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

Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.

I am determined to practice deep listening. I am determined to practice loving speech.

If we are not happy, if we are not peaceful, we cannot share peace and happiness with others, even those we love, those who live under the same roof. If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace.

In April we cannot see sunflowers in France, so we say the sunflowers do not exist. But the local farmers have already planted thousands of seeds and when they look at the bare hills they may be able to see the sunflowers already. The sunflowers are there. They lack only the conditions of sun, heat, rain, and July. Just because we cannot see them does not mean they do not exist.

It's wonderful to be alive and to walk on earth.

May I be peaceful and light in my body and in my mind. May I be safe and free from accidents. May I be free from anger, and unwholesome states of mind (fears and worries). May I know how to look at myself with the eyes of understanding and compassion. May I be able to recognize and touch the seeds of joy and happiness in myself. May I learn how to nourish myself with joy each day. May I be able to live fresh, solid and free. May I not fall into states of indifference or be caught in the extremes of attachment and aversion.

Our smile affirms our awareness and determination to live in peace and joy.

Reality is reality. It transcends every concept. There is no concept which can adequately describe it, not even the concept of interdependence.

The Buddha began with the idea of non-self, really a reaction against His time. But many Buddhists think that non-self… is the basis of all truth. In this, they are considering a means to be an end, a raft to be the shore, the finger pointing to be the moon.

The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.

There is no enlightenment outside of daily life.

True love is without possessiveness. You love and still you are free, and the other person is also free.

We may think of peace as the absence of war, that if the great powers would reduce their weapons arsenals, we could have peace. But if we look deeply into the weapons, we will see our own minds - our own prejudices, fears, and ignorance.

When we walk like (we are running), we print anxiety and sorrow on the earth. We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the earth... Be aware of the contact between your feet and the earth. Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.

You are not an observer, you are a participant.

Continue until you see yourself in the cruelest person on Earth, in the child starving, in the political prisoner. practice until you recognize yourself in everyone in the supermarket, on the street corner, in a concentration camp, on a leaf, in a dewdrop. Meditate until you see yourself in a speck of dust in a distant galaxy. See and listen with the whole of your being. If you are fully present, the rain of Dharma will water the deepest seeds in your store consciousness, and tomorrow, while you are washing the dishes or looking at the blue sky, that seed will spring forth, and love and understanding will appear as a beautiful flower.

Feelings, whether of compassion or irritation, should be welcomed, recognized, and treated on an absolutely equal basis; because both are ourselves. The tangerine I am eating is me. The mustard greens I am planting are me. I plant with all my heart and mind. Nothing should be treated more carefully than anything else. In mindfulness, compassion, irritation, mustard green plant, and teapot are all sacred.

I am inviting you to go deeper, to learn and to practice so that you become someone who has a great capacity for being solid, calm, and without fear, because our society needs people like you who have these qualities, and your children, our children, need people like you, in order to go on, in order to become solid, and calm, and without fear.

If we are not peaceful, if we are not feeling well in our skin, we cannot demonstrate real peace, and we cannot raise our children well either.

In mindfulness one is not only restful and happy, but alert and awake. Meditation is not evasion; it is a serene encounter with reality.

Just Be.

May our heart's garden of awakening bloom with hundreds of flowers.

Our smile will bring happiness to us and to those around us. Even if we spend a lot of money on gifts for everyone in our family, nothing we buy could give them as much happiness as the gift of our awareness, our smile. And this precious gift costs nothing. At the end of a retreat in California, a friend wrote this poem: I have lost my smile, but don't worry. The dandelion has it. If you have lost your smile and yet are still capable of seeing that a dandelion is keeping it for you, the situation is not too bad. You still have enough mindfulness to see that the smile is there. You only need to breathe consciously one or two times and you will recover your smile. The dandelion is one member of your community of friends. It is there, quite faithful, keeping your smile for you.

Reconciliation is to understand both sides; to go to one side and describe the suffering being endured by the other side, and then go to the other side and describe the suffering being endured by the first side.

The Buddha called suffering a holy truth, because our suffering has the capacity of showing us the path to liberation. Embrace your suffering and let it reveal to you the way to peace.

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