First Words

16 Sep


As the above image mentions the first words that Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh recently spoke, since his severe stroke last year, were:

In, out


Thank you

So happy

Health updates about Thay (Thich Nhat Hanh) have been coming out through Plum Village since his stroke.  In the last update, in early September, they told us about Thay’s first words.  While it’s not clear how much progress he’ll continue to make, due to his advanced age and severity of the stroke, what is clear is the teaching present in Thay’s words.  It’s almost as if Thay managed to concentrate all of his decades of practice and teachings and books and experiences into these 7 words.  If we diligently practiced embodying these words every single day transformation would be inevitable.

In, out

(breathing in I know I am breathing in, breathing out I know I am breathing out)*


(all of the conditions for happiness are already present)*

Thank you

(gratitude for everything and everyone I am afforded, for this present moment, for the gift of being wonderfully alive)*

So happy

(the blue sky is there, the smiling faces of my loved ones surround me, there is no birth and no death, I am because you are and I am so very happy)*

*Just to clarify, the parts in ( ) above are my own elaborations.

In gratitude for Thay I send my heart along with the sound of the bell.


Posted by on September 16, 2015 in Everyday Practice


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

8 responses to “First Words

  1. ViewPacific

    September 16, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Yes, when I heard Thay’s 7 words, the same thought came to me: this is the essence of his teachings.

    • goingoutwordsandinwords

      September 20, 2015 at 7:26 am

      Thank you for sharing. Thay’s words are a rich teaching.

      • ViewPacific

        September 20, 2015 at 1:43 pm

        You’re welcome. I’m glad you see and share that. Yes, I’m comforted and supported by so much of Thay’s gentle guidance.

  2. smilecalm

    September 19, 2015 at 9:07 am

    like the beginning
    of most of his
    dharma talks :-)

    • goingoutwordsandinwords

      September 20, 2015 at 7:27 am

      It was a gift to learn of his first words. Who knows what the future will hold – perhaps more words, and perhaps not.

      • smilecalm

        September 20, 2015 at 9:55 am

        true, my friend!
        there have already been
        so many beautifully wise words :-)

  3. New Earth Heartbeat

    October 2, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Beautiful! So much love comes from this man!


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