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Living a Life of Presence

Discover yourself here and now and open to the mystery of living a life of presence.

How to get the most out of these Wisdom Quotes:

  1. Put aside everything you think you already know.

  2. Open your mind and heart to receive something new.

  3. Take your time going through each point.

  4. Return to any points that particularly touch you.

  5. In the coming days, listen carefully to the wisdom within you.

1. Grounded in the Present Moment

Thich Nhat Hanh quote

“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.”

~Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Power


We all get lost in regrets about the past and worries about the future, so we don't need to judge ourselves about how often we think our way out of presence.

Begin with a healthy curiosity and see how often you can catch yourself dwelling in the past and future realm this week. Rest assured that, every time you do, you are fully present.

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2. Not Living in Hope and Fear

Thich Nhat Hanh quotes

“We have negative mental habits that come up over and over again. One of the most significant negative habits we should be aware of is that of constantly allowing our mind to run off into the future.

Perhaps we got this from our parents. Carried away by our worries, we're unable to live fully and happily in the present.

Deep down, we believe we can't really be happy just yet—that we still have a few more boxes to be checked off before we can really enjoy life.

We speculate, dream, strategize, and plan for these "conditions of happiness" we want to have in the future; and we continually chase after that future, even while we sleep.

We may have fears about the future because we don't know how it's going to turn out, and these worries and anxieties keep us from enjoying being here now.”

~Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Breath


Become aware of the habit of allowing your mind to run off into the future.

  1. Recognize that this habit is preventing you from living fully and happily in the present.

  2. Notice the belief that you can't be happy just yet and that you need to wait for some conditions to be fulfilled before you can enjoy life.

  3. How many more boxes are you waiting to check off before you allow yourself to be happy?

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3. Not Waiting for Peace

Thich Nhat Hanh quote

“Peace can exist only in the present moment.

It is ridiculous to say "Wait until I finish this, then I will be free to live in peace." What is "this"? A di­ploma, a job, a house, the payment of a debt?

If you think that way, peace will never come. There is always another "this" that will follow the present one. If you are not living in peace at this moment, you will never be able to.

If you truly want to be at peace, you must be at peace right now. Otherwise, there is only "the hope of peace some day.”

~Thich Nhat Hanh


What have you been waiting for to be at peace?

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4. Present Priorities

Thich Nhat Hanh quote

“The present moment is the only time over which we have dominion.

The most important person is always the person you are with, who is right before you, for who knows if you will have dealings with any other person in the future?

The most important pursuit is making the person standing at your side happy, for that alone is the pursuit of life.”

~Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness


When you are keeping your appointment with life and not living in your conceptual mind, it becomes very obvious that the most important moment, the one that deserves all your undivided attention, is this one.

As you go about your day today, remember to be present with whoever you're with. This gift of presence may be all that is needed to make that person feel happy.

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5. Not Denying Yourself

Rupert Spira quote

I take my time.

I want to be myself.

I don’t deny myself in the here and now.

This is our practice—we call it aimlessness.

We don’t put a goal in front of ourselves and run after it constantly.

If we do, we’ll be running all our life and never be happy.

Happiness is possible only when you stop running and cherish the present moment and who you are.

Who you are is already a wonder; you don’t need to be someone else.

You are a wonder of life.”

~Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Power


"You are a wonder of life." Perhaps when you hear these words they only hit the surface and bounce off. What if you were to let them touch you deeply? What if who you are is actually too wonderful to comprehend, but you can experience the wonder of you in your daily living?

"Cherish the present moment and who you are." Remember, the real you is inseparable from the present moment, so discover yourself here and now. Today, open yourself even more to the mystery of living a life of presence.

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6. Fully Alive

Thich Nhat Hanh quote

“The best way to take care of the future is to take care of the present moment.

Practicing conscious breathing, aware of each thought and each act, we are reborn, fully alive, in the present moment.

We needn’t abandon our hope entirely, but unless we channel our energies toward being aware of what is going on in the present moment, we might not discover the peace and happiness that are available right now.”

~Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ


The present moment has eluded us for long enough.

When we come to the end of our earthly existence, we will care only for one thing: if we lived our life fully.

Did you love the ones we were with? Were you present enough to enjoy the years you were given? Were you true to yourself?

Begin today. Begin now. Let presence show you the way of life.

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