12 Wonderful Quotes from Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh

The latest news from Plum Village is that Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is in San Francisco at the UCSF Medical Center. He will receive special treatment from a team of distinguished neurologists specializing in stroke and cognitive rehabilitation. You can help by going here: www.thichnhathanhfoundation.org/healingthay.

Here are 12 wonderful quotes from Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) to go along with our previous articles containing quotes from Lao Tzu and Confucius. I think these came from Thay’s conversation with Oprah Winfrey in 2010.

“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.”

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

“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.”

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

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.

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

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

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

“Every thought you produce, anything you say, any action you do, it bears your signature.”

“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.”

Which one of these quotes moves you the most? I was especially touched by the one that begins with “It is possible to live happily in the here and now.” We have so many conditions for happiness right now that we need to just be grateful for them. Expressing gratitude is a practice.

What conditions in your life especially make you happy? Your children? Grandchildren? Job? Mindfulness practice?

What is your favorite quote from Thich Nhat Hanh?

Connect with Meditation Practices

Connect with

Or enter your name and email address below.