A Million Buddhas-to-be


baby washing dishes

 

Don’t worry if you feel you can only do one tiny good thing in one small corner of the cosmos.

Just be a Buddha body in that one place.

This week Thay’s community of followers on Facebook reached ONE MILLION.

To celebrate, we invited people to share how they are applying Thay’s teachings in their corner of the world.

Here’s our extended editors’ pick of some of the most inspiring comments.

FB 1 million

I say to almost everyone I know “We are here to awaken from an illusion of separateness.” That is one of the most powerful messages I’ve ever heard.
- Ian Pullman, USA

Dear Thay lying here in hospital with symptoms of the aids i have i live in no fear of death and greet every day as a gift. i enjoy breathing and am thankful of everything in my body that miraculously keeps me healthy since 31 years. i love your gathas and use many of them in my daily life. i composed a gatha for taking my many pills : grateful of all humans, animals, plants and minerals that have helped to create this medicine , i thankfully take it. i am aware that many people lack medicine and pray that every creature may be helped. ‘ i am your loving , grateful student, “true equanimity of the heart”
- Michèle Negele, The Netherlands

Last year i was severely injured at boston marathon bombing. I have traumatic brain injury, neuro blind, and deaf. I know that my spiritual mind and spiritual heart is where i connect to my buddha nature. When i focus on my soul connection and know i am still a perfectly imperfect loved divine being then i can accept my physical limitations.
- Joanna Leigh

Dear Thay,
I would like to thank you for helping me through a very difficult time in my life. Thank you for allowing me to see the situation clearly and for guiding me through it with such gentleness and compassion. I am so, so grateful. You have made such a great impact on my life, and I have never met you. Technology is so miraculous….
Love,
- Shana Ronayne Hickman

I’ve begun using Peace Is Every Step as a meditational book. I’m a Type A personality, and nothing else has ever worked before in trying to slow my lifestyle down. I eat fast, drive too fast – I’ve lived every moment on the run, even though I’ve noticed this tendency in myself and tried to stop. I’m finally getting some success with living mindfully. Thanks, Thay. The peaceful path that you share is, to use my own religious terms, a blessing.
- Daniel Killman

I teach mindfulness and meditation to my juvenile inmates. I’m a deputy and have had to endure a lot of negative remarks from coworkers. But I don’t care because I know that I’m reaching some of these guys and at least putting the thought of mindfulness inside them. Metta
- Karen Nelson, Orange County, California, USA

“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.” – I love this quote from his. It gave me understanding about other people’s pain, and as a sign of profound gratitude, I spread this word to other people who have the same difficulty as me.
- Helena Kobayashi, São Paulo, Brazil

After spending six months with you at the end of the nineties I returned to Palestine and established a movement supporting Palestinian non violent resistance to the Israeli military occupation. It would not be possible without the teachings.
- Neta Golan, Palestine

I remember that there is no difference between other people and me. And I remember that I am both wave and water. Thay gave me life again. I tried to suicide myself, before. He gave me new eyes. It’s a long and beautiful path.
- Chiara Mente, Italy

I go through a mindful body scan and breathing meditation with my high school students before we learn math.
- Rena Lyn

Me and my son practice the 4 pebble meditation at sleep time….few deep breathes and it calms him and he is off to sleep in minutes!
- Deepti Nanawati, Delhi, India

I am a Benedictine monk (Roman Catholic) and I practice Thay’s breathing mantras as I enter into meditation and prayer I also imagine my anger, frustration, envy or any other strong emotional energy as a “person in my living room”, I greet it, and embrace it like a wounded child, treating it with great compassion.
- Adrian Burke, Saint Meinrad, Indiana

Dear Thay,
I just want to thanks a million for your wonderful book that helping me going through the grief of our Grandpa. “Something” cannot become “nothing”, and “nothing” cannot become “something”……our beloved was not destroyed; she has just taken on another form. We can see our loved one in everything. And smiling, we can say,”Dear one, I know you are there very close to me. I know that your nature is the nature of no birth and no death. I know that I have not lost you; you are always with me” – No Death No Fear – Thich Nhat Hanh.
- Anh Ha Fathi, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Five ways Thich Nhat Hanh has changed my life:
1. I am kinder–to myself and others.
2. I no longer have panic attacks because I have learned how to handle strong emotions.
3. My partner and I have new tools for making decisions and supporting each other.
4. When I first read the The Five Mindfulness Trainings, I felt as if I had found water in the desert.
5. Thay’s understanding of our interconnectedness with each other, all beings, our planet, and our cosmos, gives me some hope in the face of what we are doing to our beautiful Mother Earth.
- Stephanie Davies, New York, USA

Mindfulness is getting me through Surgery and Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer. I often have to wait for doctors, procedures, results, and it’s always a great chance to get back to ‘now’ and ground myself and give thanks for everything.
- Elizabeth Savina, Australia

I’m doing my best to take every step in mindfulness and in peaceful awareness. I think that I’m “there” for more than 30% of my steps.
- Pamela Goddard, New York, USA

I am in Utah. I first began following Thay and learning with him as part of a therapeutic treatment for BPD years ago and the difference in my life was immense. Last year my baby girl passed away and I wasn’t able to cope. I relapsed instantly. Thankfully I was arrested for the first time of my life on the one month anniversary of her death and the court mandated intense outpatient rehab. My counselor at the facility is a Buddhist man who begins each day of treatment with guided meditation and breathing in a one hour mindfulness class where we discuss many of the teachings of Buddha, Thay, and other bodhisatvas. The peace and calm I have gained thru these classes has literally saved my life. A few months ago I was heading toward a grave of my own and fast. Whether by suicide or some other danger my choices might have brought to my life I don’t think I’d be here writing this comment without Thay and ‘Peace Is Every Step’ being a part of my recovery. Not only am I making healthier more mindful decisions but I am working toward making my peace with the loss of my baby and all the losses that followed due to my choices. I’m not there yet but I feel a hope I did not have less than a year ago. For that I will forever be grateful to Thay and all those like him. Thank you, sir, for the countless lives you have saved or improved. “I have lost my smile but do not worry my friend the dandelion has it”. Thich Nhat Hanh has become the dandelion friend for all the world.
- Amanda Faulkner, Utah, USA

Sometimes I just hear some key words in my mind, such as, “Stop the running”. Also, I work in a hospital in mental health n I use the breathing Gathas. Love those! Many patients choose the “mountain, solid” one to make as a painting to remind them
- Claire Bessat

I wash the dishes when I am washing the dishes
- David Howlett

My wife Ashley and I practice Deep Listening with our 9-year old daughter, and we encourage her to use Loving Speech, too. She sits with us at home and at our Sangha meetings as well!
- Rick Huffman

I have learned to practice….I notice clouds in my tea…I shut the door behind me mindfully when I leave a room….I now look forward to washing dishes…I take time to listen with compassion… I have passed along books, quotes, carpooled to Deer Park, given podcasts links and shared your beautiful voice with my dear family and friends. Thank you for your precious teachings and for transforming my outlook.
- Trixie McGee, USA

Dear Thay, you gave me back my life by teaching me that a lotus NEEDS the mud.
- Gordana Metze

Just this weekend I did a walking meditation with my two-year-old great-niece. I’d read that this is one of the meditations Thay does … walking in silence, holding the hand of a small child while leading others. She and I walked in silence, holding hands, listening to the world and observing. It was a beautiful experience, especially when she looked up at me and smiled. Pure bliss. Much gratitude to you.
- Kamela Miilu Torvinen

Dear Thay
Gifting your books, that travel with me, to those in greater need. Directing lost souls to your words of loving kindness and guidance. In particular, your focus on family. I am the very last alive in my ancestral line. I live by your words of living the best life I can for all of them. I want to die with our lineage in loving peace. I was on the brink of leaving this life when I came across Buddha. Now I aim to live as long as possible for the benefit of all beings. Thank you from the depths of my heart,
- Sairina in Australia

I pause as many times as possible during the day, close my eyes and then I take a deep breath, reminding myself to be present and to be grateful to be alive.
- Cate Malone

Dear Thay
Thank you kindly for offering your teachings freely through the Internet and podcasts. Through them and your books I am increasingly aware of my thoughts, words and actions. Steadily, I am becoming more able to recognise when tension is present and use my breath to return to ease and a state of loving compassion.Throughout the day I am more aware of the fullness and intricacy of life, the “worlds within worlds”, the connections between all things on all scales, infinitely. I am aware of how my thoughts, words and actions are impacting upon this. My heart is open more often, my relationships improving.Through your urging for people to go back to their own tradition, I have rediscovered my church-of-origin and spiritual ancestors in a way I never thought was possible. Thank you deeply for this.I dearly hope one day to participate in a retreat at Plum Village and sit and walk in meditation there as part of your sangha. Thank you again.
With love
- Ruth Thomas

Each time I breathe I work toward mindful love – no matter the circumstance. Even while washing the dishes, I think of the potters and their contributions to my life, that I may reuse the plate and bowl and reduce my physical impact on the earth. Every time I do dishes I think of Brother Thay and his lessons on mindfulness – and love.
- Inge Lena Ólafsdóttir

I have made peace with myself.
- Libby Summers Boucher

I’ve learned to breath & smile. To calm my body and mind when I start to feel stressed at work, I’ve learned to be present and really listen. I am a nurse. Thankyou Thay.
- Pauline North, Australia

I stop and come back to myself everytime I hear the bell in my village or the one on my phone application That is, every 30 minutes or so…
- Félicie Aussi

Learning to be still, mindful and in the moment. Be grateful and see beauty in all people, places and things. Not to have hate in my heart. To give and receive love.
- Christina Calvo

Dear master
I set myself a goal in January 2013 to sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day without fail… after sitting I listened every day to a one of you dharma talks ( teachings on love) my life has been transformed by this practice and in April I came to Plum Village with my father (82 years old) having learnt to acknowledg his own suffering he experienced great healing and our relationship has benefited tremendously as a result. We are no longer at war with each other. I regard this as A Miracle of Mindfulness and thank you for your wonderful teachings and for the compassion, love, kindness, and acceptance of the brothers and sisters of plum village who offered my father and I thes place and time to reflect, sit, heal and embrace the world and ourselves with a new vision.
- Valerie McDonald (London)

Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet” think of this when taking long solitary walks in the beautiful forests
-Tuija Hyytiäinen, Finland

Thank you always for your teaching. Your mindful meditation and walking help me be in the moment with gratitude and simplicity… I am a healing counselor in Japan, traveling around the world. I travel with your mindful teaching in my heart. Thank you so much!
- Kana Uemura, Japan

Dear Thay, more than anything else, your Mindfulness practice is helping me find stability and happiness in my life. With deep gratitude and much love for you and my teachers
- Les Tscherne: Australian, Vietnam Veteran, and OI member

When conditions are sufficient we manifest. I feel lucky to be manifested at the same period as Thay.
- Bob Gilman, Montana, USA

As long as i keep this in my mind, “Darling, i know you suffer, that is why i am here for you” i am able to proceed with compassion and loving kindness in even the most challenging situations
- Dawn Gosseck, Milwaukee, USA

I begin each of the college classes I teach with a mindful Minute of breathing to bring us all into the present moment for learning.
- Kelly Rae Kraemer

Dear Thay:
I’ve been watching your Dharma talks on Youtube since I discovered them last November. Every day I spend from 2 to 6 hours listening to you and at the beginning I tried to do things mindfully and I rediscovered the joy of living every second. Although I constantly forget to be present, my breath is deeper every time. The habit of running is still very strong, even though many people would say I’m usually very calm compared to them, but I know very clearly when I am present in the here and the now because I enjoy my breath or my food or the sound of the birds outside in the garden or the smell of the rain. I can see the cloud in many things around me when I take the time to observe and enjoy what’s around me. I know that my father almost 98 who used to be healthy and strong for he always practiced swimming, yoga and Qi Gong and whose health has deteriorated a lot in the last 6 years will eventually “not go” and he will always be in me as is my dearest mother who passed almost 30 years ago and whose lovely smile and love for life I can still feel. I cannot thank you enough for teaching us how to deal with our emotions since I have been able to practice in a few difficult times.
- Marielena Mellado, Quebec, Canada

Thay’s teachings have helped me immeasurably in my life as a Christian monastic, in particular, his Teachings on Love, Teachings on Anger, and the talk he gave to prisoners in an American maximum security prison. I read these texts very deeply and really worked on putting them into practice in my daily monastic life, to great benefit.
- Sheila Long

I am filled with thankfullness for the possibility to be a part of the sanga online. I take part of the onlinemonestary. My Eyes get filled with tears when I feel the sanga around me, when I become merged with the river. I remember who I truly am when I listen to Thays teachings. I try to hold the space of mindfulness for myself by practicing Daily, I try to hold the space for the people I meet. With my heart owerflowing with thankfulness for your precense I merge in the sanga to heal.
- Ann Johansson Hjälmås

I teach children how to accept what they can not change, treat themselves with compassion and be present.
- Adele Heaton

I work as a Dietitian and use mindful techniques with my patients. I found your book ‘Savor’ mindful eating, mindful life a wonderful read. I also try to live my life in the present moment..breathe in breathe out. Thank you for all you have given
- Kristen Riggs

I have learnt to enjoy every second of my life, i learn to see miracle around me every day, i try to help others as much as i can knowing that we are connected with each other in some way. And every time i watch Thay’s video tears are welled up in my eyes, those are happy tears of someone who found something so wonderful deeply inside .
- Роза нгуен

From Venezuela, and I practice mindful loving
- Aniuzka Alejos

Your teachings help to guide me back onto a path of peace and mindfulness when the world and others try to force me off that path. Sometimes just a few words can be the guidepost.
- Jason Bard Waters

The teaching I most love to apply is to give my child and loved ones 100% of my presence…it’s the best gift we can give them.
- Jyoteshna Shabnam Owens

When I am holding the baby I put my full attention on the baby as I carry her walking outside in the backyard and hold her in the baby carrier. I breathe in and out and meditate as I wait patiently for her to sleep I am there with her fully experiencing her presence and the presence of peace. I have been deeply moved by the talks Thich Nhat Hanh has given on how our emotions effect our babies and children. I am most grateful for your dhamma talks.
- Sandia Moreami

Trying to be as peacefull within myself as i can be, so i am a better mom to my kids and a better friend to my friends. I’m from Slovenija, Europa.
- Eva Zupancic

Washing dishes one at a time.
- Catherine Gates

We have a small sangha and we practice a day of mindfulness every Sunday. Please come to South Africa Thay. Thank you for being you and for your presence. Love you.
- Vivashan Muthan, South Africa.

I teach my teenage son the pebbles and I tell him and all the people I have the honor to meet through my job what I know about mindfulness and to reflect things as they truly are.
- Allyson Hoffmann

I practice mindful breathing…especially when I’ve become ridiculously upset.
- Daryn Holdsworth

Mindful walking. Breathing in and out ‘I am home’
- Judi Gibbs

I try to be be in the moment, to enjoy it for what it is. The sunrise or sunset is a perfect example. You just have to enjoy this moment because in another moment it is different, changed.
- Robyn Ashley

My spouse and I start our day with a hugging meditation.
- Jean Pauley

I run a youth group called the young peacemakers club, YPC Chicago and we have taught the children the 4 pebble meditation. The kids painted 4 stones to keep in a pouch and use for these meditations, we have received a lot of positive feedback on how much the kids enjoy this and how often they are using it. Thank you for all your guidance, support and love.
- Kate Kent

I smile even when I get stuck on ice or in the mud in my wheelchair. You have taught me to smile and find happiness in difficult times. I used this teaching many times when my dad was dying recently. I continued to smile and make jokes even when things were really challenging. A lotus from Canada to you, our most dearest of teachers.
- Melissa Addison-Webster

One mindful moment at a time. Being mindful adds joy to each day. I love it when there is a stressful moment and I remember to stop and breathe..instantly changing my perception of the world around me. My students will join in on breathing when they are in my office and the mindfulness bell goes off. And last but not least, I can honestly say that I could not continue working with climate change without having Thay’s wisdom with me. It would just be too much. I have so much gratitude for all that you all do, thank you.
- Nancy Turyk

Hello my friend. Now and Zen in California. Your words of wisdom have helped me on my journey in this life to be a better husband father and human being. Words to give me strength when I felt week. Thank you. Light love joy! Peace
- Brian Lopez

During many moments of anger, frustration or anxiety in my everyday, my mind and heart and breath “hear” his teachings.
- Monica Medina McCurdy

I’ve been a teacher and principal and I’m switching to being a counselor in an Alaska Native village on the Bering Sea in Alaska. You can be mindful anywhere, but for me this will help me in that direction.
- Ward Walker

Sooo many ways…but I’d have to highlight Compassion (and self compassion) as Thay’s most transformative teaching. THANK YOU, Thay. You are an ongoing inspiration and light in the world. Namaste
- Jasper Jones

I take good care of my anger, so that I can take good care of my family. Thank you for helping me see that, Thay!
- Antoine Valot

I work with survivors of domestic violence. I use his teachings everyday and strive to walk in peace, trying to remember to walk in peace. It’s hard, but I start the next day with ‘I will walk in peace, I will act with kindness.’
- Flink Linley

I am mindful of my daily walk, thank you Thay
- Steven Lavoie

I share your teachings with my sweet 11 year old son who is challenged by anxiety. Specifically, we do the pebble meditation together and he has begun to do it himself on the playground during recess- and better yet, he has shared the
meditation with his friends who now sometimes do it with him!
- Abby Rafkin

I have Thay’s and Sister Chan Khong’s photos on my altar and bow to you in gratitude every morning. I recite your mindfulness trainings and gathas throughout my day. By doing so, I gift your wisdom and compassion to everyone I meet. We inter-are!
- Roxy Deaver

I work in US public policy on a very divisive issue. Everyday, I begin my day with breath and a global perspective of compassion for the personal journeys of all. In this, I can refrain from internalizing the grief of others. This allows me to remain true to balance for others and myself. To see and appreciate the journeys of others, we commit to our own without fear.
- Aimee Welch Champion

Living in a time when schedules are often hectic & over-booked, and technology keeps us “plugged in” for way too many hours, Thay’s teachings have become absolutely essential for me. Because of his teachings I remember to slow down and breathe. I treasure my walking meditations, and try to always prepare and eat my food mindfully. Thay has taught me to live my life with compassion, love and peace in every step. I am truly honored to be one of his students!
- Kara Scieszka

I have come to a point where my walks instantly empty me. Where ever my mind gets stuck it comes to the present moment when I walk. This has come to be from conscious practice of your lessons and has brightened my life in so many ways.
- Marty Tripp

I use Thay’s teaching especially when I’m driving to work and coming back home. I use “Before I start the car I know where I am going, The car and I are one, when the car goes fast, I go fast” to be mindful on the road and enjoy the journey irrespective of the rush hour traffic. Much metta to you Thay.
- Krish Alahakoon

Every time I hear bells ring, I stop what doing and mindfully breathe! Aaaaah!
- Analisa Peck

By focusing on my breath and taking the time to honor my ancestors! And by being sure I am washing the dishes while I wash the dishes his teachings have helped me to reconnect with Gaia and the Great Spirit and thus with myself and I am so grateful! Thank you Thay! It is an honour to walk this path with you as we all carve the future for humanity! Namaste!
- Eva Marjanović Ally

I have often struggled with anxiety, and I often remind myself of Thay’s teaching about taking care of our fear. I picture my fear in the form of a beloved stray dog we took in, and as I take care of my fear, I am reminded that I am larger than the emotions I am experiencing at any time. Thank you so much, Thay.
- Susan Dickson-Smith

I teach kindergarten and I always teach with love in my heart first, and smile…even with tough inner city deprived children this works.
- Katie Leitzell

I was reading one of his books when my mother was dying. His statement about sunflowers at Plum Village got me through the roughest part.
Thank you.
- Molly Sellers Robinson Seaver

Recognizing that being angry is a waste of time & energy, and that I can choose differently.
- Rochelle Young

By looking a my hand, seeing in it all ancestors, knowing I am never alone, they are always there and I feel great gratitude in that lesson. Metta, Thay
- Nancy Shepard Griggs

Sharing Thay’s teachings at an addiction treatment center. Teaching addicts how to practice mindfulness.
- Bari Platter

read his book the “miracle of being awake” quite some helpful practices. most importantly the new perception of what the state of enlightenment is. hope to be more disciplined in my practise of mindfulness. Kenya.
- Ngare Mukiria

I shared with my parents how grateful I am for everything they have done for me. If something should happen to them tomorrow there is nothing that is left unsaid.
Thank you!
-Lisa Swenson Jaffee

We have a wonderful Sangha here in Nelson NZ, very supportive, we meet 1x/week and regular DOMs, and I practise every day. Breathing and smiling is my mantra, oh so wonderful, my gratitude for Thays teachings is HUGE! Thank You.
- Libby Newton

I’m a fairly new student just soaking everything in but my favorite meditation Thay is to imagine Jesus and I are sitting on the beach just watching the waves in our beach chairs. Brings me enormous peace. You teach me many many great things!
- Melissa Johnson

Hello Im from El Salvador! and I have learn to appreciate every single moment not only appreciate but to feel it to taste it and is through his teachings that my life has change! thank you, Gracias!
- Chichi Aviles

When I wake up in the middle of the night and I start worrying I return to my breath and this settles me down and I am able to fall back to sleep.
- James Lapointe

I’ve used his book peace is every step to help numerous friends get clean off of drugs … amazing words inspire greater actions
- Kevin MacConkey

As a practicing Muslim, I use Thay’s teachings multiple times a day, during prayers – I practice to be present, one breath and one word at a time. During the Hajj pilgrimage in 2012, you would have found me doing walking meditation around the Ka’baa: nothing to do, nowhere to go, I am home.
- Shriar Pnhi

Colombia. I am learning to handle my emotions as they happen.
- Diego Barrios Lequerica

Walking to and from my gym in the morning, I pick up street trash, especially broken glass.
- Frank Champ

THANK YOU, Thay and Brothers and Sisters. I started a project called Wonder Anew where teens (and others) tell the positive changes they are making, beginning anew. Teens in NC and IL and TX have participated. When I introduce the project in the classroom, I ring the bell and breathe with them. I bought that bell at Magnolia last fall on retreat.
- Susan Michael Barrett

Just a simple monk!

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12 comments on “A Million Buddhas-to-be
  1. Sarah says:

    Dear Thay,
    I accidentally found the practice when I was trying to find an elective for school. I was running in all ways trying to emancipate myself from my suffering. This practice has deeply affected my entire life. I have learned how to make friends. I have stopped being fearful that everyone would hurt me. I learned how to love myself. I learned that love is not what I thought it was. Now as a social worker in the homeless shelters I take the practice there too. It has healed so many on a deep level, staff and clients alike. I didn’t know how to enjoy my life and I had pretty much given up that the world was a good place. I am pretty sure you saved my life.
    Sarah MacDonald
    Toronto, Canada

  2. Josh says:

    Dear Thay, Dear Sangah. “People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar to them.” I have started to approach the unknown and now I have no fear. Each day is a blessing, each breath nourishing. I no longer get it’s as I’ve now learned the way home.
    Love and respect to my great teacher.

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