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Thích Nhất Hạnh

October 11, 1926 Hue, Central Vietnam -
Path: zen buddhism wikipedia
Enlightened: An absolutely sincere student

This page last updated on 9/11/23.

Around us, life bursts with miracles--a glass of water, a ray of sunshine, a leaf, a caterpillar, a flower, laughter, raindrops. If you live in awareness, it is easy to see miracles everywhere. Each human being is a multiplicity of miracles. Eyes that see thousands of colors, shapes, and forms; ears that hear a bee flying or a thunderclap; a brain that ponders a speck of dust as easily as the entire cosmos; a heart that beats in rhythm with the heartbeat of all beings. When we are tired and feel discouraged by life's daily struggles, we may not notice these miracles, but they are always there.

As soon as we pay attention to our breath, as we breathe in, these three things – body, breath, and mind – come together.

As soon as there is stopping, there is happiness. There is peace. When we stop like that, it looks as if nothing is happening, but in fact everything is happening. You are deeply established in the present moment, and you touch your cosmic body. You touch eternity. There is no more restlessness, no more seeking.

Because you are alive, everything is possible.

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

For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.

Happiness exists in many forms, but true happiness doesn’t come from the four objects of craving: sex, power, fame, and wealth. The Buddha described a dog who, when thrown a bare bone, runs after it and chews on it even though there’s no meat on the bone. He doesn’t get any nutrition from the bone, yet he hangs on to it and won’t let go. Our attitude is just like that. Cravings can never bring satisfaction, yet we keep on running after them.

I have arrived. I am home. In the here. In the now. I am solid. I am free. In the ultimate, I dwell.

I promise myself that I will enjoy every minute of the day that is given me to live.

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.

My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground on which I stand.

Our own life has to be our message.

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.

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.

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.

Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible.

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.

The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.

The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.

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.

The true miracle is not walking on water or walking in air, but simply walking on this earth.

The wave does not need to die to become water. She is already water.

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

We are a wave appearing on the surface of the ocean. The body of a wave does not last very long - perhaps only ten to twenty seconds. The wave is subject to beginning and ending, to going up and coming down. The wave may be caught in the idea that ‘I am here now, and I won’t be here later.’ And the wave may feel afraid or even angry. But the wave also has her ocean body. She has come from the ocean, and she will go back to the ocean. She has both her wave body and her ocean body. She is not only a wave; she is also the ocean. The wave does not need to look for a separate ocean body, because she is in this very moment both her wave body and her ocean body. As soon as the wave can go back to herself and touch her true nature, which is water, then all fear and anxiety disappear.

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