Nhat Hanh Quotes

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Thích Nhất Hạnh

Thich Nhat Hanh in Paris in 2006
Religion Thiền Buddhism
School Linji school (Lâm Tế)
Founder of the Order of Interbeing
Lineage 42nd generation (Lâm Tế)
8th generation (Liễu Quán)
Other names Thầy (teacher)
Personal
Born (1926-10-11) October 11, 1926 (age 90)
Huế, Thừa Thiên-Huế Province, Vietnam
Senior posting
Based in Plum Village
Title Thiền Sư
(Zen master)
Religious career
Teacher Thích Chân Thật

Meditation is not to avoid society; it is to look deep to have the kind of insight you need to take action. To think that it is just to sit down and enjoy the calm and peace, is wrong.
Nhat Hanh
In Buddhist culture, offering food to the monk symbolizes the action of goodness, and if you have no opportunity to support the practice of spirituality, then you are somehow left in the realm of darkness.
Nhat Hanh
The practice of peace and reconciliation is one of the most vital and artistic of human actions.
Nhat Hanh
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.
Nhat Hanh
Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
Nhat Hanh
When you have enough understanding and compassion in you, then that amount of understanding and compassion will try to express itself in action. And your practice should help you to cultivate more understanding and compassion.
Nhat Hanh
You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment.
Nhat Hanh
We are looking for happiness and running after it in such a way that creates anger, fear and discrimination. So when you attend a retreat, you have a chance to look at the deep roots of this pollution of the collective energy that is unwholesome.
Nhat Hanh
I think Buddhism should open the door of psychology and healing to penetrate more easily into the Western world.
Nhat Hanh
We have the tendency to run away from suffering and to look for happiness. But, in fact, if you have not suffered, you have no chance to experience real happiness.
Nhat Hanh
Breathing in, I am aware of my heart. Breathing out, I smile to my heart and know that my heart still functions normally. I feel grateful for my heart.
Nhat Hanh
To meditate means to go home to yourself. Then you know how to take care of the things that are happening inside you, and you know how to take care of the things that happen around you.
Nhat Hanh
Many of us have been running all our lives. Practice stopping.
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.
Nhat Hanh
If you abandon the present moment, you cannot live the moments of your daily life deeply.
Nhat Hanh
Happiness is the cessation of suffering.
The happiest moments are when we sit down and we feel the presence of our brothers and sisters, lay and monastic, who are practicing walking and sitting mediation.
Nhat Hanh
Doubt in my tradition is something that is very helpful. Because of doubt, you can thirst more and you will get a higher kind of proof.
Nhat Hanh
I realize that many elements of the Buddhist teaching can be found in Christianity, Judaism, Islam. I think if Buddhism can help, it is the concrete methods of practice.
Nhat Hanh
We really have to understand the person we want to love. If our love is only a will to possess, it is not love. If we only think of ourselves, if we know only our own needs and ignore the needs of the other person, we cannot love.
Nhat Hanh
If you have the chance to be exposed to a loving, understanding environment where the seed of compassion, loving kindness, can be watered every day, then you become a more loving person.
Nhat Hanh
The real power of the Buddha was that he had so much love. He saw people trapped in their notions of small separate self, feeling guilty or proud of that self, and he offered revolutionary teachings that resounded like a lion's roar, like a great rising tide, helping people to wake up and break free from the prison of ignorance.
Nhat Hanh
Mindfulness helps you go home to the present. And every time you go there and recognize a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes.
Nhat Hanh
The purpose of a vacation is to have the time to rest. But many of us, even when we go on vacation, don't know how to rest. We may even come back more tired than before we left.
Nhat Hanh
To be a monk is to have time to practice for your transformation and healing. And after that to help with the transformation and healing of other people.
Nhat Hanh
Everything we touch in our daily lives, including our body, is a miracle. By putting the kingdom of god in the right place, it shows us it is possible to live happily right here, right now.
Nhat Hanh
Many people are alive but don't touch the miracle of being alive.
Meditation is to get insight, to get understanding and compassion, and when you have them, you are compelled to act.
Nhat Hanh
When we give ourselves the chance to let go of all our tension, the body's natural capacity to heal itself can begin to work.
Nhat Hanh
In order to rally people, governments need enemies… if they do not have a real enemy, they will invent one in order to mobilize us.
Nhat Hanh
The practice of peace and reconciliation is one of the most vital and artistic of human actions.
Nhat Hanh
In Buddhism, we talk of meditation as an act of awakening, to be awake to the fact that the earth is in danger and living species are in danger.
Nhat Hanh
If every day you practice walking and sitting meditation and generate the energy of mindfulness and concentration and peace, you are a cell in the body of the new Buddha. This is not a dream but is possible today and tomorrow.
Nhat Hanh
Fear, separation, hate and anger come from the wrong view that you and the Earth are two separate entities, the Earth is only the environment. You are in the centre, and you want to do something for the Earth in order for you to survive.
Nhat Hanh
Science and mindfulness complement each other in helping people to eat well and maintain their health and well-being.
Nhat Hanh
Total relaxation is the secret to enjoying sitting meditation. I sit with my spine upright, but not rigid; and I relax all the muscles in my body.
Nhat Hanh
It's normal for human beings to identify with their own separate self. The problem is that we get caught in that notion of ourself as a separate individual and caught in that individual self's agenda.
Nhat Hanh
Smiling is very important. If we are not able to smile, then the world will not have peace. It is not by going out for a demonstration against nuclear missiles that we can bring about peace. It is with our capacity of smiling, breathing, and being peace that we can make peace.
Nhat Hanh
Love is the capacity to take care, to protect, to nourish.
When I became a novice monk, I lived in a temple where the atmosphere was quite like in a family. The abbot is like a father and other monks are like your big brothers, your small, younger brothers. It is a kind of family.
Nhat Hanh
In true dialogue, both sides are willing to change.
Peace in the world starts with peace in oneself. If everyone lives mindfully, everyone will be more healthy, feel more fulfilled in their daily lives and there will be more peace.
Nhat Hanh
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.
Nhat Hanh
People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?
Nhat Hanh
I love to sit and eat quietly and enjoy each bite, aware of the presence of my community, aware of all the hard and loving work that has gone into my food.
Nhat Hanh
Nothing can be by itself alone, no one can be by himself or herself alone, everyone has to inter-be with every one else. That is why, when you look outside, around you, you can see yourself.
Nhat Hanh
If we chew every morsel of our food, in that way we become grateful, and when you are grateful, you are happy.
Nhat Hanh
Buddhism teaches us not to try to run away from suffering. You have to confront suffering. You have to look deeply into the nature of suffering in order to recognize its cause, the making of the suffering.
Nhat Hanh
True self is non-self, the awareness that the self is made only of non-self elements. There's no separation between self and other, and everything is interconnected.
Nhat Hanh
We humans have lost the wisdom of genuinely resting and relaxing. We worry too much. We don't allow our bodies to heal, and we don't allow our minds and hearts to heal.
Nhat Hanh
With mindfulness, you can establish yourself in the present in order to touch the wonders of life that are available in that moment.
Nhat Hanh
One Buddha is not enough; we need to have many Buddhas.
If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.
Nhat Hanh
Mindfulness practices enhance the connection between our body, our mind and everything else that is around us. Mindful living is the key to understanding our struggles with weight and to empowering us to control our weight.
Nhat Hanh
Anyone who is practicing understanding and compassion can exemplify true power. Anyone can be a Buddha.
Nhat Hanh
Many Communist government officials have a rigid, dictatorial power, but they live in constant suspicion and fear of anything that might undermine the power they have.
Nhat Hanh
Every thought you produce, anything you say, any action you do, it bears your signature.
Nhat Hanh
Usually, people have a tendency to be caught in the worries concerning the future or in the regret concerning the past. There is some kind of energy that is pushing them to run, and they are not able to establish themselves in the present moment.
Nhat Hanh
When we recognise the virtues, the talent, the beauty of Mother Earth, something is born in us, some kind of connection; love is born.
Nhat Hanh
Mother Earth is very talented. She has produced Buddhas, bodhisattvas, great beings.
Nhat Hanh