss some people as enemies, even those who act violently. We have to approach them with love in our hearts and do our best to help them move in a direction of nonviolence. If we work for peace out of anger, we will never succeed. Peace is not an end. It can never come about through non-peaceful means.

Many people think excitement is happiness... But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.

Our own life is the instrument with which we experiment with the truth.

Preventing war is much better than protesting against the war. Protesting the war is too late.

The Buddha also counseled the monks and nuns to avoid wasting any precious time by engaging in idle conversation, oversleeping, pursuing fame and recognition, chasing after desires, spending time with people of poor character, and being satisfied with only a shallow understanding of the teaching.

The present moment contains past and future. The secret of transformation is in the way we handle this very moment.

There is no birth, there is no death; there is no coming, there is no going; there is no same, there is no different; there is no permanent self, there is no annihilation. We only think there is.

True love always brings joy to ourselves and to the one we love. If our love does not bring joy to both of us, it is not true love.

We have to learn to die in every moment in order to be fully alive.

When we speak, we want to say something sweet, but we don’t say something sweet because something is ordering us from deep down to say something unkind. We want to open our hearts to people, but we can’t do it, because we are being ordered around by the sufferings we have concealed deep in our consciousness.

You are me and I am you. It is obvious that we are inter-are. You cultivate the flower in yourself so that I will be beautiful. I transform the garbage in myself so that you do not have to suffer. I support you, you support me. I am here to bring you peace. You are here to bring me joy.

Contemplating the bowl, it is possible to see the interdependent elements which give rise to the bowl.

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