27 Enlightening Quotes From Thich Nhat Hanh
On the Present Moment
"Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment."
"Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future."
"I promise myself that I will enjoy every minute of the day that is given me to live."
"The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms."
"When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love."
"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."
"When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That's the message he is sending."
"People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar."
"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."
"Suffering is not enough. Life is both dreadful and wonderful... How can I smile when I am filled with so much sorrow? It is natural - you need to smile to your sorrow because you are more than your sorrow."
On Acceptance and Letting Go
"To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don't need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself."
"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."
"For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them."
On How Lucky we are to be Alive
"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."
"Because you are alive, everything is possible."
"Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion."
"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"
"Many people think excitement is happiness. But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace."
"Through my love for you, I want to express my love for the whole cosmos, the whole of humanity, and all beings. By living with you, I want to learn to love everyone and all species. If I succeed in loving you, I will be able to love everyone and all species on Earth. This is the real message of love."
"If you love someone but rarely make yourself available to him or her, that is not true love."
"You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free."
"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."
"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."
"Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos - the trees, the clouds, everything."
"The secret of Buddhism is to remove all ideas, all concepts, in order for the truth to have a chance to penetrate, to reveal itself."
"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."
On finding enlightenment
"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."