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75 Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes That Will Enlighten You

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75 Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes That Will Enlighten You

Thich Nhat Hanh is a global spiratual leader, poet and peace activist, revered throughout the world for his powerful teachings on mindfulness and peace.

His key teaching is that, through mindfulness, we can learn to live happily in the present moment—the only way to truly develop peace, both in one’s self and in the world.

Thich Nhat Hanh has published over 100 titles on meditation, mindfulness and Engaged Buddhism, as well as poems, children’s stories, and commentaries on ancient Buddhist texts. He has sold over three million books in America alone, some of the best-known include Being Peace, Peace Is Every Step, The Miracle of Mindfulness, The Art of Power, True Love and Anger.

Martin Luther King called him “An Apostle of peace and nonviolence,” and the media have referred to him as the “The Father of Mindfulness,” “The Other Dalai Lama” and “The Zen Master Who Fills Stadiums.”

There is much wisdom you can learn from the Zen Master on living happy and peaceful life so below I’ve compiled 75 of the most inspiring Thich Nhat Hanh quotes to enlighten you.

75 Inspiring Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes

1. “Look at flowers, butterflies, trees, and children with the eyes of compassion. Compassion will change your life and make it wonderful.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

2. “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

3. “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.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

4. “Our own life has to be our message.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

5. “Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

6. “Enlightenment is growing all the time. It is not something that happens once and is then complete.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

7. “People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child—our own two eyes. All is a miracle.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

8. “Sitting in meditation is nourishment for your spirit and nourishment for your body, as well.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

9. “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.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

10. “It is possible to live happily in the here and now. So many conditions of happiness are available—more than enough for you to be happy right now. You don’t have to run into the future in order to get more.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

11. “The best way to take care of the future is to take care of the present moment.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

12. “No one has ever lived in the past or the future, only the now.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

13. “The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

14. “While you are walking, smile and be in the here and now, and you will transform that place into paradise.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

15. “Yesterday is already gone. Tomorrow is not yet here. Today is the only day available to us; it is the most important day of our lives.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

16. “If you love someone but rarely make yourself available to him or her, that is not true love.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

17. “In true love, you attain freedom.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

18. “When you love someone, the best thing you can offer is your presence. How can you love if you are not there?” – Thich Nhat Hanh

19. “Freedom is not given to us by anyone; we have to cultivate it ourselves. It is a daily practice… No one can prevent you from being aware of each step you take or each breath in and breath out.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

20. “Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

21. “Buddhism teaches that joy and happiness arise from letting go. Please sit down and take an inventory of your life. There are things you’ve been hanging on to that really are not useful and deprive you of your freedom. Find the courage to let them go.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

22. “For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

23. “We need to be aware of the suffering, but retain our clarity, calmness and strength so we can help transform the situation.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

24. “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.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

25. “There are thousands of channels in our consciousness; it is up to us to choose the channel.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

26. “People suffer because they are caught in their views. As soon as we release those views, we are free and we don’t suffer anymore.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

27. “People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

28. “Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

29. “We will be more successful in all our endeavors if we can let go of the habit of running all the time, and take little pauses to relax and re-center ourselves. And we’ll also have a lot more joy in living.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

30. “We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

31. “Every thought you produce, anything you say, any action you do, it bears your signature.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

32. “Fearlessness is not only possible, it is the ultimate joy. When you touch nonfear, you are free.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

33. “In order to heal others, we first need to heal ourselves. And to heal ourselves, we need to know how to deal with ourselves.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

34. “The situation the Earth is in today has been created by unmindful production and unmindful consumption. We consume to forget our worries and our anxieties. Tranquilising ourselves with over-consumption is not the way.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

35. “Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

36. “If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

37. “There is no way to happiness – happiness is the way.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

38. “It’s very important that we re-learn the art of resting and relaxing. Not only does it help prevent the onset of many illnesses that develop through chronic tension and worrying; it allows us to clear our minds, focus, and find creative solutions to problems.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

39. “Let us fill our hearts with our own compassion – towards ourselves and towards all living beings.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

40. “When you learn about the teaching and the practice of another tradition, you always have a chance to understand your own teaching and practice.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

41. “Because you are alive, everything is possible.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

42. “When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

43. “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.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

44. “Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos — the trees, the clouds, everything.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

45. “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.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

46. “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

47. “My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

48. “Our notions about happiness entrap us. We forget that they are just ideas. Our idea of happiness can prevent us from actually being happy. We fail to see the opportunity for joy that is right in front of us when we are caught in a belief that happiness should take a particular form.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

49. “I have the impression that many of us are afraid of silence. We’re always taking in something – text, music, radio, television, or thoughts – to occupy the space. If quiet and space are so important for our happiness, why don’t we make more room for them in our lives?” – Thich Nhat Hanh

50. “The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

51. “The quality of our life depends on what seeds we water in our consciousness.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

52. “We can all practice beginning anew. We can always start over.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

53. “Be yourself. Life is precious as it is. All the elements for your happiness are already here. There is no need to run, strive, search, or struggle. Just be.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

54. “It is my conviction that there is no way to peace – peace is the way.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

55. “Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

56. “You are not an observer, you are a participant.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

57. “If we do not know how to take care of ourselves and to love ourselves, we cannot take care of the people we love. Loving oneself is the foundation for loving another person.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

58. “Anxiety, the illness of our time, comes primarily from our inability to dwell in the present moment.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

59. “Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

60. “Happiness does not come from consumption of things.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

61. “Silence is essential. We need silence, just as much as we need air, just as much as plants need light. If our minds are crowded with words and thoughts, there is no space for us.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

62. “Every morning, when we walk up, we have twenty-four brand new hours to live. What a precious gift! We have the capacity to live in a way that these twenty-four hours will bring peace, joy and happiness to ourselves and others.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

63. “Poison cannot penetrate the hand that is free of wounds.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

64. “If your house is on fire, the most urgent thing to do is to go back and try to put out the fire, not to run after the person you believe to be the arsonist. If you run after the person you suspect has burned your house, your house will burn down while you are chasing him or her. That is not wise. You must go back and put out the fire. So when you are angry, if you continue to interact with or argue with the other person, if you try to punish her, you are acting exactly like someone who runs after the arsonist while everything goes up in flames.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

65. “Love is the capacity to take care, to protect, to nourish. If you are not capable of generating that kind of energy toward yourself – if you are not capable of taking care of yourself, of nourishing yourself, of protecting yourself – it is very difficult to take care of another person. In the Buddhist teaching, it’s clear that to love oneself is the foundation of the love of other people. Love is a practice. Love is truly a practice.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

66. “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.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

67. “In modern society most of us don’t want to be in touch with ourselves; we want to be in touch with other things like religion, sports, politics, a book – we want to forget ourselves. Anytime we have leisure, we want to invite something else to enter us, opening ourselves to the television and telling the television to come and colonize us.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

68. “In order to rally people, governments need enemies. They want us to be afraid, to hate, so we will rally behind them. And if they do not have a real enemy, they will invent one in order to mobilize us.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

69. “Some people live as though they are already dead. There are people moving around us who are consumed by their past, terrified of their future, and stuck in their anger and jealousy. They are not alive; they are just walking corpses.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

70. “I have noticed that people are dealing too much with the negative, with what is wrong… Why not try the other way, to look into the patient and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?” – Thich Nhat Hanh

71. “Don’t do any task in order to get it over with. Resolve to do each job in a relaxed way, with all your attention. Enjoy and be one with your work.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

72. “Doing your best is the surest way to remind those around you to do their best.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

73. “You are a miracle, and everything you touch could be a miracle.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

74. “Smiling is very important. If we are not able to smile, then the world will not have peace.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

75. “There are a number of breathing techniques you can use to make life vivid and more enjoyable. The first exercise is very simple. As you breathe in, you say to yourself, “Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in.” And as you breathe out, say, “Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out.” Just that. You don’t even need to recite the whole sentence; you can use just two words: “In” and “Out.” This technique can help you keep your mind on your breath. As you practice, your breath will become peaceful and gentle, and your mind and body will also become peaceful and gentle. This is not a difficult exercise. In just a few minutes you can realize the fruit of meditation.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

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