Eight Simple Lessons For a Better Life

A few weeks ago we talked all things mindfulness from the perspective of the father of mindfulness, Thich Nhat Hanh. But we couldn’t stop there. Thich Nhat Hanh has so much wisdom we couldn’t do it justice in just one post, so here are eight of our favourite life lessons by Thich Nhat Hanh.  


  1. Presence is a skill that can be learned. It just takes practice until like breathing it becomes automatic

“Mindfulness practice should be enjoyable, not work or effort. Do you have to make an effort to breath in? You don’t need to make an effort. To breathe in, you just breathe in. Suppose you are with a group of people contemplating a beautiful sunset. Do you have to make an effort to enjoy the beautiful sunset? No, you don’t have to make any effort. You just enjoy it.”


  1. When another person makes you suffer, it only is because they suffer deeply within themselves

“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.”


  1. Try understanding instead of blaming

“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertiliser, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.”


  1. All things should be recognised equally

“Feelings, whether compassion or irritation, should be welcomed, recognised and treated on an absolutely equal basis because both are ourselves. The tangerine I am eating is me. The mustard greens I am planting are me. I plant with all my heart and mind. I clean this teapot with the kind of attention I would have if I was giving the baby Buddha or Jesus a bath. Nothing should be treated more carefully than anything else. In mindfulness, compassion, irritation, mustard green plant and teapot are all sacred.”


  1. Acknowledge your fear but don’t be trapped by it

“Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realise that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvellously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.”


  1. The power of letting go

“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.”

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”

“Buddhism teaches that joy and happiness arise from letting go. Please sit down and take an inventory of your life. There are things you’ve been hanging on to that really are not useful and deprive you of your freedom. Find the courage to let them go.”


  1. Be mindful of what you consume

“As well as mindful exercises, we should also be mindful of what we consume. It all affects our body and mind. If we consume toxic magazine articles, movies, or video games, they will feed our craving, our anger, and our fear. If we set aside time each day to be in a peaceful environment, to walk in nature, or even just to look at a flower or the sky, then that beauty will penetrate us and feed our love and our joy.”


  1. The present moment is filled with joy and happiness

“To dwell in the here and now does not mean you never think about the past or responsibly plan for the future. The idea is simply not to allow yourself to get lost in regrets about the past or worries about the future. If you are firmly grounded in the present moment, the past can be an object of inquiry, the object of your mindfulness and concentration. You can attain many insights by looking into the past. But you are still grounded in the present moment.”

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”


Love Kez

Ovae’s Resident Blogger x


(Image Credithttps://www.123rf.com/photo_61076975_mindfulness-optimism-relax-harmony-concept.html)

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