Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk Zen master, writer, poet, scholar, and peace activist.
Known for his activity promoting non-violent conflict resolution, Nhat Hanh has published more than 100 books including information on the arts of peace and mindfulness.
He has affected many people with his words in the last twenty years, with over 100,000 people having made a commitment to follow his modernized code of universal ethics known as “The Five Mindfulness Trainings.”
While you may not be rushing to pick up a book, you may still wish to gain some of the information and ideas included.
Thus, we’ve compiled a list of our 20 favorite Thich Nhat Hanh quotes to get you thinking about mindfulness, peace, love, and suffering.
Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes
Quotes About Peace
“Many people think excitement is happiness…But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.”
“It is my conviction that there is no way to peace—peace is the way.”
“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.”
“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.”
“From time to time, to remind ourselves to relax and be peaceful, we may wish to set aside some time for a retreat, a day of mindfulness, when we can walk slowly, smile, drink tea with a friend, enjoy being together as if we are the happiest people on Earth.”
Quotes About Love
“When you love someone, you have to have trust and confidence. Love without trust is not yet love.”
“The more you understand, the more you love; the more you love, the more you understand.”
“When we feed and support our own happiness, we are nourishing our ability to love. That’s why to love means to learn the art of nourishing our happiness.”
“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.”
“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.”
Quotes About Mindfulness
“If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything.”
“Mindfulness is like that—it is the miracle which can call back in a flash our dispersed mind and restore it to wholeness so that we can live each minute of life.”
“In mindfulness one is not only restful and happy, but alert and awake. Meditation is not evasion; it is a serene encounter with reality.”
“Mindfulness frees us of forgetfulness and dispersion and makes it possible to live fully each minute of life. Mindfulness enables us to live.”
“It is possible to live happily in the here and the 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.”
Quotes About Suffering
“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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 to do something back to get relief from his suffering. That is how conflict escalates.”
“You have to go back to yourself, recognize the suffering in you, embrace the suffering, and you get relief. And if you continue with your practice of mindfulness, you understand the roots, the nature of the suffering, and you know the way to transform it.”