Our True Home – 10 quotes from Thich Naht Hanh’s book – Touching Peace: Practicing the Art of Mindful Living

by Mark Votava

41V1AmMt-lL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_1. What is wonderful and refreshing

“We pay so much attention to what is wrong, why not notice what is wonderful and refreshing?”

2. Flowers and garbage

“When we look deeply into ourselves, we see both flowers and garbage. Each of us has anger, hatred, depression, racial discrimination, and many other kinds of garbage in us, but there is no need for us to be afraid. In the way that a gardener knows how to transform compost into flowers, we can learn the art of transforming anger, depression, and racial discrimination into love and understanding. This is the work of meditation.”

3. If you are afraid of your fear

“If you are afraid of your fear, it may overwhelm you. But if you invite it up calmly and smile at it in mindfulness, it will lose some of its strength…”

4. The practice of mindfulness

“The practice of mindfulness is the practice of love itself…”

5. Unmindful speech and the inability to listen

“Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I am committed to cultivating loving speech and deep listening in order to bring joy and happiness to others and relieve others of their suffering. Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I am determined to speak truthfully, with words that inspire self-confidence, joy, and hope. I will not spread news that I do not know to be certain and will not criticize or condemn things of which I am not sure. I will refrain from uttering words that can cause division or discord, or that can cause the family or the community to break. I am determined to make all efforts to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.”

6. Our capacity of being aware

“Mindfulness is something we can believe in. It is our capacity of being aware of what is going on in the present moment. To believe in mindfulness is safe, and not at all abstract…”

7. To live each moment of life deeply

“Meditation is to live each moment of life deeply…”

8. We do not practice to escape

“Meditation is not to avoid problems or run away from difficulties. We do not practice to escape. We practice to have enough strength to confront problems effectively. To do this, we must be calm, fresh, and solid. That is why we need to practice the art of stopping. When we learn to stop, we become more calm, and our mind becomes clearer, like clear water after the particles of mud have settled. Sitting quietly, just breathing in and out, we develop strength, concentration, and clarity…”

9. Touching life in the present moment

“Many of us, although alive, are not really alive, because we are not able to touch life in the present moment…”

10. A matter of practice

“Our true home is in the present moment. 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. Peace is all around us – in the world and in nature – and within us – in our bodies and spirits. Once we learn to touch this peace, we will be healed and transformed. It is not a matter of faith; it is a matter of practice. We need only to find ways to bring our body and mind back to the present moment so we can touch what is refreshing, healing, and wondrous.”

Which quote do you like the best?

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