Favorite Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes

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Please take a few minutes to read some favorite Thich Nhat Hanh quotes from various SnowFlower Sangha members:

Papa Fall


(c) Paul Thoresen. Used by permission

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Power

Papa Fall: This quote helps me, especially when I am confused or judging myself harshly.  It’s a constant reminder to offer compassion to myself.

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Gloria Green


©Robin Carlson. Used by permission.

“Each one of us has to be our true self: fresh, solid, at ease, loving and compassionate. When we are our true selves, not only you but everyone around you will profit from your presence. Just like a beautiful tree: if the tree is anything but a tree we will all be in trouble.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh, a quote posted on his Facebook Page, October 26, 2014

Gloria Green:  I have spent much of my life trying to be who I thought people wanted me to be. So hearing Thay say that being my true self benefits all those around me gives me the permission and courage be my true self.

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Cheri Maples


Reflection of a Buddha statue

© Paul Thoresen, Used By Permission

“Are you sure?” ― Thich Nhat Hanh, No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering

Cheri Maples:  In those three words — ”Are you sure?” — Thay captures the Buddha’s teaching not to trust our perceptions because they are almost always wrong.  As a police officer, asking “Are you sure?” helped me seek the wisdom Thay once said police officers need-the wisdom to know when to employ either “the gentle compassion of understanding” or “the fierce compassion of setting boundaries to protect others.”

When we act mindfully, we create “a sacred pause,” a phrase meant to describe that vital moment between the stimulus and response.  And it is precisely at that moment that “Are you sure?” can halt the habit energy of hidden biases and misunderstandings that otherwise can lead to tragedy.

“Are you sure the guy I’ve stopped is going for a gun, or is it his driver’s license?”

“Are you sure the boy a witness says is armed really has a pistol, or is it a squirt gun?”

I bow to Thay in gratitude for capturing in three words such an important teaching, a teaching that benefits not just police officers, but all who seek to act with a compassion that is truly wise.

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Curt Pawlisch


DSC_0228“To live in the present moment is a miracle. The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green Earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Touching Peace: Practicing the Art of Mindful Living

Curt Pawlisch:  These sentences were from one of the first Thich Nhat Hanh books I had ever read.  The teaching resonated deeply given my love of the environment and my need to come back to the present moment—to stop all my thinking as a lawyer, my career at the time—and instead to lay claim to the vastness of now.


Geri Weinstein-Breunig


Photo by Pexels Photo

“We are continued by our views and by our thinking. These are the children we give birth to in every moment.”

“To fully experience this life as a human being, we need to connect with our desire to realize something larger than our individual selves. This can be motivation enough to change our ways so we can find relief from the noise that fills our heads.”

― Thich Nhat Hanh, quotes from Silence: The Power of Silence in a World Full of Noise

Geri Weinstein-Breunig:  These quotes guide my internal thoughts, external actions and shape my relationships to others and to my world. I falter at times, but I try to keep these words as my purpose and moral compass.