Living Buddha, Living Christ Quotes

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Living Buddha, Living Christ Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh
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Living Buddha, Living Christ Quotes (showing 1-30 of 45)
“Because you are alive, everything is possible.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“If you love someone but rarely make yourself available to him or her, that is not true love.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“We often think of peace as the absence of war, that if powerful countries would reduce their weapon arsenals, we could have peace. But if we look deeply into the weapons, we see our own minds- our own prejudices, fears and ignorance. Even if we transport all the bombs to the moon, the roots of war and the roots of bombs are still there, in our hearts and minds, and sooner or later we will make new bombs. To work for peace is to uproot war from ourselves and from the hearts of men and women. To prepare for war, to give millions of men and women the opportunity to practice killing day and night in their hearts, is to plant millions of seeds of violence, anger, frustration, and fear that will be passed on for generations to come. ”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“When our beliefs are based on our own direct experience of reality and not on notions offered by others, no one can remove these beliefs from us.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“I always encourage them to practice in a way that will help them go back to their own tradition and get re-rooted. If they succeed at at becoming reintegrated, they will be an important instrument in transforming and renewing their tradition.
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When we respect our blood ancestors and our spiritual ancestors, we feel rooted. If we find ways to cherish and develop our spiritual heritage, we will avoid the kind of alienation that is destroying society, and we will become whole again. ... Learning to touch deeply the jewels of our own tradition will allow us to understand and appreciate the values of other traditions, and this will benefit everyone.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“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”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“The best way to take care of the future is to take care of the present moment.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“Twenty years ago at a conference I attended of theologians and professors of religion, an Indian Christian friend told the assembly, “We are going to hear about the beauties of several traditions, but that does not mean that we are going to make a fruit salad.” When it came my turn to speak, I said, “Fruit salad can be delicious! I have shared the Eucharist with Father Daniel Berrigan, and our worship became possible because of the sufferings we Vietnamese and Americans shared over many years.” Some of the Buddhists present were shocked to hear I had participated in the Eucharist, and many Christians seemed truly horrified. To me, religious life is life. I do not see any reason to spend one’s whole life tasting just one kind of fruit. We human beings can be nourished by the best values of many traditions.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“In modern life, people think that their body belongs to them and they can do anything they want to it. When they make such a determination, the law supports them. This is one of the manifestations of individualism. But, according to the teachings of emptiness, non-self, and interbeing, your body is not yours alone. It also belongs to your ancestors, your parents, future generations, and all other living beings. Everything, even the trees and the clouds, has come together to bring about the presence of your body. Keeping your body healthy is the best way to express your gratitude to the whole cosmos, to all ancestors, and also not to betray future generations. You practice this precept for everyone. If you are healthy, everyone can benefit from it. When you are able to get out of the shell of your small self, you will see that you are interrelated to everyone and everything, that your every act is linked with the whole of humankind and the whole cosmos. To keep yourself healthy in body and mind is to be kind to all beings. The Fifth Precept is about health and healing.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“But sharing does not mean wanting others to abandon their own spiritual roots and embrace your faith. That would be cruel. People are stable and happy only when they are firmly rooted in their own tradition and culture. To uproot them would make them suffer. There are already enough people uprooted from their tradition today, and they suffer greatly, wandering around like hungry ghosts, looking for something to fill their spiritual needs. We must help them return to their tradition. Each tradition must establish dialogue with its own people first, especially with those young people who are lost and alienated. During the last fifteen years while sharing the Buddha’s Dharma in the West, I always urged my Western friends to go back to their own traditions and rediscover the values that are there, those values they have not been able to touch before. The practice of Buddhist meditation can help them do so, and many have succeeded. Buddhism is made of non-Buddhist elements. Buddhism has no separate self. When you are a truly happy Christian, you are also a Buddhist. And vice versa.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“Touching the present moment, we realize that the present is made of the past and is creating the future.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“When we are caught in notions, rituals, and the outer forms of the practice, not only can we not receive and embody the spirit of our tradition, we become an obstacle for the true values of the tradition to be transmitted. We lose sight of the true needs and actual suffering of people, and the teaching and practice, which were intended to relieve suffering, now cause suffering. Narrow, fundamentalist, and dogmatic practices always alienate people, especially those who are suffering.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“Jesus said, “If those who lead you say to you, ‘Look, the Kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will get there first. If they say, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will get there first. Rather, the Kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the children of the living Father. But if you will not know yourselves, then you dwell in poverty, and it is you who are that poverty” (emphasis added).”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“we must speak carefully so that we and our listeners do not get stuck in words or concepts. It is our duty to transcend words and concepts to be able to encounter reality.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“Discussing God is not the best use of our energy. If we touch the Holy Spirit, we touch God not as a concept but as a living reality. In Buddhism, we never talk about nirvana, because nirvana means the extinction of all notions, concepts, and speech. We practice by touching mindfulness in ourselves through sitting meditation, walking meditation, mindful eating, and so on.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“5. Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I vow to cultivate good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking, and consuming. I vow to ingest only items that preserve peace, well-being, and joy in my body, in my consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family and society. I am determined not to use alcohol or any other intoxicant or to ingest foods or other items that contain toxins, such as certain TV programs, magazines, books, films, and conversations. I am aware that to damage my body or my consciousness with these poisons is to betray my ancestors, my parents, my society, and future generations. I will work to transform violence, fear, anger, and confusion in myself and in society by practicing a diet for myself and for society. I understand that a proper diet is crucial for self-transformation and for the transformation of society.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“dwell deeply in the present moment.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“The best way to take care of the future is to take care of the present moment. Practicing conscious breathing, aware of each thought and each act, we are reborn, fully alive, in the present moment. We needn’t abandon our hope entirely, but unless we channel our energies toward being aware of what is going on in the present moment, we might not discover the peace and happiness that are available right now.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“When we were in our mother’s womb, we felt secure—protected from heat, cold, and hunger. But the moment we were born and came into contact with the world’s suffering, we began to cry. Since then, we have yearned to return to the security of our mother’s womb. We long for permanence, but everything is changing. We desire an absolute, but even what we call our “self” is impermanent. We seek a place where we can feel safe and secure, a place we can rely on for a long time. When we touch the ground, we feel the stability of the earth and feel confident. When we observe the steadiness of the sunshine, the air, and the trees, we know that we can count on the sun to rise each day and the air and the trees to be there tomorrow. When we build a house, we build it on ground that is solid. Before putting our trust in others, we need to choose friends who are stable, on whom we can rely.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“Be an island unto yourself. Take refuge in yourself and not in anything else.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“People kill and a re killed because they cling too tightly to their own beliefs and ideologies. [...] The second precept of the Order of Interbeing, founded within the Zen Buddhist tradition during the was in Vietnam, is about letting go of views: "Do not think the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth. Avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views. Learn and practice nonattachment from views in order to be open to receive others' viewpoints.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“Just as a flower is made only of non-flower elements, Buddhism is made only of non-Buddhist elements, including Christian ones, and Christianity is made of non-Christian elements, including Buddhist ones.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“At the same time, these men and women do not hesitate to align themselves with those in power in order to strengthen the position of their church or community. They believe that political power is needed for the well-being of their church or community. They build up a self instead of letting go of the ideas of self. Then they look at this self as absolute truth and dismiss all other spiritual traditions as false. This is a very dangerous attitude; it always leads to conflicts and war. Its nature is intolerance.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“To be enlightened is always to be enlightened about something. I am enlightened about the fact that I am drinking a glass of water. I can obtain joy, peace, and happiness just because of that enlightenment. When you look at the blue sky and are aware of it, the sky becomes real, and you become real. That is enlightenment, and enlightenment brings about true life and true happiness.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“Before every meal, a monk or a nun recites the Five Contemplations: “This food is the gift of the whole universe—the earth, the sky, and much hard work. May we live in a way that is worthy of this food. May we transform our unskillful states of mind, especially that of greed. May we eat only foods that nourish us and prevent illness. May we accept this food for the realization of the way of understanding and love.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“experience of reality and not on notions offered by others, no one can remove these beliefs from us. Making a long-term commitment to a concept is much more dangerous. If ten years pass without the growth of our belief, one day we will wake up and discover that we can no longer believe in what we did. The notion of ten years ago is no longer sound or adequate, and we are plunged into the darkness of disbelief. Our faith must be alive. It cannot be just a set of rigid beliefs and notions. Our faith must evolve every day and bring us joy, peace, freedom, and love. Faith implies practice, living our daily life in mindfulness. Some people think that prayer or meditation involves only our minds or our hearts. But we also have to pray with our bodies, with our actions in the world. And our actions must be modelled after those of the living Buddha or the living Christ. If we live as they did, we will have deep understanding and pure actions, and we will do our share to help create a more peaceful world for our children and all of the children of God.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“Impermanence and non-self are not negative. They are the doors that open to the true nature of reality. They are not the causes of our pain. It is our delusion that causes us to suffer. Regarding something that is impermanent as permanent, holding to something that is without self as having a self, we suffer. Impermanence is the same as non-self. Since phenomena are impermanent, they do not possess a permanent identity. Non-self is also emptiness. Emptiness of what? Empty of a permanent self. Non-self means also interbeing. Because everything is made of everything else, nothing can be by itself alone. Non-self is also interpenetration, because everything contains everything else. Non-self is also interdependence, because this is made of that. Each thing depends on all other things to be. That is interdependence. Nothing can be by itself alone. It has to inter-be with all other things. This is non-self.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“THE GROUND OF EXPERIENCE It is necessary to die in order to be reborn. As soon as you experience impermanence, non-self, and interbeing, you are born again. But if the plant does not become dormant in the winter, it cannot be reborn in the spring. Jesus said that unless you are reborn as a child, you cannot enter the Kingdom of God. Thomas Merton wrote, “The living experience of divine love and the Holy Spirit … is a true awareness that one has died and risen in Christ. It is an experience of mystical renewal, an inner transformation brought about entirely by the power of God’s merciful love, implying the ‘death’ of the self-centered and self-sufficient ego and the appearance of a new and liberated self who lives and acts in the Spirit.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“Like the Buddha, we too have come from suchness, remain in suchness, and will return to suchness. We have come from nowhere and have nowhere to go.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
“When we extinguish our ideas of more and less, is and is not, we attain the extinction of ideas and notions, which in Buddhism is called nirvana. The ultimate dimension of reality has nothing to do with concepts. It is not just absolute reality that cannot be talked about. Nothing can be conceived or talked about. Take, for instance, a glass of apple juice. You cannot talk about apple juice to someone who has never tasted it. No matter what you say, the other person will not have the true experience of apple juice. The only way is to drink it. It is like a turtle telling a fish about life on dry land. You cannot describe dry land to a fish. He could never understand how one might be able to breathe without water. Things cannot be described by concepts and words. They can only be encountered by direct experience.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ

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