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Froglessness – poem by Thich Nhat Hanh

The first fruition of the practice
is the attainment of froglessness.

When a frog is put
on the center of a plate,
she will jump out of the plate
after just a few seconds.

If you put the frog back again
on the center of the plate,
she will again jump out.

You have so many plans.
There is something you want to become.
Therefore you always want to make a leap,
a leap forward.

It is difficult
to keep the frog still
on the center of the plate.

You and I
both have Buddha Nature in us.
This is encouraging,
but you and I
both have Frog Nature in us.

That is why
 the first attainment
of the practice—
froglessness is its name.


(from “Call me by My True Names  – The Collected Poems of Thich Nhat Hanh”, Parallax Press, 2005.)

Join the conversation

  • Thank you for this wonderful poem. I laughed aloud.

    We wandering frogs are happy to know that the plate is there, that we will sit find rest.


    • Wonderful poem to introduce to children.
      It’s a sweet gentle reminder to be, stay in the present moment…..it’s prrfectly ok to not have anywhere to go or do.

  • Many thanks for this reminder to re-read Thay’s lovely book of poems, in fact many years ago I gave my partner this poem in the form of an ornament, a green china lily pad with the frog sitting there, its still on his desk, though he passed away a year ago, and I’d forgotten what prompted the gift. Trish

  • I hope I have understood the meaning of this poem- that froglessness means “being able to stay/ sit in the centre of your being (the plate), without having the recurring impulse to jump out and reach onto something else, because of your “jumping frog nature”?

  • Super cool thank’s When i was a frogmen LOL. I\ enjoy it verry mutch .The frog on the plate means that you have to stay in the moment. Aqua or water is like a antenna for me LOL. Let’s stick to nature LOL …. You are a funny bunch of people.

    Take care and love you xxx Marcel, Let’s dance

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    What is Mindfulness

    Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

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