Thich Nhat Hanh on Inner Peace

Written by Theresa Ho ~ Quotes in bold by Thich Nhat Hanh

“Letting go gives us freedom and freedom is the only condition for happiness.” Whether it is letting go of an old belief that no longer serves you, past mistakes, people in your life that disempowers you, when you learn to let go, you create space for the new. You empower yourself optimizing your energy in spending it with people you love and creating a life that fulfills you.

“Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.” A reminder to breathe and how in this simple act you can bring yourself back to the present, quieting the mind and into peace.

“I would not look upon anger as something foreign to me that I have to fight… I have to deal with my anger with care, with love, with tenderness, with nonviolence.” Emotions are a normal part of our being and it plays a role in our body systems and in our life providing us with feedback in the interactions we are having with our external environment. So instead of seeing anger as a negative emotion, acknowledge it for what it is. Let it stir and move through you, and once it has you will be able to act with more clarity and less regret.

“If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything.” When you get caught up with keeping up with what everyone else is doing, it is easy to lose yourself in the noise and forget who you are.

“Every morning, when we wake up, we have twenty-four brand-new hours to live. What a precious gift! We have the capacity to live in a way that these twenty-four hours will bring peace, joy, and happiness to ourselves and others.” Time is precious. Live it in a way that brings meaning and purpose in your life while lifting up others’ spirits in whatever shape or form you can.

“This is a very important practice. Live your daily life in a way that you never lose yourself. When you are carried away with your worries, fears, cravings, anger, and desire, you run away from yourself and you lose yourself. The practice is always to go back to oneself.” Often our thoughts and emotions get the best of us and when we notice we are stuck in a disempowering state, it is your call to action to reconnect within. This could be through meditation, going for a walk out in nature, dancing, cleaning, yoga, whatever action that helps you reset your mind and bring it back to balance.

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” Smiling is an easy way to change your physiology to bring you to a better feeling state that leads to happiness.   It’s also a simple way to connect, acknowledge and bring joy to others. To borrow another great saying from Thich Nhat Hanh “Smile, Breathe and Go Slowly.”

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.” Appreciate the simple things in life. Beauty is all around us. Engage and recognize the abundance of the world you live in. The more you bask in the feeling of appreciation, you will naturally take inspired action and attain what it is you want to create in your life.

“At any moment you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it.” You always have a choice. You can choose to exercise it, aligning it to your values and essence, or you can choose to ignore your own needs and live out other people’s desires. When you choose to do the latter, you dim your light, leading you further away from your spirit. When you choose to connect with your spirit, it leads you to freedom. It guides you to live out your truth and your values, which gives you inner peace.

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” Your feelings serves as your GPS. Let it be your compass to help you decide the thoughts and actions you will take. Your breathing helps bring you back to a neutral balance state.

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” Do you, be you because no matter who you be, you will never satisfy everyone. Thus, the only person you need to be is your perfectly imperfect self. And when you accept yourself, your life will get easier.

All the elements for your happiness are already here. There is no need to run, strive, search, or struggle. Just be.” Like so many great teachers have said, the purpose of life is joy. And to create the life we seek, we need to tune into our truth and follow what makes us happy. In doing so, our joy will grow and the universe or whatever it is you believe in will lead you to all that is. Trust and take action to follow your bliss.

Source: Daily Zen


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