Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Master, is a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist, revered throughout the world for his powerful teachings and bestselling writings on mindfulness and peace.
You may not know a whole lot about him; chances are you are familiar with his name. He teaches us how to find inner peace through mindfulness and learning to be present in each and every moment.
Everyone can learn some from this amazing man regardless of your religion or upbringing. With all the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we can easily forget to enjoy every minute, or just to sit and be at peace with ourselves as we're too busy stressing. If you're struggling today, some of the below quotes may help you to just re-center yourself. Keeping an open mind while reading, any of his words might just resonate with you and give you a new way to look at things.
1. "To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don't need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. When you are born a lotus flower, be a beautiful lotus flower, don't try to be a magnolia flower. If you crave acceptance and recognition and try to change yourself to fit what other people want you to be, you will suffer all your life. True happiness and true power lie in understanding yourself, accepting yourself, having confidence in yourself."
2. “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." - Thich Nhat Hanh
3. “People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?"
4. “My actions are my only true belongings."
5. “If we are not happy, if we are not peaceful, we cannot share peace and happiness with others, even those we love, those who live under the same roof. If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace."
6. “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."
7. “Life is available only in the present moment."
8. “Yesterday is already gone. Tomorrow is not yet here. Today is the only day available to us; it is the most important day of our lives."
9. “Patience is the mark of true love. If you truly love someone, you will be more patient with that person."
10. “True love always brings joy to ourselves and to the one we love. If our love does not bring joy to both of us, it is not true love."
11. “Freedom is not given to us by anyone; we have to cultivate it ourselves. It is a daily practice... No one can prevent you from being aware of each step you take or each breath in and breath out."
12. “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."
13. “Not talking, by itself, already can bring a significant degree of peace. If we can also offer ourselves the deeper silence of not thinking, we can find, in that quiet, a wonderful lightness and freedom."
14. “For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them."
15. “The energies of mindfulness, concentration and insight can liberate us from our anxiety and worries. We let go of the past and the future, and come in touch with the wonders of the present."
16. “Anger is like a storm rising up from the bottom of your consciousness. When you feel it coming, turn your focus to your breath."
17. "Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is the only moment."
18. “Your breathing should flow gracefully, like a river, like a water snake crossing the water, and not like a chain of rugged mountains or the gallop of a horse. To master our breath is to be in control of our bodies and minds. Each time we find ourselves dispersed and find it difficult to gain control of ourselves by different means, the method of watching the breath should always be used."
19. "We need to be aware of the suffering, but retain our clarity, calmness, and strength so we can help transform the situation."
20. “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."
21. “People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar."
22. “People kill and are killed because they cling too tightly to their own beliefs and ideologies. When we believe that ours is the only faith that contains the truth, violence and suffering will surely be the result."