The Teachings of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh

For more than thirty years now I have been following the teachings of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, known as Thay by his followers.

You can’t imagine the sadness I felt when I learned that he is in ill health. I took the longest walk since the onset of my cancer last December yesterday with him in mind on every step. I saw the beautiful birds on the path and thought how much he enjoys the birds. I touched the wildflowers of the marshland and thought about how much he loves flowers.

He has been suffering from a lung infection now for more than three weeks. He could not sleep and until two days ago, he could not eat. Even with all of this, he managed to deliver a twenty minute dharma talk a couple of days ago on the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path to his spiritual children.

The latest news is that he is recovering well.

Either knowingly or unknowingly, Luminita Saviuc sent me an email today with thirty life changing lessons from Thay. She writes,

When I think of Thích Nhất Hạnh, words like – stillness, love, compassion, peace and oneness, come to mind. And even though these are some really beautiful and powerful words, they somehow can’t really express the beautiful, pure and loving feelings that I get from reading Thích Nhất Hạnh’s books and watching his beautiful videos.

Thích Nhất Hạnh is someone who’s work I truly love and admire , and even though there are many beautiful lessons we can all learn from this wonderful and loving soul, today I will share 30 of these life changing lessons with you. Trusting that they will nurture your mind and soul and bring a lot of peace and happiness into your life.

Here are 30 Life Changing Lessons to Learn from Thích Nhất Hạnh:


1. Never underestimate the power of a kind word, a touch, or a smile.
2. If you love someone, the greatest gift you can give them is your presence.
3. Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos.
4. To be beautiful means to be yourself.
5. Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.
6. Take time to relax and renew yourself.
7. Get in touch with yourself.
8. As long as you’re alive, everything is possible.
9. When you have peace within, real peace with others is possible.
10. You are more than your sorrows.
11. When another person makes you suffer, it only is because he suffers deeply within himself.
12. Blaming has no positive effect at all.
13. Never lose hope.
14. Let go of everything that no longer serves you and you will be happy.
15. Never underestimate the power of a kind word, a touch, or a smile.
16. True love is free from bondage.
17. Let go of fear.
18. Breathe yourself back to life.
19. Free yourself of concepts and keeps your mind open to what is.
20. Shift your focus from the negative on to the positive.
21. Welcome all of your feelings, no matter if they are negative or positive.
22. The present moment is all you ever have.
23. Love’s only interest is to love.
24. True happiness is based on peace.
25. At the core level we are all ONE.
26. It may be that humankind has created God in the image of humankind.
27. Enlightenment is always available to you.
28. To have peace in the world we have to have to first peace between religions.
29. If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors.
30. Life bursts with miracles.
[Luminita has included many quotes. Read More…]


We are asked to pray for Thay by practicing sitting and walking meditation in order to calm ourselves. We can visualize his kind face and compassionate heart as we send him energy.

What is one lesson you have learned from Thay that has had a significant impact on your life? What is your favorite quote from Thay? Share your thoughts and feelings below so we can help speed along his recovery.

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