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Thich Nhat Hanh quotes page 1

Thich Nhat Hanh was really named Nguyen Xuan Bao. He was born on October 11, 1926 in Vietnam. At a young age, Nhat Hanh entered into the local monastery as a monk, and started to show just how intelligent he was - he officially became a monk in 1949. Afterwards, he was named as the Editor in Chief of the Vietnamese Buddhism. During this time he also started the Van Hahn Buddhist University and School of Youth for Social Service, responsible for going into villages, teaching children and setting up health clinics. During the Vietnam War, Nhat Hanh came to the US to study, and was then given the position to teach at Columbia University. Nhat Hanh kept in touch with efforts in Vietnam and was a public supporter of peace: he went so far as to encourage students to pursue peace among the nation. It was his help with the Paris Peace Accord that earned his exile from Vietnam, which lead to Nhat Hanh staying in France for a year. In 2007, Nhat Hanh was finally able to return to his home country. During his life, Nhat Hanh has written several books and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize: he was nominated by Martin Luther King Jr. He also received the Courage of Conscience in 1991, while continuing to aim for peace, and supporting peace with animals as well. In 2014, Nhat Hanh suffered a brain hemorrhage that is thought to be very severe. However, it seems that Nhat Hanh will make a full recovery from this.

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

We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We know how to sacrifice
ten years for a diploma, and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house,
and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the
only moment there is for us to be alive. Every breath we take, every step we make, can be
filled with peace, joy, and serenity. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.
Thich Nhat Hanh

If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything.
Thich Nhat Hanh

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.
Thich Nhat Hanh

Our own life has to be our message.
Thich Nhat Hanh

The source of a true smile is an awakened mind. How can you remember to smile when you
wake up? You might hang a reminder - such as a branch, a leaf, a painting, or some inspiring
words - in your window or from the ceiling above your bed, so that you notice it when you
wake up. Once you develop the practice of smiling, you may not need a reminder. You will
smile as soon as you hear a bird singing or see the sunlight streaming through the window.
Smiling helps you approach the day with gentleness and understanding.
Thich Nhat Hanh

Every thought you produce, anything you say, any action you do, it bears your signature.
Thich Nhat Hanh

Most of the time, we think too much, and mindful breathing helps us to be calm, relaxed, and
peaceful. It helps us stop thinking so much and stop being possessed by sorrows of the past
and worries about the future.
Thich Nhat Hanh

People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they
prefer suffering that is familiar.
Thich Nhat Hanh

When I was in Vietnam, so many of our villages were being bombed. Along with my monastic
brothers and sisters, I had to decide what to do. Should we continue to practice in our
monasteries, or should we leave the meditation halls in order to help the people who were
suffering under the bombs? After careful reflection, we decided to do both - to go out and
help people and to do so in mindfulness. We called it engaged Buddhism. Mindfulness must be
engaged. Once there is seeing, there must be acting. Otherwise, what is the use of seeing?
Thich Nhat Hanh

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.
Thich Nhat Hanh

There is no enlightenment outside of daily life.
Thich Nhat Hanh

If we do not know how to take care of ourselves and to love ourselves, we cannot take care
of the people we love. Loving oneself is the foundation for loving another person.
Thich Nhat Hanh

For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about
Thich Nhat Hanh

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.
Thich Nhat Hanh

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

The essence of love and compassion is understanding, the ability to recognize the physical,
material, and psychological suffering of others, to put ourselves "inside the skin" of the other.
Thich Nhat Hanh

You are a miracle, and everything you touch could be a miracle.
Thich Nhat Hanh

There are a number of breathing techniques you can use to make life vivid and more 
enjoyable. The first exercise is very simple. As you breathe in, you say to yourself, "Breathing
in, I know that I am breathing in." And as you breathe out, say, "Breathing out, I know that I
am breathing out." Just that. You don't even need to recite the whole sentence; you can use
just two words: "In" and "Out." This technique can help you keep your mind on your breath.
As you practice, your breath will become peaceful and gentle, and your mind and body will
also become peaceful and gentle. This is not a difficult exercise. In just a few minutes you
can realize the fruit of meditation.
Thich Nhat Hanh

At any moment, you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away
from it.
Thich Nhat Hanh

To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don't need to be accepted by others. You need to
accept yourself.
Thich Nhat Hanh

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

Watching a bad TV program, we become the TV program. We are what we feel and perceive.
If we are angry, we are the anger. If we are in love, we are love. If we look at a snow-
covered mountain peak, we are the mountain. We can be anything we want, so why do we
open our windows to bad TV programs made by sensationalist producers in search of easy
money, programs that make our hearts pound, our fists tighten, and leave us exhausted?
Thich Nhat Hanh

Because you are alive, everything is possible.
Thich Nhat Hanh

Smiling is very important. If we are not able to smile, then the world will not have peace.
Thich Nhat Hanh

By eating meat we share the responsibility of climate change, the destruction of our forests,
and the poisoning of our air and water. The simple act of becoming a vegetarian will make a
difference in the health of our planet.
Thich Nhat Hanh

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.
Thich Nhat Hanh

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