The Art of Living Quotes

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The Art of Living The Art of Living by Thich Nhat Hanh
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The Art of Living Quotes Showing 1-30 of 43
“Breathing in, I see all my ancestors in me: my mineral ancestors, plant ancestors, mammal ancestors, and human ancestors. My ancestors are always present, alive in every cell of my body, and I play a part in their immortality.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living
“I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old. I am of the nature to have ill health. There is no way to escape ill health. I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death. All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them. My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. They are the ground upon which I stand. To”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living: Peace and Freedom in the Here and Now
“I don’t exercise to get fit or be healthier; I do it to enjoy being alive.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living: Peace and Freedom in the Here and Now
“I see that this body-made of the four elements-is not really me, and I am not limited to this body. I am the whole of the river of life, of blood ancestors and spiritual ancestors, that has been continuously flowing for thousands of years and flows on for thousands of years into the future. I am one with my ancestors and my descendants. I am life manifesting in countless different forms. I am one with all people and all species, whether they are peaceful and joyful or suffering and afraid. At this very moment I am present everywhere in this world. I have been present in the past and will be there in the future. The disintegration of this body does not touch me, just as when the petals of the blossom fall it does not mean the end of the plum tree. I see that I am like a wave on the surface of the ocean. I see myself in al the other waves, and I see all the other waves in me. The manifestation or the disappearance of the waves does not lessen the presence of the ocean. My Dharma body and spiritual life are not subject to birth or death. I am able to see my presence before this body manifested and after this body disintegrates. I am able to see my presence before this body manifested and after this body disintegrates. I am able to see my presence outside this body, even in the present moment. Eighty or ninety yeas is not my life span. My life span, like that of a leaf or of a buddha, is immeasurable. I am able to go beyond the idea that I am a body separate from all other manifestations of life, in time and in space.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living
“Aimlessness does not mean doing nothing. It means not putting something in front of you to chase after. When we remove the objects of our craving and desires, we discover that happiness and freedom are available to us right here in the present moment.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living: Peace and Freedom in the Here and Now
“Whether this moment is happy or not depends on you. It`s you who makes the moment happy, not the moment that makes you happy. With mindfulness, concentration, and insight, any moment can become a happy moment.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living
“Your dream can be realized right in the present moment. You live your life in such a way that every step in the right direction and every breath along the way becomes the realization of your dream. Your dream does not take you away from the present; on the contrary, your dream becomes reality in the present moment.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living: Peace and Freedom in the Here and Now
“We are not passive. To be passive means to be pulled, pushed, and swayed by circumstances or the people around us.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living: Peace and Freedom in the Here and Now
“If we continue to hold on to a dream for something in the future, we lose the present moment. And if we lose the present, we lose everything.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living: Peace and Freedom in the Here and Now
“We disregard the wonders of the present moment, thinking that heaven and the ultimate are for later, not for now.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living: Peace and Freedom in the Here and Now
“We’re so close to Earth that sometimes we forget how beautiful it is. Seen from space, our blue planet is remarkably alive— a living paradise suspended in a vast and hostile cosmos. On the first trip to the moon, astronauts were stunned to see Earth rise above the moon’s desolate horizon. We know that on the moon there are no trees, rivers, or birds. No other planet has yet been found to have life as we know it. It is reported that astronauts orbiting high up in space stations spend most of their free time contemplating the breathtaking sight of Earth far below. From a distance, it looks like one giant living, breathing organism. Seeing its beauty and wonder, astronauts feel great love for the whole Earth. They know billions of people are living out their lives on this little planet, with all their joy, happiness, and suffering. They see violence, wars, famine, and environmental destruction. At the same time, they see clearly that this wonderful little blue planet, so fragile and precious, is irreplaceable. As one astronaut put it, “We went to the moon as technicians; we returned as humanitarians.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living
“Spirituality is not religion. It is a path for us to generate happiness, understanding, and love, so we can live deeply each moment of our life. Having a spiritual dimension in our lives does not mean escaping life or dwelling in a place of bliss outside this world but discovering ways to handle life’s difficulties and generate peace, joy, and happiness right where we are, on this beautiful planet.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living
“We are the continuation of all our ancestors. Thanks to impermanence, we have a chance to transform our inheritance in a beautiful direction.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living
“The insight of interbeing helps us touch this wisdom of non-discrimination. It sets us free. We no longer want to belong just to one geographical area or cultural identity. We see the presence of the whole cosmos in us.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living: Peace and Freedom in the Here and Now
“Only the present moment is real.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living: Peace and Freedom in the Here and Now
“To practice aimlessness is to identify what it is you’re looking for, waiting for, or running after, and let it go.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living: Peace and Freedom in the Here and Now
“Death is essential to making life possible. Death is transformation. Death is continuation. When we die, something else is born, even if it takes time to reveal itself or for us to be able to recognize it.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living: Peace and Freedom in the Here and Now
“As I breathe in I say, “Breathing legendary breaths,” and as I breathe out I say, “Living legendary moments, wonderful moments.” Happiness is there at every step, and I know that tomorrow I will have no regrets.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living: Peace and Freedom in the Here and Now
“Freedom is a practice and a habit. We have to train ourselves to walk as a free person, sit as a free person, and eat as a free person. We need to train ourselves how to live.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living: Peace and Freedom in the Here and Now
“In our sangha, we have a porch we call, Listening to the Rain Veranda. We made it specially for that purpose— so we could sit there and listen to the rain and not need to think about anything. Listening to the rain can help the mind come to stillness.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living
“Emptiness means to be full of everything but empty of a separate existence.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living
“About thirty years ago I was looking for an English word to describe our deep interconnection with everything else. I liked the word “togetherness,” but I finally came up with the word “interbeing.” The verb “to be” can be misleading, because we cannot be by ourselves, alone.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living
“If I am to be found anywhere, it is in your peaceful way of breathing and walking.” That is my continuation. Even though we may never have met in person, if, when you breathe in, you find peace in your breathing, I am there with you.
In the light of emptiness and interbeing we know they have not died or disappeared: they continue in their actions and in us. We can still talk to them. We can say something like, “I know you are there. I’m breathing for you. I’m smiling for you. I’m enjoying looking around with your eyes. I am enjoying life with you. I know that you are still there very close to me, and that now you continue in me.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living
“You carry your mother in every cell of your body. You have to look deeply to see that she is in fact always with you. Her hand is still in your hand. If your parents have already passed away and you practice looking deeply like this, you can have an even closer relationship with your parents than that of someone whose parents are still alive but who cannot communicate easily with them. You may like to take a moment now to look at your hand. Can you see your mother’s hand in your hand? Or your father’s? Look deeply into your hand. With this insight, and with all the love and care of your parents, bring your hand up to your forehead and feel the hand of your mother or father touching your forehead. Allow yourself to be cared for by your parents in you. They are always with you”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living
“Every human being can become a buddha. This is good news. We all have the seeds of mindfulness, love, understanding, and compassion, and whether these good seeds have a chance to grow depends on our environment and our experiences. Don’t doubt that you have a buddha body. There have been times in the past when you had the capacity to understand, to forgive, and to love. These are the seeds of your buddha body. You have to give the buddha in you a chance. Allowing the buddha in you to grow doesn’t require special effort. If you wake up to the beauties of nature, you are already a buddha. And if you know how to maintain that spirit of being awake all day, you are a full-time buddha.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living
“To be a buddha—to wake up—also means to wake up to the suffering in the world and find ways to bring relief and transformation. This requires a tremendous source of energy. Your strong aspiration—your mind of love—is that immense source of energy that helps wake you up to the nourishing and healing beauties of nature and to the suffering of the world. It gives you a lot of energy to help. This is the career of a buddha. And if you have that source of strength in you, if you have the mind of love, you are a buddha in action.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living
“Throughout our life we produce energy. We say things and do things, and every thought, every word, and every act carries our signature. What we produce as thoughts, as speech, as action, continues to influence the world, and that is our continuation body. Our actions carry us into the future. We are like stars whose light energy continues to radiate across the cosmos millions of years after they become extinct.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living
“Can you see how you are continued in your parents, in your brothers and sisters, in your teachers and friends? Can you see the continuation body of your parents and loved ones? We don’t need to get old or die in order to see our continuation body. We don’t need to wait for the complete disintegration of this body in order to begin to see our continuation body, just as a cloud doesn’t need to have been entirely transformed into rain in order to see her continuation body. Can you see your rain, your river, your ocean? Each one of us should train ourselves to see our continuation body in the present moment. If we can see our continuation body while we’re still alive, we’ll know how to cultivate it to ensure a beautiful continuation in the future. This is the true art of living. Then, when the time comes for the dissolution of our physical body, we will be able to release it easily.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living
“We are children of the Earth, made of all the same elements and minerals. We contain mountains, rivers, stars, and black holes. In every moment of our life the cosmos is going through us, renewing us, and we are returning ourselves to the cosmos. We are breathing the atmosphere, eating the earth’s food, creating new ideas, and experiencing new feelings. And we are emitting energy back into the cosmos, in our thinking, speech, and actions, in our out-breath, in our body’s warmth, and in releasing everything we have consumed and digested. In this very moment many parts of us are returning to the earth. We don’t return to the earth and cosmos only when our body disintegrates. We are already inside the earth, and the earth is inside us.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living
“the concentrations on emptiness, signlessness, and aimlessness. They are known as the Three Doors of Liberation and are available in every school of Buddhism.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living: Peace and Freedom in the Here and Now

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