Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes about Happiness : Current School News

Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes about Happiness

Filed in Articles, Quote by on April 18, 2022

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– Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes –

If you’re looking for uplifting and enlightening quotes, Thich Nhat Hanh quotes are the surest ones to go to. This compilation of Thich Nhat Hanh quotes will take you through a journey of self discovery.

Thich Nhat Hanh was a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, peace activist, and the founder of the Plum Village Tradition—a school of Buddhism in France—who died in 2022 at the age of 92. Thich Nhat Hanh began his journey to become a monk in Vietnam at the age of 16. Over the course of his life, the Zen master published over 100 books in English.

The accomplished author also studied comparative religion at Princeton University before being appointed as a Buddhist lecturer at Columbia University. All of this is to say that, despite his success, his message of mindfulness and peace has remained consistent. This is clear from his books and the 50 quotes you’re about to read.

Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes on the Present

Being a Buddhist and going through so many phases of self discovery, Thich Nhat Hanh had grown into a wise old man. These are some of his sayings.

1. “Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.”

2. “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.”

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

4. “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.”

5. “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.”

6. “Peace can exist only in the present moment. It is ridiculous to say “Wait until I finish this, then I will be free to live in peace.” What is “this”? A di­ploma, a job, a house, the payment of a debt? If you think that way, peace will never come. There is always another “this” that will follow the present one. If you are not living in peace at this moment, you will never be able to. If you truly want to be at peace, you must be at peace right now. Otherwise, there is only “the hope of peace some day.”

7. “Each time you look at a tangerine, you can see deeply into it. You can see everything in the universe in one tangerine. When you peel it and smell it, it’s wonderful. You can take your time eating a tangerine and be very happy.”

8. “I will practice coming back to the present moment…not letting regrets and sorrow drag me back into the past or letting anxieties, fears, or cravings pull me out…”

9. “The present moment is the substance with which the future is made. Therefore, the best way to take care of the future is to take care of the present moment. What else can you do?”

Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes on Suffering

10. “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.”

11. “People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”

12. “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 quotes

13. “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.”

14. “Most people are afraid of suffering. But suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower of happiness grow. There can be no lotus flower without the mud.”

Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes on Acceptance 

15. “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”

16. “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.”

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

18. “Take my hand. We will walk. We will only walk. We will enjoy our walk without thinking of arriving anywhere.”

19. “The raft is used to cross the river. It isn’t to be carried around on your shoulders. The finger which points at the moon isn’t the moon itself.”

On How Lucky We are to Be Alive

20. “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.”

21. “Because you are alive, everything is possible.”

22. “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.”

23. “Life is a miracle, and being aware of simply this can already make us very happy.”

24. “Birth is okay and death is okay, if we know that they are only concepts in our mind. Reality transcends both birth and death.”

25. “Everyday 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 Quotes on Understanding

26. “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”

Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes on Happiness

27. “Many people think excitement is happiness…. But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.”

28. “Without suffering, there’s no happiness. So we shouldn’t discriminate against the mud. We have to learn how to embrace and cradle our own suffering and the suffering of the world, with a lot of tenderness.”

29. “Mindfulness helps you go home to the present. And every time you go there and recognize a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes”

thich nhat hanh quotes

Quotes on Love

30. “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.”

31. “If you love someone but rarely make yourself available to him or her, that is not true love.”

32. “You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.”

33. “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.”

34. “Love needs to be nurtured and fed to survive; and our suffering also survives because we enable and feed it. We ruminate on suffering, regret, and sorrow. We chew on them, swallow them, bring them back up, and eat them again and again. If we’re feeding our suffering while we’re walking, working, eating, or talking, we are making ourselves victims of the ghosts of the past, of the future, or our worries in the present. We’re not living our lives.”

35. “A true partner or friend is one who encourages you to look deep inside yourself for the beauty and love you’ve been seeking.”

36. “In true love, there is no pride.”

Quotes on Hope

37. “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.”

38. “Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos — the trees, the clouds, everything.”

39. “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.”

40. “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.

Quotes on Your Breath

41. “You have to learn how to help a wounded child while still practicing mindful breathing. You should not allow yourself to get lost in action. Action should be meditation at the same time.”

42. “Breathing in, I’m aware of the painful feeling in me. Breathing out, I’m aware of the painful feeling in me.” This is an art. We have to learn it, because most of us don’t like to be with our pain. We’re afraid of being overwhelmed by the pain, so we always seek to run away from it. There’s loneliness, fear, anger, and despair in us. Mostly we try to cover it up by consuming.

There are those of us who go and look for something to eat. Others turn on the television. In fact, many people do both at the same time. And even if the TV program isn’t interesting at all, we don’t have the courage to turn it off, because if we turn it off, we have to go back to ourselves and encounter the pain inside. The marketplace provides us with many items to help us in our effort to avoid the suffering inside.”

43. “Just by breathing deeply on your anger, you will calm it. You are being mindful of your anger, not suppressing it…touching it with the energy of mindfulness. You are not denying it at all. When I speak about this to psychotherapists, I have some difficulty. When I say that anger makes us suffer, they take it to mean that anger is something negative to be removed. But I always say that anger is an organic thing, like love. Anger can become love. Our compost can become a rose. If we know how to take care of our compost…Anger is the same. It can be negative when we do not know how to handle it, but if we know how to handle our anger, it can be very positive. We do not need to throw anything away,”

Quotes on Non-Violence

44. “Anyone can practice some nonviolence, even soldiers. Some army generals, for example, conduct their operations in ways that avoid killing innocent people; this is a kind of nonviolence. To help soldiers move in the nonviolent direction, we have to be in touch with them. If we divide reality into two camps – the violent and the nonviolent – and stand in one camp while attacking the other, the world will never have peace. We will always blame and condemn those we feel are responsible for wars and social injustice, without recognizing the degree of violence in ourselves. We must work on ourselves and also with those we condemn if we want to have a real impact.

It never helps to draw a line and dismiss some people as enemies, even those who act violently. We have to approach them with love in our hearts and do our best to help them move in a direction of nonviolence. If we work for peace out of anger, we will never succeed. Peace is not an end. It can never come about through non-peaceful means.”

45. “Nonviolent action, born of the awareness of suffering and nurtured by love, is the most effective way to confront adversity.”

Quotes on the Real You

46. “What you are looking for is already in you…You already are everything you are seeking.”

47. “Be Yourself. Life is precious as it is. All the elements for your happiness are already here. There is no need to run, strive, search, or struggle. Just Be.”

48. “Your purpose is to be yourself. You don’t have to run anywhere to become someone else. You are wonderful just as you are.”

49. “Life is available only in the present. That is why we should walk in such a way that every step can bring us to the here and the now.”

50. “‎The earth is so beautiful. We are beautiful also. We can allow ourselves to walk mindfully, touching the earth, our wonderful mother, with each step. We don’t need to wish our friends, ‘Peace be with you.’ Peace is already with them. We only need to help them cultivate the habit of touching peace in each moment.”

51. “If a child smiles, if an adult smiles, that is very important. If in our daily lives 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.”

Quotes on Work

52. “Don’t do any task in order to get it over with. Resolve to do each job in a relaxed way, with all your attention. Enjoy and be one with your work.”

53. “You do not need to waste your time doing those things that are unnecessary and trifling. You do not have to be rich. You do not need to seek fame or power. What you need is freedom, solidity, peace and joy. You need the time and energy to be able to share these things with others.”

Quotes on Taking Care of Ourselves

54. “To take good care of ourselves, we must go back and take care of the wounded child inside of us. You have to practice going back to your wounded child every day. You have to embrace him or her terderly, like a big brother or a big sister. You have to talk to him, talk to her. And you can write a letter to the Little child in you, of two or three pages, to that you recognize his or her presence, and will do everything you can to heal his or her wounds.”

55. “If you do not know how to take care of yourself, and the violence in you, then you will not be able to take care of others. You must have love and patience before you can truly listen to your partner or child. If you are irritated you cannot listen. You have to know how to breath mindfully, embrace your irritation and transform it. Offer ONLY understand and compassion to your partner or child – This is the true practice of love.”

56. “The bad things, don’t do them.

The good things, try to do them.

Try to purify, subdue your own mind.

That is the teaching of all buddhas.”

Quotes on Anger

57. “When you look deeply into your anger, you will see that the person you call your enemy is also suffering. As soon as you see that, the capacity of accepting and having compassion for them is there.”

58. “When a person’s speech is full of anger, it is because he or she suffers deeply.”

59.  “Impermanence and selflessness are not negative aspect of life, but the very foundation on which life is built. Impermanence is the constant transformation of things. Without impermanence, there can be no life. Selflessness is the interdependent nature of all things. Without interdependence, nothing could exist.”

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

61. “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.”

62. “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”

63. “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.”

64. “People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”

65. “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.”

66. “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”

Quotes on Health

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

68. “Because you are alive, everything is possible.”

69. “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.”

70. “Smile, breathe and go slowly.”

71. “Many people think excitement is happiness…. But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.”

72. “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.”

73. “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.”

74. “You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.”

75. “Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.”

76. “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 Quotes on Smiling

77. “If you love someone but rarely make yourself available to him or her, that is not true love.”

78. “My actions are my only true belongings.”

79. “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.”

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

81. “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.”

82. “Our own life has to be our message.”

83. “The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it. (21)”

84. “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.”

85. “We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.”

86. “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.”

87. “Life is available only in the present moment.”

Quotes on Enjoying Life

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

89. “You are what you want to become. Why search anymore? You are a wonderful manifestation. The whole universe has come together to make your existence possible. There is nothing that is not you. The kingdom of God, the Pure Land, nirvana, happiness, and liberation are all you.”

90. “People normally cut reality into compartments, and so are unable to see the interdependence of all phenomena. To see one in all and all in one is to break through the great barrier which narrows one’s perception of reality.”

91. “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.”

92. “Some people live as though they are already dead. There are people moving around us who are consumed by their past, terrified of their future, and stuck in their anger and jealousy. They are not alive; they are just walking corpses.”

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Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes on Walking

93. “If you love someone but rarely make yourself available to him or her, that is not true love.”

94. “Because you are alive, everything is possible.”

95. “You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.”

96. “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.”

97. “When you love someone, the best thing you can offer is your presence. How can you love if you are not there?”

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

Quotes on Being Alive

99. “Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive.”

100. “We all have the seeds of love in us.We can develop this wonderful source of energy, nurturing the unconditional love that does not expect anything in return.”

101. “To be loved means to be recognized as existing.”

102. “We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma, and we are willing to work 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.”

103. “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.”

104. “Compassionate listening is to help the other side suffer less. If we realize that other people are the same people as we are, we are no longer angry at them.”

105. “There is the mud, and there is the lotus that grows out of the mud. We need the mud in order to make the lotus.”

106. “The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.”

Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes on Peace

107. “As we cultivate peace and happiness in ourselves, we also nourish peace and happiness in those we love.”

108. “People suffer because they are caught in their views. As soon as we release those views, we are free and we don’t suffer anymore.”

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

110. “People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”

111. “The way you speak to others can offer them joy, happiness, self-confidence, hope, trust, and enlightenment. Mindful speaking is a deep practice.”

112. “Your anger is like a flower. In the beginning you may not understand the nature of your anger, or why it has come up. But if you know how to embrace it with the energy of mindfulness, it will begin to open. You may be sitting, following your breathing, or you may be practicing walking meditation to generate the energy of mindfulness and embrace your anger. After ten or twenty minutes your anger will have to open herself to you, and suddenly, you will see the true nature of your anger. It may have arisen just because of a wrong perception or the lack of skillfulness.”

Quotes on Enlightenment

113. “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”

114. “If you truly get in touch with a piece of carrot, you get in touch with the soil, the rain, the sunshine. You get in touch with Mother Earth and eating in such a way, you feel in touch with true life, your roots, and ‣ that is meditation. If we chew every morsel of our food in that way we become grateful and when you are grateful, you are happy.”

115. “Be Yourself. Life is precious as it is. All the elements for your happiness are already here. There is no need to run, strive, search, or struggle. Just Be.”

116. “If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything.”

117. “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.”

118. “There are many ways to calm a negative energy without suppressing or fighting it. You recognize it, you smile to it, and you invite something nicer to come up and replace it; you read some inspiring words, you listen to a piece of beautiful music, you go somewhere in nature, or you do some walking meditation.”

We are sure that going through these Thich Nhat Hanh quotes has contributed positively to your mindset. Don’t forget to share to your preferred social platform.

CSN Team.

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