If you want to hear (or read) some great words on mindfulness, then you’ve come to the right place.
Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist who is known for his devotion to finding nonviolent solutions to various conflicts. He has traveled broadly to give retreats and address talks about peace and spiritual values. He also abstains from eating animal products (veganism) as a means of nonviolence towards animals.
Aside from practicing meditation, Nhat Hanh has written and published more than 100 books. In his book Vietnam: Lotus in a Sea of Fire, he coined the term “Engaged Buddhism.”
He also established a voluntary organization which rendered healthcare services, education, and enhanced local infrastructure in rural areas in Vietnam.
In his honor, below is our compilation of the most inspirational and profound Thich Nhat Hanh quotes and sayings to lighten up your day.
Table of Contents
Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes About Life
1. “If you truly get in touch with a piece of carrot, you get in touch with the soil, the rain, the sunshine. You get in touch with Mother Earth and eating in such a way, you feel in touch with true life, your roots, and that is meditation. If we chew every morsel of our food in that way we become grateful and when you are grateful, you are happy.”
2. “Civilisations have been destroyed many times, and this civilization is no different. It can be destroyed. We can think of time in terms of millions of years and life will resume little by little. The cosmos operates for us very urgently, but geological time is different.”
3. “Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.”
4. “People sacrifice the present for the future. But life is available only in the present. That is why we should walk in such a way that every step can bring us to the here and the now.”
5. “Most of us experience a life full of wonderful moments and difficult moments. But for many of us, even when we are most joyful, there is fear behind our joy.”
6. “When you look at the sun during your walking meditation, the mindfulness of the body helps you to see that the sun is in you; without the sun there is no life at all and suddenly you get in touch with the sun in a different way.”
7. “In the past there were people who were not rich but contented with their living style, laughing and happy all day. But when the new rich people appear, people look at them and ask, ‘why don’t I have a life like that too, a beautiful house, car and garden,’ and they abandon their values.”
Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes About Love
1. “We can continue to learn generation after generation and now is time to begin to learn how to love in a non-discriminatory way because we are intelligent enough, but we are not loving enough as a species.”
2. “When we recognize the virtues, the talent, the beauty of Mother Earth, something is born in us, some kind of connection, love is born.”
3. “When you love someone, the best thing you can offer is your presence. How can you love if you are not there?”
4. “With compassion you can die for other people, like the mother who can die for her child. You have the courage to say it because you are not afraid of losing anything because you know that understanding and love is the foundation of happiness. But if you have fear of losing your status, your position, you will not have the courage to do it.”
Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes About Hope
1. “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.”
2. “You accept that this civilization could be abolished and life will begin later on after a few thousand years because that is something that has happened in the history of this planet. When you have peace in yourself and accept, then you are calm enough to do something, but if you are carried by despair there is no hope.”
Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes About Peace
1. “When we have peace, then we have a chance to save the planet. But if we are not united in peace, if we do not practice mindful consumption, we cannot save our planet.”
2. “Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, More Quotes And Sayings
1. “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.”
2. “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.”
3. “In order to heal others, we first need to heal ourselves. And to heal ourselves, we need to know how to deal with ourselves.”
4. “Meditation can help us embrace our worries, our fear, our anger; and that is very healing. We let our own natural capacity of healing do the work.”
5. “If you have the insight of non-self, if you have the insight of impermanence, you should make that insight into a concentration that you keep alive throughout the day. Then what you say, what you think, and what you do will then be in the light of that wisdom and you will avoid making mistakes and creating suffering.”
6. “Enlightenment is always there. Small enlightenment will bring great enlightenment. If you breathe in and are aware that you are alive – that you can touch the miracle of being alive – then that is a kind of enlightenment.”
7. “Fearlessness is not only possible, it is the ultimate joy. When you touch non-fear, you are free.”
8. “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.”
9. “If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace.”
10. “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. Tranquilizing ourselves with over-consumption is not the way.”
11. “You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment. In that insight of inter-being, it is possible to have real communication with the Earth, which is the highest form of prayer.”
12. “Let us fill our hearts with our own compassion – towards ourselves and towards all living beings.”
13. “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.”
14. “There are many levels of Christianity. There are many notions about God. To believe that God is a person is just one of the notions of God that you can find in Christianity. So, we should not say that there is one Christianity. There are many Christianities.”
15. “Anger is like a storm rising up from the bottom of your consciousness. When you feel it coming, turn your focus to your breath.”
16. “There are many, many Christians who practice Buddhism, and they become better and better Christians all the time.”
17. “There is no way to happiness – happiness is the way.”
18. “People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”
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.”
20. “If you can feel that Mother Earth is in you, and you are Mother Earth, then you are not any longer afraid to die because the earth is not dying. Like a wave appears and disappears and appears again.”
21. “We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.”
22. “You are a child of the sun, you come from the sun, and that is something true with the Earth also… your relationship with the Earth is so deep, and the Earth is in you and this is something not very difficult, much less difficult then philosophy.”
23. “When you learn about the teaching and the practice of another tradition, you always have a chance to understand your own teaching and practice.”
If you want to know more about his works and writings, we would suggest you read The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation by Thich Nhat Hanh himself.
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