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About Thich Nhat Hanh



Thich Nhat Hạnh (born 1926) is a Vietnamese Thien Buddhist monk and peace activist, founder of the Plum Village Tradition. Thich Nhat Hạnh spent most of his later life residing in the Plum Village Monastery in southwest France, travelling internationally to give retreats and talks. Wikipedia

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Thich Nhat Hanh (quotes)

Principles for living

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Love

  • A real love letter is made of insight, understanding, and compassion. Otherwise it’s not a love letter. A true love letter can produce a transformation in the other person, and therefore in the world. But before it produces a transformation in the other person, it has to produce a transformation within us. Some letters may take the whole of our lifetime to write.
  • A summer breeze can be very refreshing; but if we try to put it in a tin can so we can have it entirely to ourselves, the breeze will die. Our beloved is the same. He is like a breeze, a cloud, a flower. If you imprison him in a tin can, he will die. Yet many people do just that. They rob their loved one of his liberty, until he can no longer be himself. They live to satisfy themselves and use their loved one to help them fulfill that. That is not loving; it is destroying.
  • If you do not know how to take care of yourself, and the violence in you, then you will not be able to take care of others. You must have love and patience before you can truly listen to your partner or child. If you are irritated you cannot listen. You have to know how to breath mindfully, embrace your irritation and transform it. Offer ONLY understand and compassion to your partner or child – This is the true practice of love.
  • If you have the chance to be exposed to a loving, understanding environment where the seed of compassion, loving kindness, can be watered every day, then you become a more loving person.
  • True love always brings joy to ourself and the one we love. If our love does not bring joy to both of us, it is not true love.
  • Real love means loving kindness and compassion, the kind of love that does not have any conditions.
  • The essence of nonviolence is love. Out of love and the willingness to act selflessly, strategies, tactics, and techniques for a nonviolent struggle arise naturally. Nonviolence is not a dogma; it is a process.
  • The teachings on love given by the Buddha are clear, scientific, and applicable… Love, compassion, joy, and equanimity are the very nature of an enlightened person. They are the four aspects of true love within ourselves and within everyone and everything.
  • To make your voice heard is difficult. Sometimes we have to burn ourselves in order to be heard. It is out of compassion that you do that. It is the act of love and not of despair.
  • Understanding and Love are not two separate things, but just one. To develop understanding, you have to practice looking at all living beings with the eyes of compassion. When you understand, you cannot help but love. And when you love, you naturally act in a way that can relieve the suffering of people.
  • We can help many people suffer less and realize a lot of happiness without being rich or influential. If love and compassion are in out hearts, every thought, word, and deed can bring about a miracle.
  • So if we love someone, we should train in being able to listen. By listening with calm and understanding, we can ease the suffering of another person.
  • 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 being lovable.
  • Tolerance and tranquility are two characteristics of true love.
  • Human beings are innately loving beings. When we fail to love, it is because an element of ignorance has intruded into our experience, submerging our natural impulse to love.
  • 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.
  • You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.
  • If love is in our hearts, every thought, word, and deed can bring about a miracle. Because understanding is the very foundation of love, words and actions that emerge from our love are always helpful.
  • If our love is only a will to possess, it is not love.
  • 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.
  • If you love someone but rarely make yourself available to him or her, that is not true love.
  • In order to be loved, we have to love, which means we have to understand.
  • In true love, you attain freedom.
  • 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.
  • Knowing that anger makes me ugly, I smile instead. I return to myself and meditate on love.
  • Love doesn’t have any color. Other people may discriminate against us, but what is more important is whether we discriminate against them. If we don’t do that, we are a happier person, and as a happier person, we are in a position to help. And anger, this is not a help.
  • Love is the capacity to take care, to protect, to nourish.
  • Love is the capacity to take care, to protect, to nourish. If you are not capable of generatng that kind of energy toward yourself – if you are not capable of taking care of yourself, of nourishing yourself, of protecting yourself – it is very difficult to take care of another person. In the Buddhist teaching, it’s clear that to love oneself is the foundation of the love of other people. Love is a practice. Love is truly a practice.
  • Loving ourselves means loving our community. When we are capable of loving ourselves, nourishing ourselves properly, not intoxicating ourselves, we are already protecting and nourishing society.
  • Mindful time spent with the person we love is the fullest expression of true love and real generosity.
  • The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.
  • The Buddha’s teachings on love are clear. 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.
  • The reason we might lose love is because we are always looking outside of us, thinking that the object or action of love is out there. That is why we allow the love, the harmony, the mature understanding, to slip away from ourselves.
  • The source of love is deep in us, and we can help others realize a lot of happiness. One word can give comfort and confidence, destroy doubt, help someone avoid a mistake, reconcile a conflict, or open the door to liberation. One action can save a person’s life or help him take advantage of a rare opportunity. If love is in our heart, every thought, word, and deed can bring about a miracle.
  • 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.
  • Through your love for each other, through learning the art of making one person happy, you learn to express your love for the whole of humanity and all beings. Please help us develop the curriculum for the Institute for the Happiness of One Person. Don’t wait until we open the school. You can begin practicing right away.
  • Training is needed in order to love properly; and to be able to give happiness and joy, you must practice DEEP LOOKING directed toward the other person you love. Because if you do not understand this person, you cannot love properly. Understanding is the essence of love. If you cannot understand, you cannot love. That is the message of the Buddha.
  • We all have the seeds of love in us.We can develop this wonderful source of energy, nurturing the unconditional love that does not expect anything in return.
  • We ourselves need love; it’s not only society, the world outside, that needs love. But we can’t expect that love to come from outside of us. We should ask the question whether we are capable of loving ourselves as well as others.
  • When we recognise the virtues, the talent, the beauty of Mother Earth, something is born in us, some kind of connection, love is born.
  • When you love someone, the best thing you can offer is your presence. How can you love if you are not there?

 

Self-love and acceptance

  • The moment you understand the importance of loving yourself, you will stop hurting others.
  • 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 a beautiful 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. True happiness and true power lie in understanding yourself, accepting yourself, having confidence in yourself.
  • To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.
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Compassion and understanding

  • But if we have the energy of compassion and loving kindness in us, the people around us will be influenced by our way of being and living.
  • 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.
  • Anyone who is practicing understanding and compassion can exemplify true power. Anyone can be a Buddha.
  • Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I am committed to cultivating compassion and learning ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to support any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, and in my way of life.
  • Compassion is a mind that removes the suffering that is present in the other.
  • Do not live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature. Do not invest in companies that deprive others of their chance to live. Select a vocation that helps realise your ideal of compassion.
  • Forgiveness will not be possible until compassion is born in your heart.
  • Human beings are not our enemy. Our enemy is not the other person. Our enemy is the violence, ignorance, and injustice in us and in the other person. When we are armed with compassion and understanding, we fight not against other people, but against the tendency to invade, to dominate, and to exploit.
  • If we know how to create the energy of love, understanding, compassion, and beauty, then we can contribute a lot to the world.
  • If we take the time to look deeply, we see that understanding and compassion arise from suffering. Understanding is the understanding of suffering, and compassion is the kind of energy that can transform suffering. If suffering is not there, we have no means to cultivate our understanding and our compassion. This is something quite simple to see.
  • If you are motivated by loving kindness and compassion, there are many ways to bring happiness to others right now, starting with kind speech.
  • Only your compassion and your loving kindness are invincible, and without limit.
  • Shallow understanding accompanies poor compassion; great understanding goes with great compassion.
  • The energy of compassion is very strong. We suffer. That is real. But we have learned not to get angry and not to allow ourselves to be carried by anger. We realize right away that that is fear. That is corruption.
  • The essence of love and compassion is understanding, the ability to recognize the physical, material, and psychological suffering of others, to put ourselves “inside the skin” of the other. We “go inside” their body, feelings, and mental formations, and witness for ourselves their suffering.  Shallow observation as an outsider is not enough to see their suffering.  We must become one with the subject of our observation.  When we are in contact with another’s suffering, a feeling of compassion is born in us.  Compassion means, literally, “to suffer with.”
  • The more compassionate you are, the more generous you can be. The more generous you are, the move loving friendliness you cultivate to help the world.
  • The more we see, the more we understand. The more we understand, the easier it is for us to have compassion and love. Understanding is the source of love. Understanding is love itself. Understanding is another name for love; love is another name for understanding.
  • The nectar of compassion is so wonderful. If you are committed to keeping it alive, then you are protected. What the other person says will not touch off the anger and irritation in you, because compassion is the real antidote to anger. Nothing can heal anger except compassion. That is why the practice of compassion is a very wonderful practice.
  • The problem is whether we are determined to go in the direction of compassion or not. If we are, then can we reduce the suffering to a minimum? If I lose my direction, I have to look for the North Star, and I go to the north. That does not mean I expect to arrive at the North Star. I just want to go in that direction.
  • Those who are without compassion cannot see what is seen with the eyes of compassion.
  • Though we all have the fear and the seeds of anger within us, we must learn not to water those seeds and instead nourish our positive qualities – those of compassion, understanding, and loving kindness.
  • To develop understanding, you have to practice looking at all living things with the eyes of compassion.
  • To love our enemy is impossible. The moment we understand our enemy, we feel compassion towards him/her, and he/she is no longer our enemy.
  • 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.
  • We try to live every moment like that, dwelling peacefully in the present moment, and respond to events with compassion.
  • We will not just say, “I love him very much,” but instead, “I will do something so that he will suffer less.” The mind of compassion is truly present when it is effective in removing another person’s suffering.
  • When the energy of compassion and love touches us, healing establishes itself.
  • When you have enough understanding and compassion in you, then that amount of understanding and compassion will try to express itself in action. And your practice should help you to cultivate more understanding and compassion.
  • When you look deeply into your anger, you will see that the person you call your enemy is also suffering. As soon as you see that, the capacity of accepting and having compassion for them is there.
  • When your mind is liberated, your heart floods with compassion.
  • Words and thoughts concerning compassionate action that are not put into practice are like beautiful flowers that are colorful but have no fragrance.
  • Do not avoid contact with suffering or close your eyes before suffering. Do not lose awareness of the existence of suffering in the life of the world. Find ways to be with those who are suffering by all means, including personal contact and visits, images, sounds. By such means, awaken yourself and others to the reality of suffering in the world.
  • To reconcile conflicting parties, we must have the ability to understand the suffering of both sides.
  • When you begin to see that your enemy is suffering, that is the beginning of insight.
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Reconciliation

  • Reconciliation is a deep practice that we can do with our listening and our mindful speech. To reconcile means to bring peace and happiness to nations, people, and members of our family…. In order to reconcile, you have to possess the art of deep listening.
  • Reconciliation is to understand both sides; to go to one side and describe the suffering being endured by the other side, and then go to the other side and describe the suffering being endured by the first side.
  • The practice of peace and reconciliation is one of the most vital and artistic of human actions.
  • To reconcile conflicting parties, we must have the ability to understand the suffering of both sides. If we take sides, it is impossible to do the work of reconciliation. And humans want to take sides. That is why the situation gets worse and worse. Are there people who are still available to both sides? They need not do much. They need do only one thing: Go to one side and tell all about the suffering endured by the other side, and go to the other side and tell all about the suffering endured by this side. This is our chance for peace. But how many of us are able to do that?
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Self-compassion

  • In the moment when we are able to smile, to look at ourselves with compassion, our world begins to change.
  • No one is more worthy of your kindness and compassion than you are.
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Self-care

  • Are we treating our body kindly by the way we eat, by the way we drink, by the way we work? Are we treating ourselves with enough joy and tenderness and peace? Or are we feeding ourselves with toxins that we get from the market – the spiritual, intellectual, entertainment market?
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Knowledge and understanding

  • Guarding knowledge is not a good way to understand. Understanding means to throw away your knowledge.
  • I know that we do not know enough. 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.
  • If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.
  • In each of us is a seed of understanding. The seed is God.
  • No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.
  • The most important thing is that we need to be understood. We need someone to be able to listen to us and to understand us. Then we will suffer less.
  • The only answer to fear is more understanding. And there is no understanding if there is no effort to look more deeply to see what is there in our heart and in the heart of the other person.
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Wisdom

  • In the mountains of wisdom no climbing is in vain.
  • Wisdom is a living stream, not an icon to be preserved in a museum. Only when a practitioner finds the spring of wisdom in his or her own life can it flow to a future generation.
  • You cannot transmit wisdom and insight to another person. The seed is already there. A good teacher touches the seed, allowing it to wake up, to sprout, and to grow.
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Truth

  • A teacher cannot give you the truth. The truth is already in you. You only need to open yourself – body, mind and heart- so that his or her teachings will penetrate your own seeds of understanding and enlightenment. If you let the words enter you, the soil and the seeds will do the rest of the work.
  • Everything inside and around us wants to reflect itself in us. We don’t have to go anywhere to obtain the truth. We only need to be still and things will reveal themselves in the still water of our heart.
  • For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.
  • If we take something to be the truth, we may cling to it so much that when the truth comes and knocks on our door, we won’t want to let it in.
  • In true dialogue, both sides are willing to change.
  • Our own lives are the instruments with which we experiment with truth.
  • 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.
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Concepts as signposts

  • It is often said that the Buddha’s teaching is only a raft to help you cross the river, a finger pointing to the moon. Don’t aistake the finger for the moon. The raft is not the shore. If we cling to the raft, if we cling to the finger, we miss everything. We cannot, in the name of the finger or the raft kill each other. Human life is more precious than any ideology, any doctrine.
  • The raft is used to cross the river. It isn’t to be carried around on your shoulders. The finger which points at the moon isn’t the moon itself.
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Conscious intention

  • We must look deeply into the nature of our volition to see whether it is pushing us in the direction of liberation from suffering and toward peace and compassion, or in the direction of affliction and misery. What is it that we really want deep in our heart? Is it money, fame, power? Or is it finding inner peace, being able to live life fully and enjoy the present moment?
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Hope

  • 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.
  • If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today
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Reality

  • 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.
  • Birth is okay and death is okay, if we know that they are only concepts in our mind. Reality transcends both birth and death.
  • People normally cut reality into compartments, and so are unable to see the interdependence of all phenomena. To see one in all and all in one is to break through the great barrier which narrows one’s perception of reality.
  • Reality is reality. It transcends every concept. There is no concept which can adequately describe it, not even the concept of interdependence.
  • When reality is perceived in its nature of ultimate perfection, the practitioner has reached a level of wisdom called non-discrimination mind – a wondrous communion in which there is no longer any distinction made between subject and object.
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Silence

  • Silence is essential for deep transformation. It allows the practice of conscious breathing to become deep and effective. Like still water that reflects things as they are, the calming silence helps us to see things more clearly, and therefore, to be in deeper contact with ourselves and those around us.
  • Silence is essential. We need silence just as much as we need air, just as much as plants need light. If our minds are crowded with words and thoughts, there is no space for us.
  • Silence is something that comes from your heart, not from outside. Silence doesn’t mean not talking and not doing things; it means that you are not disturbed inside. If you’re truly silent, then no matter what situation you find yourself in you can enjoy the silence.
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Emptiness

  • ‘Emptiness’ means empty of a separate self. It is full of everything, full of life. The word emptiness should not scare us. It is a wonderful word. To be empty does not mean non-existent. Emptiness is the ground of everything. Thanks to emptiness, everything is possible.
  • If we are not empty, we become a block of matter. We cannot breathe, we cannot think. To be empty means to be alive, to breathe in and to breathe out. We cannot be alive if we are not empty. Emptiness is impermanence, it is change. We should not complain about impermanence, because without impermanence, nothing is possible.
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Happiness

  • As long as we think our lives are not good enough (materially), we will not have happiness. As soon as we realize our lives are good enough, happiness immediately appears. That is the practice of contentment.
  • 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.
  • Sometimes we believe that happiness is not possible in the here and now, that we need a few more conditions to be happy. So we run toward the future to get the conditions we think are missing. But by doing so we sacrifice the present moment; we sacrifice true life.
  • The amount of happiness that you have depends on the amount of freedom you have in your heart.
  • Happiness is available. Please help yourself to it.
  • Happiness is not an individual matter. When you are able to bring relief, or bring back the smile to one person, not only that person profits, but you also profit.
  • Happiness is the cessation of suffering. Well-being.
  • Happiness reveals itself when we are at peace with ourselves.
  • The foundation of happiness is mindfulness.
  • The secret to happiness is happiness itself. Wherever we are, any time, we have the capacity to enjoy the sunshine, the presence of each other, the wonder of our breathing. We don’t have to travel anywhere else to do so. We can be in touch with these things right now.
  • 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.
  • There is a paradise of form and colors in the world. And because you have eyes still in good condition, you can get in touch with the paradise. So when I become aware of my eyes, I touch one of the conditions of happiness. And when I touch it, happiness comes.
  • There is no way to happiness – happiness is the way.
  • Walk and touch happiness every moment.
  • Every moment is a moment of happiness.
  • 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.
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Joy

  • May all beings learn how to nourish themselves with joy each day.
  • The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.
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Gratitude

  • When we live in the spirit of gratitude, there will be much happiness in our life. The one who is grateful is the one who has much happiness while the one who is ungrateful will not be able to have happiness.
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Enjoyment

  • Do we need to make a special effort to enjoy the beauty of the blue sky? Do we have to practice to be able to enjoy it? No, we just enjoy it. Each second, each minute of our lives can be like this. Wherever we are, any time, we have the capacity to enjoy the sunshine, the presence of each other, even the sensation of our breathing. We don’t need to go to China to enjoy the blue sky. We don’t have to travel into the future to enjoy our breathing. We can be in touch with these things right now.
  • I promise myself that I will enjoy every minute of the day that is given me to live.
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Savouring

  • Each time you look at a tangerine, you can see deeply into it. You can see everything in the universe in one tangerine. When you peel it and smell it, it’s wonderful. You can take your time eating a tangerine and be very happy.
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Embrace life

  • Every morning, when we wake up, we have twenty-four brand-new hours to live. What a precious gift!
  • Today is the most important day of our lives.
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Freedom

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Freedom is the basic condition for you to touch life, to touch the blue sky, the trees, the birds, the tea, and the other person.
  • The desire to be a free person is very worthwhile. To be free means you are no longer the victim of fear, anger, craving, or suspicion.
  • Today, you can decide to walk in freedom. You can choose to walk differently. You can walk as a free person, enjoying every step.
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Enlightenment

  • Enlightenment for a wave is the moment the wave realizes it is water. At that moment, all fear of death disappears.
  • 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.
  • Enlightenment, peace, and joy will not be granted by someone else. The well is within us, And if we dig deeply in the present moment, The water will spring forth.
  • Liberation and enlightenment do not exist outside of your own self. We need only open our eyes to see that we ourselves are the very essence of liberation and enlightenment.  All dharmas, all beings, contain the nature of full enlightenment within themselves.  Don’t look for it outside yourself. If you shine the light of awareness on your own self, you will realize enlightenment immediately.
  • Nirvana is the complete silencing of concepts.
  • We need enlightenment, not just individually but collectively, to save the planet. We need to awaken ourselves. We need to practice mindfulness if we want to have a future, if we want to save ourselves and the planet.
  • There is no enlightenment outside of daily life.
  • We meditate not to attain enlightenment, because enlightenment is already in us. We don’t need to search anywhere. We don’t need to practice to obtain some high position. We can enjoy every moment. People talk about entering nirvana, but we are already there. Aimlessness and nirvana are one. We have everything we need to make the present moment the happiest in our life.
  • We need enlightenment, not just individually but collectively, to save the planet.
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Awakening

  • The Seven Factors of Awakening are mindfulness, investigation of phenomena, diligence, joy, ease, concentration, and letting go.
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Care for the environment

  • To take care of the environment, we must first take care of the environmentalist.
  • To take good care of yourself and to take good care of living beings and of the environment is the best way to love God.
  • We inter-breath with the rain forests, we drink from the oceans. They are part of our own body.
  • You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment. In that insight of inter-being, it is possible to have real communication with the Earth, which is the highest form of prayer.
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Healing

  • In order to heal others, we first need to heal ourselves. And to heal ourselves, we need to know how to deal with ourselves.
  • The healing of ourselves is the healing of the whole nation. Society is only a manifestation of our collective consciousness and our collective consciousness has a lot of fear, violence and hatred in it. … It is possible to transform our heart…Not much time is needed…(the transformation can be born) the moment you vow to go in the direction of peace and service.
  • The most important thing that we can do for the healing of our world is to hear inside ourselves, the sounds of the earth crying.
  • When we give ourselves the chance to let go of all our tension, the body’s natural capacity to heal itself can begin to work.
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Choice

  • At any moment you have a choice that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it.
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Focus

  • There is a time for everything. There is a time when I sit down, I concentrate myself on the problem of my bills, but I would not worry before that. One thing at a time.
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Oneness

  • I am you and you are me; it is obvious we inter-are.
  • If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. So we can say that the cloud and the paper inter-are.
  • In one sheet of paper, we see everything else, the cloud, the forest, the logger. I am, therefore you are. You are, therefore I am. That is the meaning of the word “interbeing.” We interare.
  • Look into a flower and you see the whole cosmos.
  • Nothing can be by itself alone, no one can be by himself or herself alone, everyone has to inter-be with every one else. That is why, when you look outside, around you, you can see yourself.
  • One included all, and all were contained in one.
  • The heart of the matter is always our oneness with divine spirit, our union with all life.
  • There is no real separation between self or no-self. Anything you do for yourself you do for the society at the same time. And anything you do for society you do for yourself also.
  • True self is non-self, the awareness that the self is made only of non-self elements. There’s no separation between self and other, and everything is interconnected.
  • We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.
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Be yourself

  • Be Yourself. Life is precious as it is. All the elements for your happiness are already here. There is no need to run, strive, search, or struggle. Just Be.
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Wonder

  • Life is filled with suffering, but it is also filled with many wonders, like the blue sky, the sunshine, the eyes of a baby. 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.
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Peace

  • Peace in every step. The shining red sun is my heart. Each flower smiles with me. How green, how fresh all that grows. How cool the wind blows. Peace is every step. It turns the endless path to joy.
  • When we have peace, then we have a chance to save the planet. But if we are not united in peace, if we do not practice mindful consumption, we cannot save our planet.
  • And once we have the condition of peace and joy in us, we can afford to be in any situation. Even in the situation of hell, we will be able to contribute our peace and serenity. The most important thing is for each of us to have some freedom in our heart, some stability in our heart, some peace in our heart. Only then will we be able to relieve the suffering around us.
  • As we cultivate peace and happiness in ourselves, we also nourish peace and happiness in those we love.
  • Be peace, don’t just talk about it.
  • So let the mind flow like water. Face life with a calm and quiet mind and everything in life will be calm and quiet.
  • Root out the violence in your life, and learn to live compassionately and mindfully. Seek peace. When you have peace within, real peace with others is possible.
  • Each breath we take, each step we make, each smile we realize, is a positive contribution to peace… a necessary step in the direction of peace for the world.
  • 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.
  • Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy and serenity.
  • Every day we do things, we are things that have to do with peace. If we are aware of our life…, our way of looking at things, we will know ohw to make peace right in the moment, we are alive.
  • Real peace is not in power, money, or weapons, but in deep inner peace.
  • How do you want to create peace, if there is no peace inside yourselves?
  • If we are not happy, if we are not peaceful, we cannot share peace and happiness with others, even those we love, those who live under the same roof. 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.
  • If we are not peaceful, if we are not feeling well in our skin, we cannot demonstrate real peace, and we cannot raise our children well either.
  • If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace.
  • If you establish serenity and happiness inside yourself, you provide the world with a solid base of peace. If you do not give yourself peace, how can you share it with others? If you do not begin your peace work with yourself, where will you go to begin it?
  • If you think that peace and happiness are somewhere else and you run after them, you will never arrive.
  • It is my conviction that there is no way to peace – peace is the way.
  • Live in such a way that you embody true peace, that you can be peace in every moment of your daily life. It is possible for everyone to generate the energy of peace in every step.
  • Many people think excitement is happiness…. But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.
  • Our capacity to make peace with another person and with the world depends very much on our capacity to make peace with ourselves.
  • Peace and happiness are available in every moment. Peace is every step.
  • Peace can exist only in the present moment. It is rid iculous to say “Wait until I fi nish this, then I will be free to live in peace.” What is “this” ? A di­ploma, a job, a house, the payment of a debt? If you think that way, peace will never come. There is always another “this” that will follow the present one. If you are not living in peace at this moment, you will never be able to. If you truly want to be at peace, you must be at peace right now. Otherwise, there is only “the hope of peace some day.
  • Peace in ourselves, peace in the world.
  • Peace in the world starts with peace in oneself. If everyone lives mindfully, everyone will be more healthy, feel more fulfilled in their daily lives and there will be more peace.
  • 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.
  • Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything.
  • Seek peace. When you have peace within, real peace with others will be possible.
  • To be spiritual means to be solid, calm, and peaceful and to be able to look deeply inside and around us.
  • To educate people for peace, we can use words or we can speak with our lives.
  • To make peace, our hearts must be at peace with the world.
  • What is most important is to find peace and to share it with others. To have peace, you can begin by walking peacefully. Everything depends on your steps.
  • Without being peace, we cannot do anything for peace. If we cannot smile, we cannot help other people to smile. If we are not peaceful, then we cannot contribute to the peace movement.
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Practice

  • It is not a matter of faith, it is a matter of practice.
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Appreciate life as a miracle

  • Life is a miracle, and being aware of simply this can already make us very happy.
  • Around us, life bursts with miracles–a glass of water, a ray of sunshine, a leaf, a caterpillar, a flower, laughter, raindrops. If you live in awareness, it is easy to see miracles everywhere. Each human being is a multiplicity of miracles. Eyes that see thousands of colors, shapes, and forms; ears that hear a bee flying or a thunderclap; a brain that ponders a speck of dust as easily as the entire cosmos; a heart that beats in rhythm with the heartbeat of all beings. When we are tired and feel discouraged by life’s daily struggles, we may not notice these miracles, but they are always there.
  • Each second of life is a miracle.
  • Everything we touch in our daily lives, including our body, is a miracle. By putting the kingdom of god in the right place, it shows us it is possible to live happily right here, right now.
  • Life is a miracle, and being aware of simply this can already make us very happy.
  • Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive.
  • 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.
  • The greatest of all miracles is to be alive.
  • The miracle is not to walk on water, or in the air, or on burning charcoal. The miracle is to walk on earth. You breathe in, you become aware of the fact that you are alive. You are alive and you are walking on this beautiful planet. The greatest of of all miracles is to be alive.
  • You are a miracle, and everything you touch could be a miracle.
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Beauty

  • All of us, children and adults, are beautiful flowers. Our eyelids are exactly like rose petals, especially when our eyes are closed. Our ears are like morning glories listening to the sounds of birds.  Our lips form a beautiful flower every time we smile.  And our two hands are a lotus flower with five petals.  The practice is to keep our “flowerness” alive and present, not just for our own benefit but for the happiness of everyone.
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Heart

  • Buddhism is in your heart. Even if you don’t have any temple or any monks, you can still be a Buddhist in your heart and life.
  • The day is ending, our life is one day shorter. Let us look carefully at what we have done. Let us practice diligently, putting our whole heart into the path. Let us live deeply each moment in freedom, so time does not slip away meaninglessly.
  • The more the heart is an avid void, the more abundantly light will shine into it.
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Health

  • Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos — the trees, the clouds, everything.
  • When it comes to health and well-being, regular exercise is about as close to a magic potion as you can get.
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Community

  • It is possible that the next Buddha will not take the form of an individual. The next Buddha may take the form of a community -a community practicing understanding and loving kindness, a community practicing mindful living. This may be the most important thing we can do for the survival of the earth.
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Embrace doubt

  • In Zen Buddhism, the greater your doubt, the greater will be your enlightenment. That is why doubt can be a good thing. If you are too sure, if you always have conviction, then you may be caught in your wrong perception for a long time.
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Change from within

  • Changing is not just changing the things outside of us. First of all we need the right view that transcends all notions including of being and non-being, creator and creature, mind and spirit. That kind of insight is crucial for transformation and healing.
  • When we change our daily lives – the way we think, speak and act – we change the world.
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Buddha within

  • Often, we feel that we need a leader outside of ourselves -a Buddha, a Gandhi, or a Martin Luther King, Jr.- to show the way. But we have the Buddha inside of us. We have Gandhi and King inside of us as well. We are interconnected. We don’t need to wait for some other person to be the change we want to see in the world.
  • The root-word “buddha” means to wake up, to know, to understand; and he or she who wakes up and understands is call a Buddha. It is as simple as that. The capacity to wake up, to understand, and to love is called Buddha nature.
  • When we say, “I take refuge in the Buddha,” we should also understand that “The Buddha takes refuge in me,” because without the second part the first part is not complete. The Buddha needs us for awakening, understanding, and love to be real things and not just concepts. They must be real things that have real effects on life. Whenever I say, “I take refuge in the Buddha,” I hear “the Buddha takes refuge in me.”
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Action

  • In Zen, actions speak louder than words. Doing is more important than knowing, and knowledge which cannot be translated into action is of little worth.
  • My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.  My actions are the ground upon which I stand.
  • Our mind is the foundation of all our actions, whether they are actions of body, speech, or mind, i.e., thinking. Whatever we think, say, or do arises from our mind. What our consciousness consumes becomes the substance of our life, so we have to be very careful which nutriments we ingest.
  • You have to learn how to help a wounded child while still practicing mindful breathing. You should not allow yourself to get lost in action. Action should be meditation at the same time.
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Practices for living

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Meditation

  • To meditate means to go home to yourself. Then you know how to take care of the things that are happening inside you, and you know how to take care of the things that happen around you.
  • Meditation is to get insight, to get understanding and compassion, and when you have them, you are compelled to act.
  • Every path, every street in the world is your walking meditation path.
  • Just be. Just being in the moment in this place is the deepest practice of meditation.
  • Many of us worry about the situation of the world . . . We need to remain calm, to see clearly. Meditation is a means to be aware, and to try to help.
  • Meditation can help us embrace our worries, our fear, our anger; and that is very healing. We let our own natural capacity of healing do the work.
  • Meditation is not an escape from life… but preparation for really being in life.
  • Meditation is not meant to help us avoid problems or run away from difficulties. It is meant to allow positive healing to take place. To meditate is to learn how to stop—to stop being carried away by our regrets about the past, our anger or despair in the present, or our worries about the future.
  • Meditation is not passive sitting in silence. It is sitting in awareness, free from distraction, and realizing the clear understanding that arises from concentration.
  • Meditation is not to escape from society, but to come back to ourselves and see what is going on. Once there is seeing, there must be acting. With mindfulness, we know what to do and what not to do to help.
  • Meditation is not to get out of society, to escape from society, but to prepare for a reentery into society.
  • Meditation is offering your genuine presence to yourself in every moment.
  • Meditation is to be aware of what is going on in your body, in your feelings, in your mind, and in the world.
  • Meditation is, first of all, a tool for surveying our territory so we can know what is going on. With the energy of mindfulness, we can calm things down, understand them, and bring harmony back to the conflicting elements inside us.
  • Meditation means to look deeply, to touch deeply, so we can realize we are already home.
  • To meditate with mindful breathing is to bring body and mind back to the present moment so that you do not miss your appointment with life.
  • We all need a place that is safe and wholesome enough for us to return for refuge. In Buddhism, that refuge is mindfulness.
  • To meditate is to be aware of what is going on – in our bodies, our feelings our minds, and in the world. When we settle into the present moment, we can see the beauties and wonders before our eyes.
  • To meditate means to go home to yourself. Then you know how to take care of the things that are happening inside you, and you know how to take care of the things that happen around you.
  • To meditate means to observe.
  • We try many ways to be awake, but our society still keeps us forgetful. Meditation is to help us remember.
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Breathing

  • Go back to the breathing and try to be in that moment deeply. Because there is a possibility to handle every kind of event and the essential is to keep the peace in yourself.
  • At the moment of waking up, before getting out of bed, get in touch with your breath.
  • Breath is aligned with both body and mind and it alone can bring them together.
  • 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.
  • Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.
  • 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.
  • Breathe and you dwell in the here and now, breath and you see impermanence is life.
  • Breathe in and take one step, and focus all your attention on the sole of your foot. If you have not arrived fully, one hundred percent in the here and the now, don’t take the next step.
  • Breathe in deeply to bring your mind home to your body. Then look at, or think of, the person triggering this emotion: With mindfulness, you can see that she is unhappy, that she is suffering. You can see her wrong perceptions. You can see that she is not beautiful when she says things that are unkind.
  • Breathing in and out is very important, and it is enjoyable. Our breathing is the link between our body and our mind. Sometimes our mind is thinking of one thing and our body is doing another, and mind and body are not unified. By concentrating on our breathing, “In” and “Out,” we bring body and mind back together, and become whole again. Conscious breathing is an important bridge.
  • Breathing in I calm my body. Breathing out I smile. Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is a wonderful moment!
  • Breathing in, I am aware of my heart. Breathing out, I smile to my heart and know that my heart still functions normally. I feel grateful for my heart.
  • Breathing in, I am aware of the preciousness of this day.
  • Breathing in, I am aware that I am breathing in.
  • Breathing in, I am grateful for this moment.
  • Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.
  • Breathing in, I know I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.
  • Breathing in, there is only the present moment. Breathing out, it is a wonderful moment.
  • Breathing out, I am aware that I am breathing out.
  • Breathing out, I smile.
  • Breathing out, I vow to live deeply in this day.
  • Each moment you are alive is a gem. It needs you to breathe gently for the miracles to be displayed.
  • Even if you only stop and focus on your breathing for a few breaths, or for a minute or two, its very valuable.
  • Follow your breathing, dwell mindfully on your steps, and soon you will find your balance.
  • like a river, like a watersnake crossing the water, and not like a chain of rugged mountains or the gallop of a horse. To master our breath is to be in control of our bodies and minds. Each time we find ourselves dispersed and find it difficult to gain control of ourselves by different means, the method of watching the breath should always be used.
  • Most of the time, we think too much, and mindful breathing helps us to be calm, relaxed, and peaceful.
  • We have a lamp inside us. The oil of that lamp is our breathing, our steps, and our peaceful smile. Our practice is to light up the lamp.
  • Your breathing should flow gracefully, like a river, like a watersnake crossing the water, and not like a chain of rugged mountains or the gallop of a horse. To master our breath is to be in control of our bodies and minds. Each time we find ourselves dispersed and find it difficult to gain control of ourselves by different means, the method of watching the breath should always be used.
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Relaxation

  • It’s very important that we re-learn the art of resting and relaxing. Not only does it help prevent the onset of many illnesses that develop through chronic tension and worrying; it allows us to clear our minds, focus, and find creative solutions to problems.
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Mindfulness

  • As you walk, you touch the ground mindfully, and every step can bring you solidity and joy and freedom. Freedom from your regret concerning the past, and freedom from your fear about the future.
  • Be mindful 24 hours a day, not just during the one hour you may allot for formal meditation or reading scripture and reciting prayers. Each act must be carried out in mindfulness.
  • Feelings, whether of compassion or irritation, should be welcomed, recognized, and treated on an absolutely equal basis; because both are ourselves. The tangerine I am eating is me. The mustard greens I am planting are me. I plant with all my heart and mind. I clean this teapot with the kind of attention I would have were I giving the baby Buddha or Jesus a bath. Nothing should be treated more carefully than anything else. In mindfulness, compassion, irritation, mustard green plant, and teapot are all sacred.
  • Each time you take a mindful step you are back in the arms of Mother Earth and are reminded of your true sweet home in the here and now.
  • Every step taken in mindfulness brings us one step closer to healing ourselves and the planet.
  • If we practice mindfulness, we always have a place to be when we are afraid.
  • If you are capable of brushing your teeth in mindfulness, then you will be able to enjoy the time when you take a shower, cook your breakfast, sip your tea.
  • In Buddhism, mindfulness is the key. Mindfulness is the energy that sheds light on all things and all activities, producing the power of concentration, bringing forth deep insight and awakening. Mindfulness is the base of Buddhist practice.
  • In mindfulness one is not only restful and happy, but alert and awake. Meditation is not evasion; it is a serene encounter with reality.
  • Machine thinking is the opposite of mindfulness. If we’re really engaged in mindfulness when walking along the path to the village, then we will consider the act of each step we take as an infinite wonder, and a joy will open our hearts like a flower, enabling us to enter the world of reality.
  • Mindfully experience your foot, the ground and the connection between your foot and the ground.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mindfulness is the energy that sheds light on all things and all activities, producing the power of concentration, bringing forth deep insight and awakening.
  • Mindfulness is the miracle by which we master and restore ourselves.
  • Mindfulness makes our eyes, our heart, our non-toothache, the moon, and the trees deep and beautiful. And when we touch our suffering with mindfulness, we begin to transform it.  Mindfulness is like a mother holding her baby in her arms and caring for her baby’s pain.  When our pain is held by mindfulness it loses some of its strength. . . . Mindfulness recognizes what is there, and concentration allows you to be deeply present with whatever it is.  Concentration is the ground of happiness.  If you live twenty-four hours a day in mindfulness and concentration, one day is a lot.
  • Mindfulness must be engaged. Once there is seeing, there must be acting. Otherwise, what’s the use of seeing?
  • Mindfulness practices enhance the connection between our body, our mind and everything else that is around us. Mindful living is the key to understanding our struggles with weight and to empowering us to control our weight.
  • Mindfulness refers to keeping one’s consciousness alive to the present reality. It is the miracle by which we master and restore ourselves.
  • Our joy, peace and happiness depend very much on our practice of recognizing and transforming habit energies. There are positive habit energies that we have to cultivate, and negative habit energies that we have to recognize, embrace and transform. The energy with which we do these things is mindfulness.
  • Science and mindfulness complement each other in helping people to eat well and maintain their health and well-being.
  • The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.
  • The basis of Right Action is to do everything in mindfulness.
  • The earth is so beautiful. We are beautiful also. We can allow ourselves to walk mindfully, touching the earth, our wonderful mother, with each step. We don’t need to wish our friends, ‘Peace be with you.’ Peace is already with them. We only need to help them cultivate the habit of touching peace in each moment.
  • The Noble Eight-Fold Path is the path of living in awareness. Mindfulness is the foundation. By practicing mindfulness, you can develop concentration, which enables you to attain understanding. Thanks to right concentration, you realize right awareness, thoughts, speech, action, livelihood and effort. The understanding which develops can liberate you from every shackle of suffering and give birth to true peace and joy.
  • The practice of Zen is to eat, breathe, cook, carry water, and scrub the toilet — to infuse every act of body, speech, and mind — with mindfulness, to illuminate every leaf and pebble, every heap of garbage, every path that leads to our mind’s return home.
  • There are so many things that can provide us with peace. Next time you take a shower or a bath, I suggest you hold your big toes in mindfulness. We pay attention to everything except our toes. When we hold our toes in mindfulness and smile at them, we will find that our bodies have been very kind to us. We know that any cell in our toes can turn cancerous, but our toes have been behaving very well, avoiding that kind of problem. Yet, we have not been nice to them at all. These kinds of practices can bring us happiness.
  • With mindfulness – the practice of peace – we can begin by working to transform the wars in ourselves. Conscious breathing helps us do this.
  • With mindfulness, you can establish yourself in the present in order to touch the wonders of life that are available in that moment.
  • You need the practice of mindfulness to bring your mind back to the body and establish yourself in the moment. If you are fully present, you need only make a step or take a breath in order to enter the kingdom of God. And once you have the kingdom, you don’t need to run after objects of your craving, like power, fame, sensual pleasure, and so on. Peace is possible. Happiness is possible.
  • You practice mindfulness, on the one hand, to be calm and peaceful. On the other hand, as you practice mindfulness and live a life of peace, you inspire hope for a future of peace.
  • The fact that I am standing there and washing bowls is a wondrous reality. I’m being completely myself, following my breath, conscious of my presence, and conscious of my thoughts and actions.
  • While washing dishes one should be washing the dishes, which means that while washing the dishes one should be completely aware of the fact that one is washing dishes.
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Mindful eating

  • Eating mindfully is a most important practice of meditation. We can eat in a way that we restore the cookie of our childhood. The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.
  • I love to sit and eat quietly and enjoy each bite, aware of the presence of my community, aware of all the hard and loving work that has gone into my food.
  • If I am incapable of washing dishes joyfully, if I want to finish them quickly so I can go and have dessert, I will be equally incapable of enjoying my dessert. With the fork in my hand, I will be thinking about what to do next, and the texture and flavor of the dessert, together with the pleasure of eating it, will be lost. I will always be dragged into the future, never able to live in the present moment.
  • If we chew every morsel of our food, in that way we become grateful, and when you are grateful, you are happy.
  • When practiced to its fullest, mindful eating turns a simple meal into a spiritual experience, giving us a deep appreciation of all that went into the meal’s creation as well a deep understanding of the relationship between the food on our table, our own health, and our planet’s health.
  • There are some people who eat an orange but don’t really eat it. They eat their sorrow, fear, anger, past, and future.
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Mindful walking

  • When you look at the sun during your walking meditation, the mindfulness of the body helps you to see that the sun is in you; without the sun there is no life at all and suddenly you get in touch with the sun in a different way.
  • You only need to walk in mindfulness, making peaceful, happy steps on our planet. Breathe deeply, and enjoy your breathing. Be aware that the sky is blue and the birds’ songs are beautiful. Enjoy being alive and you will help the living Christ and the living Buddha continue for a long, long time.
  • Take my hand. We will walk. We will only walk. We will enjoy our walk without thinking of arriving anywhere.
  • 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.
  • When we walk like (we are rushing), we print anxiety and sorrow on the earth. We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the earth… Be aware of the contact between your feet and the earth. Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.
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Mindful speaking

  • The way you speak to others can offer them joy, happiness, self-confidence, hope, trust, and enlightenment. Mindful speaking is a deep practice.
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Live with attention

  • Attention is like sunlight and water for a plant. What we pay attention to will grow.
  • I clean this teapot with the kind of attention I would have were I giving the baby Buddha or Jesus a bath.
  • The joy of life is born of concentration. When you are having a cup of tea, the value of that experience depends on your concentration. You have to drink the tea with 100 percent of your concentration.
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Live with awareness

  • Awareness is a mirror reflecting the four elements. Beauty is a heart that generates love and a mind that is open.
  • Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed.
  • Each thought, each action in the sunlight of awareness becomes sacred.
  • If you touch one thing with deep awareness, you touch everything.
  • Live your daily life in a way that you never lose yourself.
  • Sometimes it is better not to talk about art by using the word “art”. If we just act with awareness and integrity, our art will flower, and we don’t have to talk about it at all.
  • The necessary condition for the existence of peace and joy is the awareness that peace and joy are available.
  • The practice is always to go back to oneself.
  • This is a very important practice. Live your daily life in a way that you never lose yourself.
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Go slow

  • 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.
  • Go slowly, breathe and smile.
  • Many of us have been running all our lives. Practice stopping.
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Living in the present moment

  • The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.
  • A look filled with understanding, an accepting smile, a loving word, a meal shared in warmth and awareness are the things which create happiness in the present moment. By nourishing awareness in the present moment, you can avoid causing suffering to yourself and those around you.  The way you look at others, your smile, and your small acts of caring can create happiness. True happiness does not depend on wealth or fame.
  • Be part of the miraculous moment.
  • Because if the manifestations that happen in the present moment are beautiful and good, their continuation in the future will be also good and beautiful.
  • By living deeply in the present moment we can understand the past better & prepare for a better future.
  • I will practice coming back to the present moment…not letting regrets and sorrow drag me back into the past or letting anxieties, fears, or cravings pull me out.
  • If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything.
  • If you abandon the present moment, you cannot live the moments of your daily life deeply.
  • If you are truly present and know how to take care of the present moment as best you can, you are doing your best for the future already.
  • Just breathing and smiling can make us very happy, because when we breathe consciously we recover ourselves completely and encounter life in the present moment.
  • Life can be found only in the present moment. The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we can’t be in touch with life.
  • Life is available only in the present moment.
  • Live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.
  • Look at me: I arrive in every second.
  • No thought about the past or future can pull you away from your present peace and joy. The universe exists in this present moment. No desire can pull you away from this present peace, not even the desire to become a Buddha or the desire to save all beings. Know that to become a Buddha and to save all beings can only be realized on the foundation of the pure peace of the present moment.
  • Nothing is more precious than being in the present moment. Fully alive, fully aware.
  • Only the present moment contains life.
  • Our appointment with life is in the present moment. If we do not have peace and joy right now, when will we have peace and joy?
  • To dwell in the here and now does not mean you never think about the past or responsibly plan for the future. The idea is simply not to allow yourself to get lost in regrets about the past or worries about the future. If you are firmly grounded in the present moment, the past can be an object of inquiry, the object of your mindfulness and concentration. You can attain many insights by looking into the past. But you are still grounded in the present moment.
  • 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.
  • With a practice, we can always remain alive in the present moment. With mindfulness, you can establish yourself in the present in order to touch the wonders of life that are available in that moment.
  • That is why those who are not capable of being there in the present moment, they don’t really live their life – they live like dead people.
  • The best way to take care of the future is to take care of the present moment.
  • 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.
  • The present moment contains past and future. The secret of transformation, is in the way we handle this very moment.
  • The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.
  • The present moment is the only moment available to us and it is the door to all other moments.
  • The present moment is the substance with which the future is made. Therefore, the best way to take care of the future is to take care of the present moment. What else can you do?
  • To live in the present moment is a miracle.
  • Transformations is the word. We can do the work of transformation only in the present moment.
  • What happens in the present moment? In the present moment, you are producing thought, speech, and action. And they continue in the world.
  • When we enter the present moment deeply, our regrets and sorrows disappear, and we discover life with all its wonders.
  • While drinking, while talking, while writing, while watering our garden, it’s always possible to practice living in the here and the now.
  • Your true home is in the here and the now.
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Presence

  • The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence.
  • To abandon the present in order to look for things in the future is to throw away the substance and hold onto the shadow.
  • When you love someone, the best thing you can offer is your presence. How can you love if you are not there?
  • Before you do something to help, your presence already can bring some relief.
  • Find joy and peace in this very moment.
  • I am in the present. I don’t think of the past. I don’t think of the future.
  • I have arrived. I am home. My destination is in each step.
  • I vow to live fully in each moment.
  • Suppose you are drinking a cup of tea. When you hold your cup, you may like to breathe in, to bring your mind back to your body, and you become fully present. And when you are truly there, something else is also there – life, represented by the cup of tea. In that moment you are real, and the cup of tea is real. You are not lost in the past, in the future, in your projects, in your worries. You are free from all of these afflictions. And in that state of being free, you enjoy your tea. That is the moment of happiness, and of peace.
  • When we are present, life is also present.
  • You must be completely awake in the present to enjoy the tea.
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Smiling

  • A smile can change the situation of the world.
  • A smile can relax hundreds of muscles in your face.
  • Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.
  • Every word, every look, every action, and every smile can bring happiness to others.
  • If a child smiles, if an adult smiles, that is very important. If in our daily lives we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. If we really know how to live, what better way to start the day than with a smile? Our smile affirms our awareness and determination to live in peace and joy. The source of a true smile is an awakened mind.
  • 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.
  • If we are not able to smile, then the world will not have peace.
  • If we can not smile, we cannot help other people to smile.
  • If you really know how to live, what better way to start the day than with a smile?
  • Once you develop the practice of smiling, you may not need a reminder. You will smile as soon as you hear a bird singing or see the sunlight streaming through the window.
  • Our smile affirms our awareness and determination to live in peace and joy.
  • Our smile will bring happiness to us and to those around us. Even if we spend a lot of money on gifts for everyone in our family, nothing we buy could give them as much happiness as the gift of our awareness, our smile. And this precious gift costs nothing.
  • Recently, one friend asked me, “How can I force myself to smile when I am filled with sorrow? It isn’t natural.” I told her she must be able to smile to her sorrow, because we are more than our sorrow. A human being is like a television set with millions of channels. If we turn the Buddha on, we are the Buddha. If we turn sorrow on then we are sorrow. If we turn a smile on, we really are the smile. We can not let just one channel dominate us. We have the seed of everything in us, and we have to seize the situation in our hand, to recover our own sovereignty.
  • Simple practices like conscious breathing and smiling are very important. They can change our civilization.
  • 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.
  • Sometimes when I am alone in my room in the dark, I practice smiling to myself. I do this to be kind to myself, to take good care of myself, to love myself. I know that if I cannot take care of myself, I cannot take care of anyone else.
  • Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
  • The moment you wake up, right away, you can smile… You are aware that a new day is beginning, that life is offering you twenty-four brand new hours to live, and that that’s the most precious of gifts.
  • The source of a true smile is an awakened mind. Smiling helps you approach the day with gentleness and understanding.
  • When we smile, the muscles around our mouth are stretched and relaxed, just like doing yoga. Smiling is mouth yoga. We release the tension from our face as we smile. Others who run into us notice it, even strangers, and are likely to smile back. It is a wonderful chain reaction that we can initiate, touching the joy in anyone we encounter. Smiling is an ambassador of goodwill.
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Letting go

  • 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.
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Cultivate what is good

  • In every one of us there are good seeds and bad. We have the seed of brotherhood, love, compassion, insight. But we have also the seed of anger, hate, dissent.
  • You have two gardens: your own garden and that of your beloved. First, you have to take care of your own garden and master the art of gardening. In each one of us there are flowers and there is also garbage. The garbage is the anger, fear, discrimination, and jealousy within us. If you water the garbage, you will strengthen the negative seeds. If you water the flowers of compassion, understanding, and love, you will strengthen the positive seeds. What you grow is up to you.
  • In our consciousness, there are many negative seeds and also many positive seeds. The practice is to avoid watering the negative seeds, and to identify and water the positive seeds every day.
  • Inside every one of us is a garden, and every practitioner has to go back to their garden and take care of it. Maybe in the past, you left in untended for a long time. You should know exactly what is going on in your own garden, and try to put everything in order. Restore the beauty; restore the harmony in your garden. If it is well tended, many people will enjoy your garden.
  • May our heart’s garden of awakening bloom with hundreds of flowers.
  • Our role as gardeners is to choose, plant and tend the best seeds within the garden of our consciousness. Learning to look deeply at our consciousness is our greatest gift and our greatest need, for there lie the seeds of suffering and of love, the very roots of our being, of who we are. Mindfulness…is the guide and the practice by which we learn how to use the seeds of suffering to nourish the seeds of love.
  • The Buddha said, ‘Nothing can survive without food.’ This is a very simple and very deep truth. Love and hate are both living phenomena. If we do not nourish our love, it will die and may turn into hate. If we want love to last, we have to nurture it and give it food every day. Hate is the same; if we don’t feed it, it cannot survive.
  • The quality of our life depends on the quality of the seeds that lie deep in our consciousness.
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Deep listening

  • By listening with calm and understanding, we can ease the suffering of another person.
  • Compassionate listening is to help the other side suffer less. If we realize that other people are the same people as we are, we are no longer angry at them.
  • Deep listening is the kind of listening that can help relieve the suffering of another person. You can call it Compassionate Listening. You listen with only one purpose: to help him or her to empty his heart. Even if he says things that are full of wrong perceptions, full of bitterness, you are still capable of continuing to listen with compassion. Because you know that listening like that, you give that person a chance to suffer less. If you want to help him to correct his perception, you wait for another time. For now, you don’t interrupt. You don’t argue. If you do, he loses his chance. You just listen with compassion and help him to suffer less. One hour like that can bring transformation and healing.
  • One hour of compassionate deep listening can bring about transformation and healing.
  • You can practice deep listening in order to relieve the suffering in us, and in the other person. That kind of listening is described as compassionate listening. You listen only for the purpose of relieving suffering in the other person.
  • Deep listening helps us to recognize the existence of wrong perceptions in the other person and wrong perceptions in us.
  • Deep listening is the foundation of Right Speech. If we cannot listen mindfully, we cannot practice Right Speech. No matter what we say, it will not be mindful, because we’ll be speaking only our own ideas and not in response to the other person.
  • Listening is a very deep practice. You have to empty yourself. You have to leave space in order to listen especially to people we think are our enemies – the ones we believe are making our situation worse. When you have shown your capacity for listening and understanding, the other person will begin to listen to you, and you have a change to tell him or her of your pain, and it’s your turn to be healed. This is the practice of peace.
  • Listening to and understanding our inner sufferings will resolve most of the problems we encounter.
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Hugging

  • When we hug, our hearts connect and we know that we are not separate beings. Hugging with mindfulness and concentration can bring reconciliation, healing, understanding, and much happiness.
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Transcending what limits us

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Fear

  • Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.
  • Fear is born from ignorance. We think that the other person is trying to take away something from us. But if we look deeply, we see that the desire of the other person is exactly our own desire – to have peace, to be able to have a chance to live.
  • Fear, separation, hate and anger come from the wrong view that you and the Earth are two separate entities, the Earth is only the environment. You are in the centre and you want to do something for the Earth in order for you to survive. That is a dualistic way of seeing.
  • Fearlessness is not only possible, it is the ultimate joy. When you touch nonfear, you are free.
  • Most of us experience a life full of wonderful moments and difficult moments. But for many of us, even when we are most joyful, there is fear behind our joy.
  • The Buddha always reminds us that our afflictions, including our fear and our desiring, are born from our ignorance. That is why in order to dissipate fear, we have to remove wrong perception.
  • The only way to ease our fear and be truly happy is to acknowledge our fear and look deeply at its source. Instead of trying to escape from our fear, we can invite it up to our awareness and look at it clearly and deeply.
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Hate and anger

  • Anger and hatred are the materials from which hell is made.
  • Anger is like a flame blazing up and consuming our self-control, making us think, say, and do things that we will probably regret later.
  • Anger is like a storm rising up from the bottom of your consciousness. When you feel it coming, turn your focus to your breath. Breathe in deeply to bring your mind home to your body. Then look at, or think of, the person triggering this emotion: with mindfulness, you can see that they are unhappy and suffering. You can see their wrong perceptions. You’ll feel motivated by a desire to say or do something to help the other person suffer less. This means compassionate energy has been born in your heart. And when compassion appears, anger is deleted.
  • Anger is the energy that people use in order to act. But when you are angry, you are not lucid, and you might do wrong things. That is why compassion is a better energy.
  • At the moment you become angry, you tend to believe that your misery has been created by another person. You blame him or her for all your suffering. But by looking deeply, you may realize that the seed of anger in you is the main cause of your suffering. Many other people, confronted with the same situation, would not get angry like you. They hear the same words, they see the same situation, and yet they are able to stay calm and not be carried away. Why do you get angry so easily? You may get angry very easily because your seed of anger is too strong. And because you have not practiced the methods for taking good care of your anger, the seed of anger has been watered too often in the past.
  • Be angry, it’s okay. To be angry, that is very human. And to learn how to smile at your anger and make peace with your anger is very nice.
  • By taking a look at your anger it can be transformed into the kind of energy that you need – understanding and compassion.
  • Hatred and fear blind us. We no longer see each other. We see only the faces of monsters, and that gives us the courage to destroy each other.
  • I don’t have to hate any person because I can always start anew, I can always reconcile.
  • I would not look upon anger as something foreign to me that I have to fight… I have to deal with my anger with care, with love, with tenderness, with nonviolence.
  • If you get angry easily, it may be because the seed of anger in you has been watered frequently over many years, and unfortunately you have allowed it or even encouraged it to be watered.
  • Your anger is like a flower. In the beginning you may not understand the nature of your anger, or why it has come up. But if you know how to embrace it with the energy of mindfulness, it will begin to open. You may be sitting, following your breathing, or you may be practicing walking meditation to generate the energy of mindfulness and embrace your anger. After ten or twenty minutes your anger will have to open herself to you, and suddenly, you will see the true nature of your anger. It may have arisen just because of a wrong perception or the lack of skillfulness.
  • When we are angry, our anger is our very self. To suppress or chase away our anger is to suppress or chase away ourselves. When anger is born, we can be aware that anger is an energy in us, and we can change that energy into another kind of energy. If we want to transform it, first we have to know how to accept it.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Whenever anger comes up, take out a mirror and look at yourself. When you are angry, you are not very beautiful.
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Negativity

  • People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?
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Blaming

  • Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.
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Belief

  • The therapist does not treat patients by simply giving them another set of beliefs. He or she tries to help them see which kinds of ideas and beliefs have led to their suffering.  Many patients want to get rid of their painful feelings, but they do not want to get rid of their beliefs, the viewpoints that are the very roots of their feelings.
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Attachment

  • Attachment to views is the greatest impediment to the spiritual path.
  • If we are free from attachment, we can easily recognize ourselves in other people, in different forms of manifestation, and then we don’t have to suffer.
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Anxiety

  • Anxiety is the illness of our age. We worry about ourselves, our family, our friends, our work, and our state of the world. If we allow worry to fill our hearts, sooner or later we will get sick.
  • Anxiety, the illness of our time, comes primarily from our inability to dwell in the present moment.
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Violence

  • All violence is injustice. Responding to violence with violence is injustice, not only to the other person but also to oneself. Responding to violence with violence resolves nothing; it only escalates violence, anger and hatred. It is only with compassion that we can embrace and disintegrate violence. This is true in relationships between individuals as well as in relationships between nations.
  • Nonviolent action, born of the awareness of suffering and nurtured by love, is the most effective way to confront adversity.
  • The other person has wrong perceptions about himself and about us. And we have wrong perceptions about ourselves and the other person. And that is the foundation for violence and conflict and war.
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Killing

  • I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to condone any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, and in my way of life. We cannot support any act of killing; no killing can be justified. But not to kill is not enough … If in your thinking you allow the killing to go on, you also break this precept. We must be determined not to condone killing, even in our minds.
  • In every country in the world, killing human beings is condemned. The Buddhist precept of non-killing extends even further, to include all living beings.
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Falsehood

  • Looking deeply into the wrong perceptions, ideas, and notions that are at the base of our suffering is the most important practice in Buddhist meditation.
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Habit

  • There is a story in Zen circles about a man and a horse. The horse is galloping quickly, and it appears that the man on the horse is going somewhere important. Another man standing alongside the road, shouts, “Where are you going?” and the first man replies, “I don’t know! Ask the horse!” This is also our story. We are riding a horse, and we don’t know where we are going and we can’t stop. The horse is our habit energy pulling us along, and we are powerless.
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Pain

  • As you embrace your pain, you get relief and you find out how to handle that emotion. And if you know how to handle the fear, then you have enough insight in order to solve the problem. The problem is to not allow that anxiety to take over.
  • It’s like a mother, when the baby is crying, she picks up the baby and she holds the baby tenderly in her arms. Your pain, your anxiety is your baby. You have to take care of it. You have to go back to yourself, to recognize the suffering in you, embrace the suffering, and you get a relief.
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Suffering

  • Buddhism teaches us not to try to run away from suffering. You have to confront suffering. You have to look deeply into the nature of suffering in order to recognize its cause, the making of the suffering.
  • It’s like growing lotus flowers. You cannot grow lotus flowers on marble. You have to grow them on the mud. Without mud you cannot have lotus flowers. Without suffering, you have no way to learn how to be understanding and compassionate.
  • Happiness and suffering support each other. To be is to inter-be. It’s like the left and the right. If the left is not there, the right cannot be there. The same is true with suffering and happiness, good and evil.
  • If you come to Plum Village in the summertime, you see many lotus flowers. Without the mud the lotus flowers cannot grow. You cannot separate lotus flowers from the mud. It is the same with understanding and love. These are two kinds of flowers that grow on the ground of suffering.
  • If you have not suffered hunger, you do not appreciate having something to eat. If you have not gone through a war, you don’t know the value of peace. That is why we should not try to run away from one thing after another thing. Holding our suffering, looking deeply into it, we find a way to happiness.
  • It is not impermanence that makes us suffer. What makes us suffer is wanting things to be permanent when they are not.
  • Many of us are not capable of releasing the past, of releasing the suffering of the past. We want to cling to our own suffering.
  • Most of your suffering comes from the lack of understanding of yourself and others.
  • People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.
  • 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.
  • When we touch our suffering with mindfulness, we begin to transform it. Mindfulness is like a mother holding her baby in her arms and caring for her baby’s pain.  When our pain is held by mindfulness it loses some of its strength.
  • Your anxiety is your baby. You have to take care of it. 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.
  • Suffering is not enough. Life is both dreadful and wonderful…How can I smile when I am filled with so much sorrow? It is natural–you need to smile to your sorrow because you are more than your sorrow.
  • The buddha called suffering a holy truth, because our suffering has the capacity of showing us the path to liberation. Embrace your suffering and let it reveal to you the way to peace.
  • The Buddha said that if we know how to look deeply into our suffering and recognize what feeds it, we are already on the path of emancipation.
  • The first thing I learned was that even if you have a lot of money and power and fame, you can still suffer very deeply.
  • There is the mud, and there is the lotus that grows out of the mud. We need the mud in order to make the lotus.
  • 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.
  • When someone does not know how to handle his own suffering, one allows it to spill all over the people around him or her. When you suffer, you make people around you suffer. That’s very natural. This is why we have to learn how to handle our suffering, so we won’t spread it everywhere.
  • When we have anger in us, we suffer. When we have discrimination in us, we suffer. When we have the complex of superiority, we suffer. When we have the complex of inferiority, we suffer also. So when we are capable of transforming these negative things in us, we are free and happiness is possible.
  • You can only recognize your happiness against the background of suffering.
  • You do not suffer because things are impermanent. You suffer because things are impermanent and you think they are permanent.
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Criticism

  • They criticize the silent ones. They criticize the talkative ones. They criticize the moderate ones. There is no one in the world who escapes criticism.
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Ego

  • It’s normal for human beings to identify with their own separate self. The problem is that we get caught in that notion of ourself as a separate individual and caught in that individual self’s agenda.
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Worry

  • Each minute we spend worrying about the future and regretting the past is a minute we miss in our appointment with life – a missed opportunity to engage life and to see that each moment gives us the chance to change for the better, to experience peace and joy.
  • I vow to let go of all worries and anxiety in order to be light and free.
  • Usually, people have a tendency to be caught in the worries concerning the future or in the regret concerning the past. There is some kind of energy that is pushing them to run, and they are not able to establish themselves in the present moment.
  • When you are carried away with your worries, fears, cravings, anger, and desire, you run away from yourself and you lose yourself.
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Closed mindedness

  • 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.
  • 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.
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Ideology

  • Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. All systems of thought are guiding means; they are not absolute truth.
  • People kill and are killed because they cling too tightly to their own beliefs and ideologies. When we believe that ours is the only faith that contains the truth, violence and suffering will surely be the result.
  • The Buddha spoke gently, “Once a person is caught by belief in a doctrine, one loses all one’s freedom. When one becomes dogmatic, that person believes his or her doctrine is the only truth and that all other doctrines are heresy.  Disputes and conflicts all arise from narrow views.  They can extend endlessly, wasting precious time and sometimes even leading to war.  Attachment to views is the greatest impediment to the spiritual path.  Bound to narrow views, one becomes so entangled that it is no longer possible to let the door of truth open.
  • There are always some people who are ready to embrace a doctrine, a notion, a dogma, and they miss the real teaching.

 

Busyness

  • If we are too busy, if we are carried away every day by our projects, our uncertainty, our craving, how can we have the time to stop and look deeply into the situation-our own situation, the situation of our beloved one, the situation of our family and of our community, and the situation of our nation and of the other nations?
  • Often we tell ourselves, “Don’t just sit there, do something!” But when we practice awareness, we discover that the opposite may be more helpful: “Don’t just do something, sit there!”
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Seeking

  • What you are looking for is already in you…You already are everything you are seeking.
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Materialism

  • The situation the Earth is in today has been created by unmindful production and unmindful consumption. We consume to forget our worries and our anxieties. Tranquilising ourselves with over-consumption is not the way.
  • Being rich is an obstacle to loving. When you are rich, you want to continue to be rich, and so you end up devoting all your time, all your energy, in your daily life to stay rich.
  • Happiness does not come from consumption of things.
  • Mindful consumption is the object of this precept. We are what we consume. If we look deeply into the items that we consume every day, we will come to know our own nature very well. We have to eat, drink, consume, but if we do it unmindfully, we may destroy our bodies and our consciousness, showing ingratitude toward our ancestors, our parents, and future generations.
  • The situation the Earth is in today has been created by unmindful production and unmindful consumption. We consume to forget our worries and our anxieties. Tranquilising ourselves with over-consumption is not the way.
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Eating meat

  • By eating meat we share responsibility for causing climate change, the destruction of our forests, and the poisoning of our air and water. The simple act of becoming a vegetarian can make a difference in the health of our planet.
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Thoughts on…

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God

  • 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.
  • 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.
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Buddhism

  • I realize that many elements of the Buddhist teaching can be found in Christianity, Judaism, Islam. I think if Buddhism can help, it is the concrete methods of practice.
  • I think Buddhism should open the door of psychology and healing to penetrate more easily into the Western world.
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Death

  • Action is called karma. And that’s your continuation. When this body disintegrates, you continue on with your actions. It’s like the cloud in the sky. When the cloud is no longer in the sky, it hasn’t died. The cloud is continued in other forms like rain or snow or ice.
  • If you can feel that Mother Earth is in you, and you are Mother Earth, then you are not any longer afraid to die because the earth is not dying. Like a wave appears and disappears and appears again.
  • Our nature is the nature of no birth and no death. It is impossible for a cloud to pass from being into nonbeing. And that is true with a beloved person. They have not died. They have continued in many new forms and you can look deeply and recognize them in you and around you.
  • Some people live as though they are already dead. There are people moving around us who are consumed by their past, terrified of their future, and stuck in their anger and jealousy. They are not alive; they are just walking corpses.
  • The wave does not need to die to become water. She is already water.
  • There is no birth, there is no death; there is no coming, there is no going; there is no same, there is no different; there is no permanent self, there is no annihilation. We only think there is.
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Emotion

  • An emotion is only an emotion. It’s just a small part of your whole being. You are much more than your emotion. An emotion comes, stays for a while, and goes away, just like a storm. If you’re aware of that, you won’t be afraid of your emotions.
  • Every feeling is a field of energy. A pleasant feeling is an energy which can nourish. Irritation is a feeling which can destroy. Under the light of awareness, the energy of irritation can be transformed into and energy which nourishes.
  • If we face our unpleasant feelings with care, affection, and nonviolence, we can transform them into a kind of energy that is healthy and has the capacity to nourish us. By the work of mindful observation, our unpleasant feelings can illuminate so much for us, offering us insight and understanding into ourselves and society.
  • In us, there is a river of feelings, in which every drop of water is a different feeling, and each feeling relies on all the others for its existence. To observe it, we just sit on the bank of the river and identify each feeling as it surfaces, flows by, and disappears.
  • There are many ways to calm a negative energy without suppressing or fighting it. You recognize it, you smile to it, and you invite something nicer to come up and replace it; you read some inspiring words, you listen to a piece of beautiful music, you go somewhere in nature, or you do some walking meditation.
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More thoughts

  • Earth will be safe when we feel in us enough safety.
  • A flower is not a flower. It is made only of non-flower elements – sunshine, clouds, time, space, earth, minerals, gardeners, and so on. A true flower contains the whole universe. If we return any one of these non-flower elements to its source, there will be no flower.
  • An oak tree is an oak tree. That is all it has to do. If an oak tree is less than an oak tree, then we are all in trouble.
  • Artists have to show us what is not going well within the person and within the society, not try to cover it up.
  • Before practicing meditation, we see that mountains are mountains. When we start to practice, we see that mountains are no longer mountains. After practicing a while, we see that mountains are again mountains. Now the mountains are very free. Our mind is still with the mountains, but it is no longer bound to anything.
  • Choose to be in touch with what is wonderful, refreshing, and healing within yourself and around you.
  • Scientists tell us that we have enough technology to save our planet. . . . Yet we don’t take advantage of this new technology. . . . The technological has to work hand-in-hand with the spiritual. Our spiritual life is the element that can bring about the energies of peace, calm, brotherhood, understanding, and compassion. Without that, our planet doesn’t stand a chance.
  • I think, therefore I am … not here.
  • If every day you practice walking and sitting meditation and generate the energy of mindfulness and concentration and peace, you are a cell in the body of the new Buddha. This is not a dream but is possible today and tomorrow.
  • If you find yourself in some difficulty, step aside, and allow Buddha to take your place. The Buddha is in you.
  • If you have the insight of non-self, if you have the insight of impermanence, you should make that insight into a concentration that you keep alive throughout the day. Then what you say, what you think, and what you do will then be in the light of that wisdom and you will avoid making mistakes and creating suffering.
  • 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.
  • Look deeply; I arrive in every second to be a bud on a spring branch … to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.
  • One word can give comfort and confidence, destroy doubt, help someone avoid a mistake, reconcile a conflict, or open the door to liberation.
  • Our life is a manifestation, and we can very well make that manifestation beautiful and meaningful and have a good influence.
  • Our own life has to be our message.
  • Our walking is not a means to an end. We walk for the sake of walking.
  • People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?
  • The bad things, don’t do them. The good things, try to do them. Try to purify, subdue your own mind. That is the teaching of all buddhas.
  • The kingdom of God is available to you in the here and the now. But the question is whether you are available to the kingdom.
  • When you are a young person, you are like a young creek, and you meet many rocks, many obstacles and difficulties on your way. You hurry to get past these obstacles and get to the ocean. But as the creek moves down through the fields, it becomes larges and calmer and it can enjoy the reflection of the sky. It’s wonderful. You will arrive at the sea anyway so enjoy the journey. Enjoy the sunshine, the sunset, the moon, the birds, the trees, and the many beauties along the way. Taste every moment of your daily life.
  • Words can travel thousands of miles. May my words create mutual understanding and love. May they be as beautiful as gems, as lovely as flowers.
  • You are not an observer, you are a participant.
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