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Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes

Thich Nhat Hanh 1926-present

Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the most extraordinary men of the 20th and 21st century’s, he is a prolific author of over 100 books on mindfulness and meditation, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and is an advocate of non violence in every aspect of life. He is also Zen Buddhist Monk, inspirational speaker and teacher, he has spent almost his entire life dedicated to helping others always with compassionate and kindness.

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Thich Nhat Hanh or Thay as he affectionately known was born in 1926 in the city of Hue in Central Vietnam. He entered the Buddhist monastic life at the age of 16 and received full ordination in 1951. In the few years they followed Thay started the school of Youth Social Service (SYSS) a Buddhist peace workers group, who would go into rural areas of Vietnam with the aim of establishing schools, healthcare clinics and rebuilding infrastructure.

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By 1961 Thay has been invited to teach comparative religion at Princeton University which subsequently turned into lecturer of Buddhist philosophy at Colombia university in New York. After a few years Thay returned to Vietnam to help with the peace work undertaken by the SYSS, unfortunately during the decade between 65-75 the SYSS suffered heavy blows, Sister Chân Không, co-founder and Buddhist Nun was accused of being a communist, support dwindled until attacks on its members became frequent. Thay and sister Chân Không continued spreading non violence and non discrimination throughout these hard times, until 1975 when Thích Nhat Hanh was refused entry into Vietnam being accused by the North as helping and aiding the South and South Vietnam accusing him of helping the North.

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It was in this year 1975 Thay sought solace as a political refugee in France. Gradually over time he would set up the community of Interbeing and the Plum Village Monastery in the Dordogne region of France, now home to over 150 monks and nuns. His monastery was open to monks, nuns and lay people alike, and he could be found simple tending his garden or giving lectures to hundreds of visitors. His numerous literary works include ‘peace in every step’ ‘the miracle of mindfulness’ and ‘old path white clouds’ to name just a few.

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It wasn’t until 2005, and after lengthy negotiations with the Vietnamese Government, that Thich Nhat Hanh was finally allowed to revisit is homeland, and then again in 2007. After suffering a brain hemorage and undergoing extensive treatment Thay has been allowed to return to his original Monastery in Central Vietnam. He is now 93 years old and has spent his entire life selflessly helping others with kindness and compassion.

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A truly extraordinary man who I have personally had the privilege to meet at his Plum Village Monastery, to sit in his presents was so calming, you didn’t feel anxious or nervous but simple and unconditionally loved. He glowed with a beautiful white light, just like the religious pictures of old. I met Thay while doing bare foot walking meditation in the snow, silently and gently I was walking around the perimeter of the monastery and around the corner came Thich Nhat Hanh doing exactly the same, a beaming smile on his face as he saw me. He motioned for me to sit next to him where he told me three things that changed my life forever. It sent me on a journey across continents in search of the truth, finally leading to my own ordination as Buddhist Monk and given the spiritual name of Dhamma Tapasa. I have visited Thay on two other occasions and each time I am blessed and humbled by this true meditation master.

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For more information on Thich Nhat Hanh, his mindfulness techniques, or plum village his monastery in France then CLICK HEAR for further details

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Nelson Mandela Quotes

Quotes and words of wisdom from Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela 1918 – 2013

Nelson Mandela was born into the Thembu royal family in the British ruled South Africa. He was able to study law at two universities before he started work as a lawyer in Johannesburg. During his time working as a lawyer Mandela slowly became interested in politics and joined the African National Congress party (ANC party) in 1943, after the government in charge established apartheid, a system of racial segregation of blacks and coloured in favour or whites.

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Mandela’s commitment to the overthrow of this white supremacy began with his involvement with the ‘Defiance Campaign against unjust laws’ which led to the first large scale mobilisation against the apartheid government. His also had much influence and involvement in ‘Gathering of the Congress of the People’ which in 1955 lay out there vision for a future South Africa including all its rainbow nation, that is now known as ‘The Freedom Charter’.

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Mandela was arrested on numerous occasions all for the act of Sedition, defined as the speech or organisation of thought or ideas that lead to the uprising against the establishment. He was unsuccessfully prosecuted. Mandela originally started out with a commitment to non violent methods, slowly over the next seven years as he progressed within the ANC he would also turn to more dramatic steps and became co-founder of the militant group known as the Umkhonto we Sizwe or spear of the nation, a heavily armed division of the ANC intent on creating havoc against the government. After the first attacks on government facilities and institutions they were seen and classed as terrorists by not only the South Africa government but also the United States Of America.

Mandela was convicted and imprisoned in 1962 for inciting world to strike and leaving the country without permission. A police raid of the lilliesleaf farm in 1963, headquarters of the Umkhonto militant group, incriminating evidence was uncovered and along with 10 other ANC lead members Mandela was convicted and sentenced to Life in prison.

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Nelson Mandela would spend the next 27 years behind bars, with his fame growing slowly around the world Mandela’s personality developed into the wise and caring man he became. He was offered a release in 1985 only if he put a stop to the ever increasing violence on the streets of South Africa. He rejected the offer and the situation in South Africa deteriorated ever more.

By 1988 Mandela turned 70 and this attracted a lot of world wide media attention, a concert was staged at Wembley arena London that was seen by over 200 million world wide, the slogan free Nelson Mandela was born.

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A further two years passed and with the long serving P.W. Botha having a stroke gave way for F.W de Klerk to become president. He believed the apartheid was unsustainable and started to release some of the ANC political prisoners. On the 11th of February 1990 Nelson Mandela was released from prison and held a hero by his own people. A televised event around the world Mandela gave a speech declaring his commitment to peace and reconciliation with the white majority, instantly giving him heroic status amongst those listening.

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Mandela stood in the first democratically South African elections where all were able to vote. He won a landslide overall majority a served for two terms as South Africa’s first black president. He really was loved by whites and black alike, he had a calm and sense of purpose about him, his passion and determination not to see revenge from his own people or to slip into another type of apartheid this time against the whites. He truly was an inspirational figure of the 20th century and was awarded the noble peace prize in recognition.

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Monthly Quotes Video Collection

This is a collection of our quotes that we publish on instagram, only in a video format for easy enjoyment.

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Abraham Lincoln Quotes

Quotes by Abraham Lincoln

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Abraham Lincoln 1809 – 1865

American lawyer and politician serving as the 16th president of the United States of America. A remarkable man who led his country through civil war described as the bloodiest war America has ever known, he abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government and considered by many to be the forefather of the modern economy with methods first introduced during his presidency.

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Lincoln had grown up in a poor family upbringing in Kentucky, largely self educated he was an avid reader and having a life long interest in learning, compelling Lincoln to his destiny. Lincoln married Miss Marry Todd in 1842 the daughter a wealthy slave holding family, they were to have four children of which only one survived to adulthood.

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This is said to have had a profound effect of both Lincoln and his wife for the rest of there lives. Lincoln was assassinated in April 1865 a few days after successfully reuniting two opposing forces at war with remarkable policy’s of reconciliation. A highly revered man in not only presidential history but of the history of the United States of America itself

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Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes

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Eleanor Roosevelt 1884 – 1962

An American diplomat, civil rights activist, writer and political figure serving as First Lady of the United States during her husband Franklin D Roosevelt’s four terms as United States president. A passionate human rights activist that has her the nickname ‘the First Lady of the world’ first coined by president Harry S Truman.

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She was born into the prestigious family of Livingston but lost both her parents at a young age. She was educated in both America and London England where it is said the headmistress had an enormous impact on her life. She married Franklin D Roosevelt in 1905 and after her husband had an affaire she became more independent wanting a public life of her own.

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Sometimes outspoken always headstrong she redefined the role as First Lady campaigning strongly for civil rights of African and Asian Americans and the World War II refugees. Following he husbands death she would spend the next 17 years in public service becoming the United States very first delegate of the United Nations. Regarded by many as one of the most esteemed women of the world

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Deepak Chopra Quotes

Quotes by Deepak Chopra

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Deepak Chopra 1946 – present 

Indian born American spiritual author, public speaker and advocate of alternative medicine. A celebrated author in the self help category, Deepak studied medicine in India before moving to the United States in 1970. After completing further academic studies into internal medicine and endocrinology he became chief of staff at the New England memorial hospital.

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It was hear that Deepak met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a meeting that would change his life. As he started with Transcendental meditation and resigned his position as chief of staff and established the Maharishi Ayurveda Health Centre. Deepak Chopra believes that we can change the very ageing process, sometimes even reversing that process.

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His claims that his practices can treat chronic disease has had him regularly criticised by medical and scientific professionals alike. After Oprah Winfrey interviewed him about his books a loyal following grew making him one of the highest grossing self help authors of all time. In 1996 he co-founded the Chopra Centre for Wellbeing

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Ajahn Chah Quotes

Quotes by Ajahn Chah

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Ajahn Chah 1918 – 1992

Was a Buddhist monk of the Thai forest tradition, respected and well loved in his own country as a man of great wisdom, it wasn’t until the arrival of the hippies of the 1960’s that the west finally got to hear of this great spiritual master.

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He was born into poverty in the northeast region of Thailand, his parents were rice farmers surviving from day to day. With no real education to be had in the region the young Ajahn would start his monastic training a the age of nine. He spent three years in the monastery where he learnt to read and write. He returned to work on the land of his parents but returned to monastic life at the age of 17. He was ordained at a local monastery where he stayed and practiced meditation until 1946 when he decided to become a wandering ascetic monk, a practice called dutong.

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He wandered learning from teachers of the time, by far his biggest influence was Ajahn Mun a renowned enlightened meditation master. He spent this time of his life meditating in caves and forests until finally establishing a monastery near his home town where he taught his simple meditation techniques and started to gain a large following of disciples and lay people alike.

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The arrival of the first western disciple, Ajahn Sumedho saw the development of a new monastery focused purely for the western mind filled with knowledge, the first of its kind in Thailand. A few years later Ajahn Chah was invited to give talks in England where he was to form the very first monastery in the Thai forest linage, called Chittaviveka.

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Ajahn Chah’s health was in decline by the early 1980’s and he was to suffer a massive stroke leaving him bedridden and unable to speak for ten years. Still in this condition he transmitted the teachings of the Buddha using his own body as evidence enough of impermanence and the importance of seeking refuge within ourselves.

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Ajahn Chah’s legacy of students continues today with Ajahn Brahm, Jack Kornfield, Ajahn Summadho and Ajahn Amaro to name just a few. 

To read more about this wonderful man, a full Meditation Masters article can be found by Clicking Hear