“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.”
Thich Nhat Hanh pic.twitter.com/XYPNuk8RNb
— DAVID ܕܘܝܕ (@dvdvrgl) January 21, 2022
“Because you are alive, everything is possible.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Just a few days after I finished my Vipassana Course, a friend gifted me the book Old Path White Clouds, and that was the first time I came to know about Thich Nhat Hanh. As I read through the book, the journey of Gautama Buddha and his awakening tickled my spiritual cells. There was a desire in me to explore more of this Zen monk’s writing—and over the years, I gathered a heap of Thich Nhat Hanh’s books.
As I woke up this morning, my feed flooded with the news that the Father of Mindfulness has left for his heavenly abode at the age of 95; I wondered what the afterlife must be for him. Known to be “an apostle of peace and non-violence,” as Martin Luther King had called him back in the 1960s, Thich Nhat Hanh has left us with words of love and peace that would linger forever.
Some of my favorite quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh:
“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.”
“The 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.”
“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.”
“A true partner or friend is one who encourages you to look deep inside yourself for the beauty and love you’ve been seeking.”
“Most people are afraid of suffering. But suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower of happiness grow. There can be no lotus flower without the mud.”
“Birth is okay and death is okay, if we know that they are only concepts in our mind. Reality transcends both birth and death.”
“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.”
“Many people think excitement is happiness… But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.”
“Without suffering, there’s no happiness. So we shouldn’t discriminate against the mud. We have to learn how to embrace and cradle our own suffering and the suffering of the world, with a lot of tenderness.”
“If you love someone but rarely make yourself available to him or her, that is not true love.”
“Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos—the trees, the clouds, everything.”
“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”
“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”
Rest in happiness, Dear Master!