Thich Nhat Hanh quotes

Thich Nhat Hanh photo
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Thich Nhat Hanh

Birthdate: 11. October 1926

Thích Nhất Hạnh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist.

Thích Nhất Hạnh lives in Plum Village in southwest France, travelling internationally to give retreats and talks. He coined the term "Engaged Buddhism" in his book Vietnam: Lotus in a Sea of Fire. After a long term of exile, he was given permission to make his first return trip to Vietnam in 2005.

Nhất Hạnh has published more than 100 books, including more than 40 in English. He is active in the peace movement, promoting nonviolent solutions to conflict and he also refrains from animal product consumption as a means of nonviolence towards non-human animals.

Quotes Thich Nhat Hanh

„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, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

Source: Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

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

—  Thich Nhat Hanh, Stepping into Freedom: Rules of Monastic Practice for Novices

Source: Stepping into Freedom: Rules of Monastic Practice for Novices

„Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.“

—  Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

Source: Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

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„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, The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation

Source: The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation

„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, The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation

Source: The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation

„My actions are my only true belongings.“

—  Thich Nhat Hanh, Understanding Our Mind: 50 Verses on Buddhist Psychology

Source: Understanding Our Mind: 50 Verses on Buddhist Psychology

„Without the sun, no living being could survive. Without sun, water, air, and soil, there would be no vegetables. The vegetables are the coming-together of many conditions near and far.“

—  Thich Nhat Hanh

The Sun My Heart (1996)
Context: We have to remember that our body is not limited to what lies within the boundary of our skin. Our body is much more immense. We know that if our heart stops beating, the flow of our life will stop, but we do not take the time to notice the many things outside of our bodies that are equally essential for our survival. If the ozone layer around our Earth were to disappear for even an instant, we would die. If the sun were to stop shining, the flow of our life would stop. The sun is our second heart, our heart outside of our body. It gives all life on Earth the warmth necessary for existence. Plants live thanks to the sun. Their leaves absorb the sun's energy, along with carbon dioxide from the air, to produce food for the tree, the flower, the plankton. And thanks to plants, we and other animals can live. All of us—people, animals, plants, and minerals—"consume" the sun, directly and indirectly. We cannot begin to describe all the effects of the sun, that great heart outside of our body.
When we look at green vegetables, we should know that it is the sun that is green and not just the vegetables. The green color in the leaves of the vegetables is due to the presence of the sun. Without the sun, no living being could survive. Without sun, water, air, and soil, there would be no vegetables. The vegetables are the coming-together of many conditions near and far.

„We are like sleepwalkers, not knowing what we are doing or where we are heading. Whether we can wake up or not depends on whether we can walk mindfully on our Mother Earth. The future of all life, including our own, depends on our mindful steps.“

—  Thich Nhat Hanh

The statement "The future of all life, including our own, depends on our mindful steps." and much of the theme of this essay also occur later in his writings, including The World We Have : A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology (2008), Ch. 1 : The Bells of Mindfulness, p. 3
The Sun My Heart (1996)
Context: All life is impermanent. We are all children of the Earth, and, at some time, she will take us back to herself again. We are continually arising from Mother Earth, being nurtured by her, and then returning to her. Like us, plants are born, live for a period of time, and then return to the Earth. When they decompose, they fertilize our gardens. Living vegetables and decomposing vegetables are part of the same reality. Without one, the other cannot be. After six months, compost becomes fresh vegetables again. Plants and the Earth rely on each other. Whether the Earth is fresh, beautiful, and green, or arid and parched depends on the plants.
It also depends on us. Our way of walking on the Earth has a great influence on animals and plants. We have killed so many animals and plants and destroyed their environments. Many are now extinct. In turn, our environment is now harming us. We are like sleepwalkers, not knowing what we are doing or where we are heading. Whether we can wake up or not depends on whether we can walk mindfully on our Mother Earth. The future of all life, including our own, depends on our mindful steps.

„Children understand very well that in each woman, in each man, in each child, there is capacity of waking up, of understanding, and of loving.“

—  Thich Nhat Hanh

Being Peace (2005)
Context: Children understand very well that in each woman, in each man, in each child, there is capacity of waking up, of understanding, and of loving. Many children have told me that they cannot show me anyone who does not have this capacity. Some people allow it to develop, and some do not, but everyone has it. This capacity of waking up, of being aware of what is going on in your feelings, in your body, in your perceptions, in the world, is called Buddha nature, the capacity of understanding and loving. 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.

„If the sun were to stop shining, the flow of our life would stop. The sun is our second heart, our heart outside of our body. It gives all life on Earth the warmth necessary for existence.“

—  Thich Nhat Hanh

The Sun My Heart (1996)
Context: We have to remember that our body is not limited to what lies within the boundary of our skin. Our body is much more immense. We know that if our heart stops beating, the flow of our life will stop, but we do not take the time to notice the many things outside of our bodies that are equally essential for our survival. If the ozone layer around our Earth were to disappear for even an instant, we would die. If the sun were to stop shining, the flow of our life would stop. The sun is our second heart, our heart outside of our body. It gives all life on Earth the warmth necessary for existence. Plants live thanks to the sun. Their leaves absorb the sun's energy, along with carbon dioxide from the air, to produce food for the tree, the flower, the plankton. And thanks to plants, we and other animals can live. All of us—people, animals, plants, and minerals—"consume" the sun, directly and indirectly. We cannot begin to describe all the effects of the sun, that great heart outside of our body.
When we look at green vegetables, we should know that it is the sun that is green and not just the vegetables. The green color in the leaves of the vegetables is due to the presence of the sun. Without the sun, no living being could survive. Without sun, water, air, and soil, there would be no vegetables. The vegetables are the coming-together of many conditions near and far.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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