Thich Nhat Hanh is a world-renowned Buddhist monk and Zen master. He is a teacher, author, poet, and peace activist who has been integral in sharing the concept of mindfulness with the world.

Mindfulness can be used as a spiritual or psychiatric practice, or simply as a way of living life. It involves being in a state of open awareness grounded in the present moment. Here are inspirational excerpts on mindfulness from the Zen master himself.

“Mindfulness helps you go home to the present. And every time you go there and recognize a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes.”

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”

“When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love.”

“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.” “

The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.”

“The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.”

“When you look at the sun during your walking meditation, the mindfulness of the body helps you to see that the sun is in you; without the sun there is no life at all and suddenly you get in touch with the sun in a different way.”

“Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.”

 “Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”

 “Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.”

“In mindfulness one is not only restful and happy, but alert and awake. Meditation is not evasion; it is a serene encounter with reality.”

“Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.”


Danielle Hark is a wellness writer, photographer, and founder of BrokenLightCollective.com - the online photography gallery for people affected by mental illness. As someone who has struggled with mental health issues, her mission is to help as many other people who are struggling as possible, using photography and creativity. www.DanielleHark.com and twitter.com/DanielleHark.

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