Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes 27 Sourced Quotes

Thich Nhat Hanh (born 11 October 1926) is an expatriate Vietnamese Buddhist monk, peace activist, and prolific author in both Vietnamese and English. He is most commonly referred to as Thich Nhat Hanh, in which the Vietnamese title Thích (釋), derived from "Thích Ca" or "Thích Già" (釋迦) and applied to all Vietnamese Buddhist monks and nuns, means "of the Shakya (Shakyamuni Buddha) clan".

Here are 27 real Thich Nhat Hanh quotes ordered by their popularity online. The most quoted quotes on the web appear first. Questionable and fake quotes are excluded. Sources and related information are shown after each quote. We hope you find these quotes useful. If there is anything we can do to improve this article, your feedback is welcome. If you find these quotes helpful, please share them.

1. “If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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Source: Quoted in A Lifetime of Peace : Essential Writings by and About Thich Nhat Hanh (2003) edited by Jennifer Schwamm Willis, p. 141

2. “In order to rally people, governments need enemies. They want us to be afraid, to hate, so we will rally behind them. And if they do not have a real enemy, they will invent one in order to mobilize us.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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Source: Quoted in Engaged Buddhist Reader: Ten Years of Engaged Buddhist Publishing (1996) by Arnold Kotler, p. 106

3. “We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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Source: As quoted in Visions from Earth (2004) by James Miller

4. “Love is the capacity to take care, to protect, to nourish. If you are not capable of generating that kind of energy toward yourself — if you are not capable of taking care of yourself, of nourishing yourself, of protecting yourself — it is very difficult to take care of another person.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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Source: Quoted on his official website (30 December 2008)

5. “The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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Source: Touching Peace (1992), p. 1. Parallax Press ISBN 0-938077-57-0

6. “The present moment contains past and future. The secret of transformation, is in the way we handle this very moment.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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Source: Understanding Our Mind (2006) Parallax Press ISBN 978-81-7223-796-7

7. “Freedom from suffering is a great happiness.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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Source: Old Path White Clouds : Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha (1991) Parallax Press ISBN 81-216-0675-6

8. “If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. If we really know how to live, what better way to start the day than with a smile? Our smile affirms our awareness and determination to live in peace and joy. The source of a true smile is an awakened mind.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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Source: Peace Is Every Step : The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life (1992) Bantam reissue ISBN 0553351397

9. “Reality is reality. It transcends every concept. There is no concept which can adequately describe it, not even the concept of interdependence.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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Source: The Miracle of Mindfulness (1999)

10. “Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the whole earth revolves—slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment. Only this actual moment is life.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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Source: The Miracle of Mindfulness (1999)

11. “You are a miracle, and everything you touch could be a miracle.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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Source: Episode of the National Public Radio program Speaking of Faith : "Brother Thay: A Radio Pilgrimage with Thich Nhat Hanh" (2003)

12. “When you understand the roots of anger in yourself and in the other, your mind will enjoy true peace, joy and lightness”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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Source: Teachings on Love (2005) Full Circle Publishing ISBN 81-7621-167-2

13. “When you feel anger arising, remember to return to your breathing and follow it. The other person may see that you are practicing, and she may even apologize.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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Source: Teachings on Love (2005) Full Circle Publishing ISBN 81-7621-167-2

14. “Your first love has no beginning or end. Your first love is not your first love, and it is not your last. It is just love. It is one with everything.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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Source: Cultivating the Mind of Love (2005) Full Circle Publishing ISBN 81-216-0676-4

15. “The quality of our life depends on the quality of the seeds that lie deep in our consciousness.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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Source: Understanding Our Mind (2006) Parallax Press ISBN 978-81-7223-796-7

16. “Seeds can produce seeds Seeds can produce formations. Formations can produce seeds. Formations can produce formations.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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Source: Understanding Our Mind (2006) Parallax Press ISBN 978-81-7223-796-7

17. “One included all, and all were contained in one.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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Source: Old Path White Clouds : Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha (1991) Parallax Press ISBN 81-216-0675-6

18. “The leaf and his body were one. Neither possessed a separate permanent self. Neither could exist independently from the rest of the universe.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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Hanh, Thich Nhat. “Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes: 27 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/thich-nhat-hanh-quotes.html#18

Source: Old Path White Clouds : Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha (1991)

19. “Contemplating the bowl, it is possible to see the interdependent elements which give rise to the bowl.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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Source: Old Path White Clouds : Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha (1991) Parallax Press ISBN 81-216-0675-6

20. “The Buddha also counseled the monks and nuns to avoid wasting any precious time by engaging in idle conversation, oversleeping, pursuing fame and recognition, chasing after desires, spending time with people of poor character, and being satisfied with only a shallow understanding of the teaching.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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Source: Old Path White Clouds : Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha (1991) Parallax Press ISBN 81-216-0675-6

21. “The same clouds that Buddha had seen were in the sky. Each serene step brought to life the old path and white clouds of the Buddha. The path of Buddha was beneath his very feet.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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Source: Old Path White Clouds : Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha (1991) Parallax Press ISBN 81-216-0675-6

22. “Venerable Svasti and the young buffalo boys were rivers that flowed from that source. Wherever the rivers flowed, the Buddha would be there.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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Source: Old Path White Clouds : Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha (1991) Parallax Press ISBN 81-216-0675-6

23. “To think in terms of either pessimism or optimism oversimplifies the truth. The problem is to see reality as it is. A pessimistic attitude can never create the calm and serene smile which blossoms on the lips of Bodhisattvas and all those who obtain the way.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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Source: The Miracle of Mindfulness (1999)

24. “It's wonderful to be alive and to walk on earth.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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Source: Talk at Stonehill College (2002)

25. “Your true home is in the here and the now. It is not limited by time, space, nationality, or race. Your true home is not an abstract idea. It is something you can touch and live in every moment. With mindfulness and concentration, the energies of the Buddha, you can find your true home in the full relaxation of your mind and body in the present moment. No one can take it away from you. Other people can occupy your country, they can even put you in prison, but they cannot take away your true home and your freedom.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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Source: Nhat Hanh, Thich, "Returning Home", Shambhala Sun (March 2006)

26. “Going vegetarian may be the most effective way to fight global warming. Buddhist practitioners have practiced vegeterianism over the last 2000 years. We are vegetarian with the intention to nourish our compassion towards the animals. Now we also know that we eat vegetarian in order to protect the earth...”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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Source: Nhat Hanh, Thich, "Letter from Thay", Blue Cliff Monastery (12 October 2007)

27. “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.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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Source: Being Peace (2005) ‎

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