Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh, poet, gardener and tireless advocate of peace, offers us lessons in everyday wisdom. You may enjoy Thich Nhat Hanh’s first book in English, The Miracle of Mindfulness (1975), his classic Peace is Every Step, or his Google talk.

The Miracle of Mindfulness helped put the word “Mindfulness” in the English dictionary; Peace is Every Step is an inspirational book—reading a page or two before you sit down to meditate will energize your practice. His Google talk may leave you wishing for more.

Here are some quotes:

“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over.  He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.”

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”

Call Me By My True Names is Thich Nhat Hanh’s book of poetry. In that book, a different facet of his personality emerges: in his poems, he is no longer speaking in a didactic voice, but with the voice of birds and flowers, with the voice of inspiration.

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”

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

“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce.