Modern Commentary on the Teachings of Master Linji
Thich Nhat Hanh was a world-renowned spiritual teacher and peace activist. Born in Vietnam in 1926, he became a Zen Buddhist monk at the age of sixteen. Over seven decades of teaching, he published more than 100 books, which have sold more than four million copies in the United States alone. Exiled from Vietnam in 1966 for promoting peace, his teachings on Buddhism as a path to social and political transformation are responsible for bringing the mindfulness movement to Western culture. He established the international Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism in France, now the largest Buddhist monastery in Europe and the heart of a growing community of mindfulness practice centers around the world. He passed away in 2022 at the age of 95 at his root temple, Tu Hieu, in Hue, Vietnam.
""Those who like robust Zen will enjoy both Linji's bluntness and
Thich Nhat Hanh's candor in commenting on the master's
"The teaching of Linji is not like any other master. He dares to say everything truthfully, clearly, and very frankly. When we follow a spiritual path, we have to learn and we have to practice. But when we can't digest what we've learned and can't use it in our daily life for our transformation, that's when we need the teachings of Master Linji. They are strong medicinenot a vitamin, but a purgative."
Thich Nhat Hanh
"If you aspire to Buddha, you lose Buddha. If you aspire to the Way you lose the Way. Do not commit this mistake! I do not need you to give a good explanation of the sutras. I do not need you to be eloquent, speaking non-stop, as a torrent of water. Nor do I need you to become wonderfully penetrating and wise. I just need you to have correct insight into the way things naturally are."
"As I see it, there isn't so much to do. Just be ordinaryput on your robes, eat your food, and pass the time doing nothing."