I was reading an article on Tricycle written by Thich Nhat Hanh, in which he quotes Buddha as follows:

“My practice is the nonpractice, the attainment of nonattainment.”

From which text is this quote taken?


2 Answers 2


Here it says, its from the Sutra of 42 Chapters.

  • 1
    Thank you, it was Chapter 18 of the Sutra of 42 chapters
    – user13664
    Commented Jun 23, 2018 at 9:58

My practice is the nonpractice, the attainment of nonattainment.”

Well, the above is a rather clumsy and misleading way of rendering it. Actually it's even dangerous especially for those who've just got preliminary exposure to Buddhism. The practice is the nonpractice? So much for the Buddha's earnest admonishment to cultivate moral virtues, meditation, and wisdom! Here's the full translation from Chapter 18:

The Buddha said, "My Dharma is the mindfulness that is both mindfulness and non-mindfulness. It is the practice that is both practice and non-practice. It is words that are words and non-words, and cultivation that is cultivation and non-cultivation. Those who understand are near to it; those who are confused are far away, indeed. It is not accessible by the path of language. It is not hindered by physical objects. If you are off by a hairsbreadth, you will lose it in an instant." ~~ Sutra in Forty-Two Sections ~~

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