The principles of the Buddha are ones we can all live by, regardless of our beliefs . Check out our large collection of the best Buddha quotes.
Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, one of the world's leading spiritual teachers, is a man at great peace even as he predicts the possible collapse of civilisation within 100 years as a result of runaway climate change.
The 86-year-old Vietnamese monk, who has hundreds of thousands of followers around the world, believes the reason most people are not responding to the threat of global warming, despite overwhelming scientific evidence, is that they are unable to save themselves from their own personal suffering, never mind worry about the plight of Mother Earth.
Thay, as he is known, says it is possible to be at peace if you pierce through our false reality, which is based on the idea of life and death, to touch the ultimate dimension in Buddhist thinking, in which energy cannot be created or destroyed.
By recognising the inter-connectedness of all life, we can move beyond the idea that we are separate selves and expand our compassion and love in such a way that we take action to protect the Earth.
In Thay's new book, Fear, he writes about how people spend much of their lives worrying about getting ill, ageing and losing the things they treasure most, despite the obvious fact that one day they will have to let them all go.
When we understand that we are more than our physical bodies, that we didn't come from nothingness and will not disappear into nothingness, we are liberated from fear, he says; fearlessness is not only possible but the ultimate joy.
"Our perception of time may help," Thay told me in his modest home in Plum Village monastery near Bordeaux. "For us it is very alarming and urgent, but for Mother Earth, if she suffers she knows she has the power to heal herself even if it takes 100m years. We think our time on earth is only 100 years, which is why we are impatient. The collective karma and ignorance of our race, the collective anger and violence will lead to our destruction and we have to learn to accept that.
"And maybe Mother Earth will produce a great being sometime in the next decade ... We don't know and we cannot predict. Mother Earth is very talented. She has produced Buddhas, bodhisattvas, great beings.
"So take refuge in Mother Earth and surrender to her and ask her to heal us, to help us. And we have to accept that the worst can happen; that most of us will die as a species and many other species will die also and Mother Earth will be capable after maybe a few million years to bring us out again and this time wiser."
Thay suggests that our search for fame, wealth, power and sexual gratification provides the perfect refuge for people to hide from the truth about the many challenges facing the world. Worse still, our addiction to material goods and a hectic lifestyle provides only a temporary plaster for gaping emotional and spiritual wounds, which only drives greater loneliness and unhappiness.
Thay, who has just celebrated the 70th anniversary of his ordination, reflects on the lack of action over the destruction of ecosystems and the rapid rate of biodiversity loss: "When they see the truth it is too late to act ... but they don't want to wake up because it may make them suffer. They cannot confront the truth. It is not that they don't know what is going to happen. They just don't want to think about it.
"They want to get busy in order to forget. We should not talk in terms of what they should do, what they should not do, for the sake of the future. We should talk to them in such a way that touches their hearts, that helps them to engage on the path that will bring them true happiness; the path of love and understanding, the courage to let go. When they have tasted a little bit of peace and love, they may wake up."
Thay created the Engaged Buddhism movement, which promotes the individual's active role in creating change, and his mindfulness training – an ethical roadmap – calls on practitioners to boycott products that damage the environment and to confront social injustice.
Given the difficulty of convincing those with vested interests to change their behaviour, Thay says a grassroots movement is necessary, citing the tactics used by Gandhi, but insists that this can be effective only if activists first deal with their own anger and fears, rather than projecting them onto those they see at fault.
On companies that produce harmful products, he says: "They should not continue to produce these things. We don't need them. We need other kinds of products that help us to be healthier. If there is awakening in the ranks of consumers, then the producer will have to change. We can force him to change by not buying.
"Gandhi was capable of urging his people to boycott a number of things. He knew how to take care of himself during non-violent operations. He knew how to preserve energy because the struggle is long, so spiritual practice is very much needed in an attempt to help change society."
Thay, the author of more than 100 books, including the best-selling Miracle of Mindfulness, says that while it is difficult for those holding the strings of power to speak out against the destructive nature of the current economic system, for fear of being ostracised and ridiculed, we do need more leaders to have the courage to challenge the status quo.
For business and political leaders to do that, they need to cultivate compassion in order to embrace and diminish the ego, Thay says.
"You have the courage to do it [speak out] because you have compassion, because compassion is a powerful energy," he says. "With compassion you can die for other people, like the mother who can die for her child. You have the courage to say it because you are not afraid of losing anything, because you know that understanding and love is the foundation of happiness. But if you have fear of losing your status, your position, you will not have the courage to do it."
While many people are becoming disorientated by the complexity of their lives and by the overwhelming array of choices offered by our consumer society, Thay's retreats offer a profoundly simple alternative.
Over Plum Village's three-month winter retreat, Thay repeatedly instructs the hundreds of monks, nuns and lay practitioners about switching off the non-stop noise in their heads and focusing on the core of mindfulness; the joy of breathing, of walking, of contemplation in the present moment.
Rather than searching for answers to life in the study of philosophy, or seeking adrenaline charged peak experiences, Thay suggests that true happiness can be found by touching the sacred in the very ordinary experiences of life, which we largely overlook.
How often do we fully appreciate, for example, how hard our hearts work day and night to keep us alive? He suggests it is possible to discover profound truths through concentrating on something as basic as eating a carrot, as you get the insight that the vegetable cannot exist without the support of the entire universe.
"If you truly get in touch with a piece of carrot, you get in touch with the soil, the rain, the sunshine," he says. "You get in touch with Mother Earth and eating in such a way, you feel in touch with true life, your roots, and that is meditation. If we chew every morsel of our food in that way we become grateful and when you are grateful, you are happy."
Despite meditating every day for the past seven decades, Thay believes there is still much to learn. "In Buddhism we speak of love as something limitless," he says. "The four elements of love which are loving kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity, have no frontiers.
"Buddha is thinking like that. His followers call him the perfect one but that is out of love, for the truth is you can never be perfect. But we don't need to be perfect. That is a good thing to know. If you make a little bit of progress every day, a little bit more joy and peace, that is good enough so Thay continues to practice and his insight grows deeper every day.
"There is no limit of the practice. And I think that is true of the human race. We can continue to learn generation after generation and now is time to begin to learn how to love in a non-discriminatory way because we are intelligent enough, but we are not loving enough as a species."
Thay is often compared to the Dalai Lama but has largely escaped the public's gaze, deciding to live the life of a simple monk. He has avoided the trap of being surrounded by celebrities and will give interviews only to journalists who have spent time beforehand meditating with him on the basis that mindfulness needs to be experienced, rather than described.
But Thay is no wallflower and has led an extraordinary life, including a nomination for the Nobel peace prize from Martin Luther King in 1967 for his work in seeking an end to the Vietnam war. In his nomination King said: "I do not personally know of anyone more worthy of [this prize] than this gentle monk from Vietnam. His ideas for peace, if applied, would build a monument to ecumenism, to world brotherhood, to humanity".
Thay set up Plum Village 30 years ago after being exiled from his home country and has since added monasteries in Thailand, Hong Kong and the US, as well as an applied Buddhist institute in Germany. He has continued to work for peaceful solutions to conflicts around the world, including holding several retreats for Israelis and Palestinians.
In 2009 he faced conflict in his own life, when the Vietnamese authorities closed down his recently opened monastery at Bhat Nha after a campaign of harassment and violence. Thay believes the action, which sparked an outcry from the EU and other countries, was orchestrated by the Chinese following his public support for Tibet. The 400 monks and nuns were dispersed but still operate quietly within the country.
The Guardian's release of US embassy cables highlighted concern about the crackdown. One confidential cable said: "Vietnam's poor handling of the situations at the Plum Village community at the Bat Nha Pagoda and the Dong Chiem Catholic parish last week – particularly the excessive use of violence – is troublesome and indicative of a larger GVN crackdown on human rights in the run-up to the January 2011 Party Congress"
Despite all his achievements, including a recent stint as guest editor at the Times of India, Thay is modest when he looks back at his life.
"There is not much we have achieved except some peace, some contentment inside. It is already a lot," he says. "The happiest moments are when we sit down and we feel the presence of our brothers and sisters, lay and monastic, who are practicising walking and sitting mediation. That is the main achievement and other things like publishing books and setting up institutions like in Germany, they are not important.
"It is important we have a sangha [community] and the insight came that the Buddha of our time may not be an individual but it might be a sangha. 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. The Buddha is not something far away but in the here and in the now."
While Thay is still in good health and sharp as a pin, he is not getting any younger and may soon begin to start pulling back from the strenuous schedule that has seen him repeatedly criss-crossing the world, leading retreats and passing on his teachings. This year he travels across the US and Asia – perhaps his last major foreign trip.
Given his belief in no birth and no death, how does he feel about his own passing?
"It is very clear that Thay will not die but will continue in other people," he says. "So there is nothing lost and we are happy because we are able to help the Buddha to renew his teaching. He is deeply misunderstood by many people so we try to make the teaching available and simple enough so that all people can make good use of that teaching and practice."
As he lifts a glass of tea to drink, he adds: "I have died already many times and you die every moment and you are reborn in every moment so that is the way we train ourselves. It is like the tea. When you pour the hot water in the tea, you drink it for the first time, and then you pour again some hot water and you drink, and after that the tea leaves are there in the pot but the flavour has gone into the tea and if you say they die it is not correct because they continue to live on in the tea, so this body is just a residue.
"It still can provide some tea flavour but one day there will be no tea flavour left and that is not death. And even the tea leaves, you can put them in the flower pot and they continue to serve so we have to look at birth and death like that. So when I see young monastics and lay people practicing, I see that is the continuation of the Buddha, my continuation."
Prompted by a letter that informed him that someone has built a temple in Hanoi to commemorate his life, Thay recently sent a letter to the Tu Hieu temple in central Vietnam, where he trained as a novice monk, making it clear he does not want a shrine built in his honour when he dies: "I said don't waste the land of the temple in order to build me a stupha. Do not put me in a small pot and put me in there. I don't want to continue like that. It is better to put the ash outside to help the trees to grow. That is a meditation."
He adds: "I recommend that they make the inscription outside on the front 'I am not in here'. And then if people do not understand, you add a second sentence 'I am not out there either' and if still they don't understand on the third and the last; 'I may be found maybe in your way of breathing or walking.'"
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Jan 21, 2013 Thay, the author of more than 100 books, including the best-selling Miracle of Mindfulness, says that while it is difficult for those holding the.
Whatever your definition of success (everyone's definition of success is and should be different), we all want more. That desire for more can blind us to what we already have--and should be grateful for.
Here are 40 quotes about gratitude that will not only remind you that what you have is pretty awesome, but will also, I hope, spur you to express that gratitude to the people who deserve it most.
Published on: Sep 12, 2014
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Since arriving in the U.S., Zen has had an unmistakable, albeit subtle, impact on the way many of us think and act.
Zen has unintentionally become synonymous with words like “calm”, “peace”, and “balance”. However, more than just learning to chill out, Zen wisdom has much to say on human efficiency, creativity, and realizing our potential as well. This is, primarily, why Steve Jobs was so fascinated with Zen.
To learn about Zen is to practice Zen. However, the wisdom of Zen isn’t something foreign to us and it can be found in other ways than just sitting in meditation. Zen is about our life now, and how we can experience what this life is about (and live better) by applying ourselves fully in each moment.
Years ago, Zen made me question the way that I was living and allowed me to not only adopt a healthier lifestyle with less stress and anxiety, but also helped me realize what it meant to live fully in each moment. I hope these quotes help you realize the same (and much more) in your own life.
When you do something, you should burn yourself up completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.
– Shunryu Suzuki
And when they played they really played. And when they worked they really worked.
– Dr. Seuss
One must be deeply aware of the impermanence of the world.
The practice of Zen is forgetting the self in the act of uniting with something.
– Koun Yamada
All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness.
– Eckhart Tolle
Have good trust in yourself … not in the One that you think you should be, but in the One that you are.
– Maezumi Roshi
Have the fearless attitude of a hero and the loving heart of a child.
– Soyen Shaku
Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be.
– Eckhart Tolle
Let go over a cliff, die completely, and then come back to life — after that you cannot be deceived.
– Zen Proverb
When I feel like dancing, I dance. I don’t care if anyone else is dancing or if everyone else is laughing at me. I dance.
– Rachel Danson
Only when you can be extremely pliable and soft can you be extremely hard and strong.
– Zen Proverb
Upon retiring, sleep as if you had entered your last sleep. Upon awakening, leave your bed behind you instantly as if you had cast away a pair of old shoes.
– Soyen Shaku
Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.
– Alan Watts
If you are unable to find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?
Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.
– Alan Watts
As a bee gathering nectar does not harm or disturb the color and fragrance of the flower; so do the wise move through the world.
To accept some idea of truth without experiencing it is like a painting of a cake on paper which you cannot eat.
– Suzuki Roshi
It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
– Martin Luther King, Jr. (more quotes)
To follow the path, look to the master, follow the master, walk with the master, see through the master, become the master.
– Zen Proverb
The resistance to the unpleasant situation is the root of suffering.
– Ram Dass
For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.
– Thích Nhat Hanh
Watch what you say, and whatever you say, practice it.
– Soyen Shaku
Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine.
– Shunryu Suzuki
Nothing ever exists entirely alone. Everything is in relation to everything else.
Think with your whole body.
– Taisen Deshimar
Matt Valentine is a father, husband, and a self-published author. He writes weekly on his blog, Buddhaimonia.com, about everything from spirituality to self-mastery.
for daily life. These be mindful quotes will awaken your present moment awareness and calm. “As soon as we wish to be happier, we are no longer happy.” ~Walter “The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we.
Around the time I turned forty, I discovered I could draw.
I’d never had any artistic talent, or at least I didn’t think so, but it all came bubbling to the surface at midlife.
I’d read a book called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, and it inspired me to give drawing a try. I learned how to really see and render lines and shadows, rather than trying to duplicate a perfect replica of my subject.
I also learned to release judgment about myself and my artistic abilities and simply go with the flow of drawing.
This experience was my first real “ah ha” moment with mindfulness and meditation.
When I was drawing in this relaxed, non-judgmental state, I was completely focused and in the moment.
It was all about the pencil, the paper, and the practice of drawing. All worries and distractions fell away.
This is the essence of mindfulness.
You are fully present in right now. You are engaged in whatever you are doing.
You are no longer dwelling in the past or fretting about the future. Mindfulness ends suffering because the present moment is perfect (even when it’s not what you think you want).
You can get a full breakdown of being mindful with the quotes on mindfulness in this post.
We'll share a lot of good information to complete your understanding of mindfulness.
The practice of mindfulness, through meditation, breathing, or any of the various ways you can practice presence, will make you a more contented, centered, and joyful person, even in the midst of your hectic daily life. (And if you'd like to learn more about mindful living, then I recommend checking out this post on mindfulness exercises.)
1. “When you realize nothing is lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” ~Lao Tzu
2. “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; live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh”
3. “As soon as we wish to be happier, we are no longer happy.” ~Walter Landor
4. “Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience. It isn’t more complicated than that. It is opening to or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it.” ~Sylvia Boorstein
5. “The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing.” ~Jon Kabat-Zinn
6. “In today’s rush, we all think too much — seek too much — want too much — and forget about the joy of just being.” ~Eckhart Tolle
Related: 50 Soul Quotes That Have Touched My Life
7. “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” ~Dalai Lama
8. “Suffering usually relates to wanting things to be different than they are.” ~Allan Lokos
9. “If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.” ~Pema Chodron
10. “If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.” ~William Blake
11.”Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
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12. “If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” ~Amit Ray
13. “In the end, just three things matter: How well we have lived. How well we have loved. How well we have learned to let go” ~Jack Kornfield
14. “Do every act of your life as though it were the last act of your life.” ~Marcus Aurelius
15. “Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality.” ~Robin S. Sharma
16. “Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are just that – thoughts.” ~Allan Lokos
17. “Respond; don’t react. Listen; don’t talk. Think; don’t assume.” ~Raji Lukkoor
18. “In this moment, there is plenty of time. In this moment, you are precisely as you should be. In this moment, there is infinite possibility.” ~Victoria Moran
19. “Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” ~James Baraz
20. “Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it.” ~Sharon Salzberg
21. “It’s only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth – and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up – that we will begin to live each day to the fullest as if it was the only one we had.” ~Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
22. “Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life.” ~Seneca
23. “Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.” ~Rumi
Related: 10 Mindfulness Journal Prompts
24. “I wish that life should not be cheap, but sacred. I wish the days to be as centuries, loaded, fragrant.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
25. “Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” ~Buddha
26. “Always hold fast to the present. Every situation, indeed every moment, is of infinite value, for it is the representative of a whole eternity.” ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
27. “The way to live in the present is to remember that ‘This too shall pass.’ When you experience joy, remembering that ‘This too shall pass’ helps you savor the here and now. When you experience pain and sorrow, remembering that ‘This too shall pass’ reminds you that grief, like joy, is only temporary.” ~Joey Green
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28. “If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.” ~Rabbi Harold Kushner
29. “There’s only one reason why you’re not experiencing bliss at this present moment, and it’s because you’re thinking or focusing on what you don’t have…. But, right now you have everything you need to be in bliss.” ~Anthony de Mello
30. “Our own worst enemy cannot harm us as much as our unwise thoughts. No one can help us as much as our own compassionate thoughts.” ~Buddha
Related: 110 Of The Best Buddha Quotes To Enlighten You
31. “Observe the space between your thoughts, then observe the observer.” ~Hamilton Boudreaux
32. “The practice of mindfulness begins in the small, remote cave of your unconscious mind and blossoms with the sunlight of your conscious life, reaching far beyond the people and places you can see.” ~Earon Davis
33. “Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the small uncaring ways.” ~Stephen Vincent Benet
34. “As long as we have practiced neither concentration nor mindfulness, the ego takes itself for granted and remains its usual normal size, as big as the people around one will allow.” ~Ayya Khema
35. “Impermanence is a principle of harmony. When we don’t struggle against it, we are in harmony with reality.” ~Pema Chodron
Related: 41 Of The Best Journaling Ideas To De-Stress And Feel Happy
36. “The basic root of happiness lies in our minds; outer circumstances are nothing more than adverse or favorable.” ~Matthieu Ricard
37. “The mind in its natural state can be compared to the sky, covered by layers of cloud which hide its true nature.” ~Kalu Rinpoche
38. “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” ~Dalai Lama
39. “If one were truly aware of the value of human life, to waste it blithely on distractions and the pursuit of vulgar ambitions would be the height of confusion.” ~Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
40. “Knowledge does not mean mastering a great quantity of different information, but understanding the nature of mind. This knowledge can penetrate each one of our thoughts and illuminate each one of our perceptions.” ~Matthieu Ricard
41. “The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
12 Of The Best Meditation Apps
42. “We are awakened to the profound realization that the true path to liberation is to let go of everything.” ~Jack Kornfield
43. “To diminish the suffering of pain, we need to make a crucial distinction between the pain of pain, and the pain we create by our thoughts about the pain. Fear, anger, guilt, loneliness and helplessness are all mental and emotional responses that can intensify pain.” ~Howard Cutler
44. “Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing.” ~Pema Chodron
45. “Why, if we are as pragmatic as we claim, don’t we begin to ask ourselves seriously: Where does our real future lie?” ~Sogyal Rinpoche
46. “Envy and jealousy stem from the fundamental inability to rejoice at someone else’s happiness or success.” ~Matthieu Ricard
47. “By breaking down our sense of self-importance, all we lose is a parasite that has long infected our minds. What we gain in return is freedom, openness of mind, spontaneity, simplicity, altruism: all qualities inherent in happiness.” ~Matthieu Ricard
48. “Our lives are lived in intense and anxious struggle, in a swirl of speed and aggression, in competing, grasping, possessing and achieving, forever burdening ourselves with extraneous activities and preoccupations.” ~Sogyal Rinpoche
Related: 37 Of The Best Quotes About Living In The Moment
49. “Mindful and creative, a child who has neither a past, nor examples to follow, nor value judgments, simply lives, speaks and plays in freedom.” ~Arnaud Desjardins
50. “We have only now, only this single eternal moment opening and unfolding before us, day and night.” ~Jack Kornfield
I hope you’ll use these quotes to inspire mindfulness in your daily life. Remember, the only reality is the present moment. The past is dead and the future hasn’t happened. Your entire life is in this moment.
I hope you enjoyed these quotes on mindfulness. I hope you'll use these meditation quotes to help you in your daily life. Which mindfulness quotes were the more positive and inspirational for you?
It would be really great if you could help me spread these mindful quotes to others. Would you be willing to send out some love to your friends and family? Please share these daily mindful quotes on your preferred social media platform.
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