Thich Nhat Hanh Love Quotes and Sayings
#1 The Pocket Thich Nhat Hanh
1. Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.
#2 Living Buddha, Living Christ 20th Anniversary Edition
2. The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.
#3 Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
3. We really have to understand the person we want to love. If our love is only a will to possess, it is not love. If we only think of ourselves, if we know only our own needs and ignore the needs of the other person, we cannot love.
#4 Transformation and Healing
4. When we come into contact with the other person, our thoughts and actions should express our mind of compassion, even if that person says and does things that are not easy to accept. We practice in this way until we see clearly that our love is not contingent upon the other person apologizing or being lovable.
#5-6 Teachings on Love
5. 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.
6. The Buddha taught that it is possible to live twenty-four hours a day in a state of love. Every movement, every glance, every thought, and every word can be infused with love.
#7 The Art of Power
7. If you suffer and make your loved ones suffer, there is nothing that can justify your desire.
#8 Wisdom from Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
8. The source of love is deep in us, and we can help others realize a lot of happiness. One word, one action, or one thought can reduce another person’s suffering and bring that person joy.
#9 True Love: A Practice for Awakening the Heart
9. You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free, not only outside but also inside.
#10 Twitter, 28 February 2017
10. Every one of us has the capacity to love, to forgive, to understand, and to be compassionate.
#11 Anger: Buddhist Wisdom for Cooling the Flames
11. Your capacity for loving another person depends entirely on your capacity for loving yourself, for taking care of yourself.
#12-13 How To Love
12. To love without knowing how to love wounds the person we love. To know how to love someone, we have to understand them. To understand, we need to listen.
13. The essence of loving kindness is being able to offer happiness. You can be the sunshine for another person.
#14 The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching
14. Our world is full of hatred and violence, because we do not take the time to nourish the love and compassion that are already in our hearts.
#15 Making Space: Creating a Home Meditation Practice
15. To love is, first of all, to accept ourselves as we are. [S]
Excerpt from Wikipedia: Thích Nhất Hạnh (11 October 1926 – 22 January 2022) is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist who now lives in France. Born Nguyễn Xuân Bảo, Thích Nhất Hạnh joined a Zen (Vietnamese: Thiền) monastery at the age of 16, and studied Buddhism as a novitiate. Upon his ordination as a monk in 1949, he assumed the Dharma name Thích Nhất Hạnh. Thích is an honorary family name used by all Vietnamese monks and nuns, meaning that they are part of the Shakya (Shakyamuni Buddha) clan. He is often considered the most influential living figure in the lineage of Lâm Tế (Vietnamese Rinzai) Thiền, and perhaps also in Zen Buddhism as a whole.
Sayings by Thich Nhat Hanh
#1 Peace is Every Step, Hope as an Obstacle
1. 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. But that is the most that hope can do for us—to make some hardship lighter.
#2 At Home in the World: Stories and Essential Teachings From A Monk’s Life
2. Our practice is to cultivate good seeds in the soil of our mind, knowing that they will mature and bloom in their own time. [S]
#3-5 The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation
3. 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 is the message he is sending.
4. 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.
5. Nothing is more precious than being in the present moment, fully alive and fully aware.
#6 The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation
6. 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.
#7 Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
7. The past is gone, the future is not yet here. If we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.
8. People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.
#9 Living Buddha, Living Christ 20th Anniversary Edition
9. To breathe and know you are alive is wonderful. Because you are alive, everything is possible.
#10 Present Moment Wonderful Moment: Mindfulness Verses for Daily Living
10. 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.
#11-12 The Art of Power
11. 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 beautiful as a 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.
12. Many people think of excitement as happiness. They are thinking of something, or expecting something that they consider to be happiness, and for them, that is already happiness. But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.
#13 Interbeing with Thich Nhat Hanh: An Interview, Helen Tworkov, 1995
13. I have noticed that people are dealing too much with the negative, with what is wrong. They do not touch enough on what is not wrong—it’s the same as some psychotherapists. Why not try the other way, to look into the patient and to see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?
#14 Being Peace
14. Reconciliation is to understand both sides, to go to one side and describe the suffering being endured by the other side, and then to go to the other side and describe the suffering being endured by the first side.
#15 A Lifetime of Peace: Essential Writings by and About Thich Nhat Hanh, 2003, p. 141 (Jennifer Schwamm Willis)
15. 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.
#16 Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
16. If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it.
17. People sacrifice the present for the future. But 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.
#18 Be Free Where You Are: A Talk Given at the Maryland Correctional Institute
18. A bodhisattva is someone who has compassion within himself or herself and who is able to make another person smile or help someone suffer less. Every one of us is capable of this.
#19 The Mindfulness Survival Kit: Five Essential Practices
19. If you do harm to animals, plants, and minerals, you do harm to yourself. With this insight, when you look deeply into another human being, you see the animals, plants, and minerals that contribute to making up his or her being, and therefore you think and act differently than you would otherwise.
#20 Being Peace
20. 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.
#21 Stepping into Freedom: An Introduction to Buddhist Monastic Training
21. Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.
#22 Going Home
22. Live your daily life in a way that you never lose yourself. When you are carried away with your worries, fears, cravings, anger, and desire, you run away from yourself and you lose yourself. The practice is always to go back to oneself. You have a wonderful vehicle. And you don’t have to buy any gasoline.
#23-25 Being Peace
23. I would not look upon anger as something foreign to me that I have to fight, to have surgery in order to remove it. I know that anger is me, and I am anger. Nonduality, not two. I have to deal with my anger with care, with love, with tenderness, with nonviolence. Because anger is me, I have to tend my anger as I would tend a younger brother or sister, with love, with care, because I myself am anger, I am in it, I am it.
24. 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.
25. Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is a wonderful moment.
#26 Anger: Buddhist Wisdom for Cooling the Flames
26. When you say something really unkind, when you do something in retaliation. your anger increases. You make the other person suffer, and he will try hard to say or do something back to get relief from his suffering. That is how the conflict escalates.
#27 Visions from Earth, 2004, James Miller
27. We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.
#28 Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
28. Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.
#29-30 Touching Peace: Practicing the Art of Mindful Living
29. 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.
30. We don’t have to go anywhere to obtain the truth. We only need to be still and things will reveal themselves in the clear water of our heart.
#31 Lion’s Roar: Returning Home, 1 March 2006
31. 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.
#32 Chanting from the Heart: Buddhist Ceremonies and Daily Practices
32. I vow to let go of all worries and anxiety in order to be light and free.
#33 Peace of Mind
33. The past is no longer here, the future has not yet come; the present moment is the only moment we can live.
#34 The Miracle Of Mindfulness: The Classic Guide to Meditation
34. Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.
#35-36 Teachings on Love, 2005
35. When you understand the roots of anger in yourself and in the other, your mind will enjoy true peace, joy and lightness.
36. 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.
#37-38 Understanding Our Mind, 2006
37. The quality of our life depends on the quality of the seeds that lie deep in our consciousness.
38. The present moment contains past and future. The secret of transformation, is in the way we handle this very moment.
#39-40 The Miracle of Mindfulness
39. 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.
40. 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.
#41 Talk at Stonehill College, 2002
41. It’s wonderful to be alive and to walk on earth.
#42 Speaking of Faith: “Brother Thay: A Radio Pilgrimage with Thich Nhat Hanh”, 2003
42. You are a miracle, and everything you touch could be a miracle.
#43 No mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transformation
43. 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.
#44 Anger, Penguin, 10 September 2001
44. When we get angry, we suffer. If you really understand that, you also will be able to understand that when the other person is angry, it means that she is suffering. When someone insults you or behaves violently towards you, you have to be intelligent enough to see that the person suffers from his own violence and anger. But we tend to forget. We think that we are the only one that suffers, and the other person is our oppressor.
#45 Love Letter to the Earth
45. God is not outside of creation. I think God is on Earth, inside every living being. What we call “the divine,” is none other than the energy of awakening, of peace, of understanding, and of love, which is to be found not only in every human being, but in every species on Earth.
#46 Teachings on Love
46. Make each moment an occasion to live deeply, happily, in peace. Each moment is a chance for us to make peace with the world, to make peace possible for the world, to make happiness possible for the world. The world needs our happiness.
#47 Oprah Talks to Thich Nhat Hanh [S]
47. You listen with only one purpose: to help him or her to empty their heart.
#48 At Home in the World: Stories and Essential Teachings from a Monk’s Life
48. We can remind ourselves every day that the practice isn’t about getting somewhere or achieving something. The practice itself is the very joy and peace we are seeking. The practice is the destination. It is possible for each one of us to dwell happily in the present moment. [S]
#49 Love without Limit: An Interview with Thich Nhat Hanh, The Best Buddhist Writing 2007, Melvin McLeod
49. You know that your happiness and suffering depend on the happiness and suffering of others. That insight helps you not to do wrong things that will bring suffering to yourself and to other people.
#50 Introduction, Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet
50. An essential condition to hear the call of the Earth and respond to her is silence. If you don’t have silence in yourself, you cannot hear her call: the call of life. Your heart is calling you, but you don’t hear. You don’t have time to listen to your heart.
#51 Spring Thunder, Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet
51. It’s my conviction that we cannot change the world if we’re not able to change our way of thinking, our consciousness.
#52 Silence: The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise
52. Realize that silence comes from your heart and not from the absence of talk.
#53 Silence: The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise [S]
53. To be mindful is to be truly present with your body and your mind, to harmonize your intentions and actions, and to be in harmony with those around you.
#54 The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching
54. Anxiety, the illness of our time, comes primarily from our inability to dwell in the present moment.
#55 Man is not our Enemy, How to Fight
55. The roots of discrimination, conflict, and war are not to be found outside us. They are within our own way of thinking and looking at the world. The real enemy is our ignorance, our attachment to views, and our wrong perceptions.
#56 A Tangerine Party, The Heart of Understanding: Commentaries on the Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra
56. When you produce peace and happiness in yourself, you begin to realize peace for the whole world.
#57-58 Moments of Mindfulness: Daily Inspiration
57. A flower does not have to do anything to be of service, it only has to be a flower. That is enough. A human being, a true human being, is enough to make the whole world rejoice.
58. To suffer is not enough. We must also be in touch with the wonders of life. They are within us and all around us, everywhere, any time.
#59 The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching [S]
59. …the purpose of a rose is to be a rose. Your purpose is to be yourself. You don’t have to run anywhere to become someone else. You are wonderful just as you are.
#60 At Home in the World: Stories and Essential Teachings from a Monk’s Life
60. The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it. [S]
#61 Fidelity: How to Create a Loving Relationship That Lasts
61. Loneliness can only be healed by understanding and love. Sometimes we think that if we have sexual relations with someone else, we’ll feel less lonely. But the truth is that such sex doesn’t relieve the feeling of loneliness; it makes it worse. Sexuality should be accompanied by understanding and love. Without understanding and love, sex is empty.
#62 The Art of Living
62. If we want peace, we have to be peace. Peace is a practice and not a hope. [S]
#63 The Miracle of Mindfulness
63. Whatever the tasks, do them slowly and with ease, in mindfulness. 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. [S]
Quotes attributed to Thich Nhat Hanh
1. Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
2. Life is a miracle and being aware of simply this can already make us very happy.