Thich Nhat Hanh was a global spiritual leader and peace activist and has been a beacon of mindfulness and peace and helped in bringing Buddhism to the West.
He was born in Vietnam in 1926 and became a monk at the tender age of 16 and worked to renew Vietnamese Buddhism.
During the Vietnam War, he chose a path of action and contemplation, founding the Engaged Buddhism movement.
Thich Nhat Hanh traveled to the U.S. and Europe to promote peace, earning a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In the early 70s, he moved to France and established Plum Village, a Buddhist monastery that teaches the art of mindful living, attracting over 10,000 visitors annually.
Thich Nhat Hanh also founded the Wake Up movement, promoting mindfulness worldwide and created popular calligraphy artworks.
After a severe stroke in 2014, he passed away in 2022, leaving a profound legacy carried on by his global community of followers.
His teachings continue to inspire peace and happiness worldwide.
Here is a top collection of quotes by Thich Nhat Hanh.
Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes
1. “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.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
2. “We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
3. “Compassion is a verb.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
4. “Smile, breathe and go slowly.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
5. “Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
6. “Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
7. “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.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
8. “You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
9. “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
10. “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.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
11. ““Life is available only in the present moment.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
12. “Breathing in, I calm my body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
Wise Nhat Hanh Quotes
13. “Our own life has to be our message.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
14. “Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
15. “I promise myself that I will enjoy every minute of the day that is given me to live.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
16. “Only the present moment contains life.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
17. “The wave does not need to die to become water. She is already water.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
18. “The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
19. “The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
20. “The secret of Buddhism is to remove all ideas, all concepts, in order for the truth to have a chance to penetrate, to reveal itself.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
Popular Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes
21. “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
22. “My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground on which I stand.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
23. “In mindfulness one is not only restful and happy, but alert and awake. Meditation is not evasion; it is a serene encounter with reality.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
24. “If we do not know how to take care of ourselves and to love ourselves, we cannot take care of the people we love. Loving oneself is the foundation for loving another person.” Thich Nhat Hanh
25. “Breathing in, there is only the present moment. Breathing out, it is a wonderful moment.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
26. “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.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
27. “The true miracle is not walking on water or walking in air, but simply walking on this earth.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
28. “Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
29. “For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
30. “Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
Top Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes
31. “I am determined to practice deep listening. I am determined to practice loving speech.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
32. “Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. Every breath we take, every step we take, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
33. “If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
34. “When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
35. “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.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
36. “In true love, you attain freedom.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
37. “The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
38. “Understanding means throwing away your knowledge.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
39. “Usually when we hear or read something new, we just compare it to our own ideas. If it is the same, we accept it and say that it is correct. If it is not, we say it is incorrect. In either case, we learn nothing.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
40. “The source of love is deep in us and we can help others realize a lot of happiness. One word, one action, one thought can reduce another person’s suffering and bring that person joy.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
41. “There is no enlightenment outside of daily life.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
Famous Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes
42. “We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
43. “At any moment, you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
44. “It is my conviction that there is no way to peace – peace is the way.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
45. “In true dialogue, both sides are willing to change.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
46. “If you love someone but rarely make yourself available to him or her, that is not true love.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
47. “Our notions about happiness entrap us. We forget that they are just ideas. Our idea of happiness can prevent us from actually being happy. We fail to see the opportunity for joy that is right in front of us when we are caught in a belief that happiness should take a particular form.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
48. “If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
49. “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.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
50. “The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
51. “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.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
52. “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.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
Great Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes
53. “Attachment to views is the greatest impediment to the spiritual path.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
54. “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.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
55. “If you suffer and make your loved ones suffer, there is nothing that can justify your desire.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
56. “It is said that God has created man in his own image. But it may be that humankind has created God in the image of humankind.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
57. “Until there is peace between religions, there can be no peace in the world.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
58. “By eating meat we share the responsibility of climate change, the destruction of our forests, and the poisoning of our air and water. The simple act of becoming a vegetarian will make a difference in the health of our planet.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
59. “As long as you find something beautiful, good, and true to believe in and abide by, you have the equivalent of God in your life.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
60. “Being vegetarian here also means that we do not consume dairy and egg products, because they are products of the meat industry. If we stop consuming, they will stop producing. Only collective awakening can create enough determination for action.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
61. “The insight of interbeing helps us touch this wisdom of non-discrimination. It sets us free. We no longer want to belong just to one geographical area or cultural identity. We see the presence of the whole cosmos in us.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
62. “There is no way to happiness – happiness is the way.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
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.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
64. “Tomorrow, I will continue to be. But you will have to be very attentive to see me. I will be a flower, or a leaf. I will be in these forms and I will say hello to you. If you are attentive enough, you will recognize me, and you may greet me. I will be very happy.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
65. “When we succeed in surviving strong emotions, we experience a more solid peace of mind.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
66. “Each time we practice sitting meditation, walking meditation, awareness of breathing, loving speech, deep listening, or any other mindfulness practice, our roots are growing stronger and deeper and we are gaining more solidity and strength.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
Best Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes
67. “Without suffering there cannot be happiness. Without mud there cannot be any lotus flowers.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
68. “In. Out. Deep. Slow. Calm. Ease. Smile. Release. Present moment. Wonderful moment.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
69. “You listen not for the purpose of judging, criticizing or analyzing. You listen only to help the other person to express himself and find some relief from his suffering.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
70. “The most precious inheritance that parents can give their children is their own happiness.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
71. “You may learn that your partner has many wrong perceptions about you and about the situation, but try not to interrupt. Let her speak. Let her have a chance to speak out everything in her so she can feel listened to and understood. As your partner speaks, continue to breathe mindfully. Later on you may find a way to undo her misunderstanding, little by little in a very skillful, loving way, and mutual understanding will grow.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
72. “Go back and take care of yourself. Your body needs you, your perceptions need you, your feeling needs you. The wounded child in you needs you. Your suffering needs you to acknowledge it.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
73. “Do not lose yourself in the past. Do not lose yourself in the future. Do not get caught in your anger, worries, or fears. Come back to the present moment, and touch life deeply. This is mindfulness.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
74. “Meditation consists of generating three kinds of energy: mindfulness, concentration, and insight. These three energies give us power to nourish happiness and take care of our suffering. Suffering may be there. But with the energy of mindfulness, concentration, and insight, we can embrace and take care of that suffering and nourish happiness at the same time.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
75. “To love is to recognize ; to be loved is to be recognized by the other.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
76. “We need the vision of interbeing – we belong to each other; we cannot cut reality into pieces. The well-being of “this” is the well-being of “that,” so we have to do things together. Every side is “our side”; there is no evil side.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
77. “Our own life is the instrument with which we experiment with the truth.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
78. “Anxiety, the illness of our time, comes primarily from our inability to dwell in the present moment.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
79. “The person you love has all kinds of seeds in her: joy, suffering, and anger. If you water her anger, then in just five minutes you can bring the anger out in her. If you know how to water the seeds of her compassion, joy, and understanding, then these seeds will blossom. If you recognize the good seeds in her, you are watering her self-confidence and she will become the source of her own happiness as well as yours.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
80. “Without compassion, you are utterly alone.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
81. “You are part of the universe; you are made of stars.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
82. “There is no need to travel a great distance to touch the Kingdom of God, because it is not located in space or time.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
83. “Many of us live like dead people because we live without awareness. We carry our dead bodies with us and circulate throughout the world. We are pulled into the past or we are pulled forward into the future or we are caught by our projects or our despair and anger. We are not truly alive; we are not inhabited by awareness of the miracle of being alive.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
84. “Spirituality is not religion. It is a path for us to generate happiness, understanding, and love, so we can live deeply each moment of our life. Having a spiritual dimension in our lives does not mean escaping life or dwelling in a place of bliss outside this world but discovering ways to handle life’s difficulties and generate peace, joy, and happiness right where we are, on this beautiful planet.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
85. “Invite your fear into consciousness, and smile through it; every time you smile through your fear, it will lose some of its strength.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
86. “For true love to be there, you need to feel complete in yourself, not needing something from outside.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
87. “To be truly present we have to stop our thinking. This is the secret of success.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
88. “Meditation practice is also a kind of food because it nourishes us.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
89. “Often, our pride stands in the way of our asking for help. In true love there is no place for pride. To love each other means to trust each other. If you don’t tell the person you love of your suffering, it means you don’t love this person enough to trust her. You have to realize that this person is the best person to help you. We need to be able to get help from the person we.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
90. “When our beliefs are based on our own direct experience of reality and not on notions offered by others, no one can remove these beliefs from us.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
Short Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes
91. “We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
92. “Everything depends on everything else. The One contains the many, and the many contains the One.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
93. “True love includes a sense of responsibility and accepting the other person as she is, with all her strengths and weaknesses. If you only like the best things in a person, that is not love.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
94. “True love is like the sun, shining with its own light, and offering that light to everyone.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
95. “I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old. I am of the nature to have ill health. There is no way to escape ill health. I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death. All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them. My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. They are the ground upon which I stand. To.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
96. “If you always sit in expectation, you’re not in the present moment. The present moment contains the whole of life.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
97. “The ability to apologize sincerely and express regret for the unskillful things we say or do is an art. A true apology can relieve a great deal of suffering in the other person.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
98. “Our senses are our windows to the world, and sometimes the wind blows through them and disturbs everything within us. Some of us leave our windows open all the time, allowing the sights and sounds of the world to invade us, penetrate us, and expose our sad, troubled selves.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
99. “Meditation is not evasion; it is a serene encounter with reality.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
100. “Those who are without compassion cannot see what is seen with the eyes of compassion.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).
101. “Emperor Wu asked Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen Buddhism in China, how much merit he had earned by building temples all over the country. Bodhidharma said, “None whatsoever.” But if you wash one dish in mindfulness, if you build one small temple while dwelling deeply in the present moment – not wanting to be anywhere else, not caring about fame or recognition – the merit from that act will be boundless, and you will feel very happy.” ~ (Thich Nhat Hanh).