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Review: Peace is Every Breath May 31, 2012

Posted by Living Abundance in review.
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I recently read the book Peace is Every Breath: A Practice for Our Busy Lives by Thich Nhat Hanh. I thought the book would be a newer, revised version of Peace is Every Step, a classic which I also own, but instead the book was quite a bit different. I really enjoyed the book because it was very well written and concisely explained in very clear language how to incorporate mindfulness into everyday life.

Thay went over some of the more “simple” practices of mindfulness such as mindful breathing and walking. At the start the practices were presented in such a way to reflect how mindfulness would look in someone’s daily life throughout the day, from waking to eating to working and finally to sleeping.

Thay also included some more practices for dealing with deep suffering, and also presented some important Buddhist teachings. I had come across many of these teachings before, but they were explained in the book in a new fresh way, so I got a lot out of them this time.

I liked that Thay included a lot of things in a small book using excellent clear language. It was well presented to get to the important points without getting lost in too many details.

I found parts of the book very inspiring and confidence-building while reading them. Thay outlined practices for how to deal with difficult situations using mindful breathing:

“With the three jewels protecting you, you have nothing more to fear. In this calm and focused state you will know what action to take to stabilize the situation.”

I was inspired to try my best to practice this in times of stress, instead of letting my mind worry about it and ruminate over a problem to fix it.

Thay also talked about how to take refuge in ourself, as well as how to take care of the present moment in order to not have to worry about anything arising in the future. These instructions made me feel quite solid and firm in my practice because I know it has brought me so many benefits:

“You have a spritual path and you know you’re walking it so you have nothing more to fear.”

I particularly enjoyed some of the sections on how to stay in the present moment. Thay talked about how to pull our mind back after letting it wander into the future, but also to avoid letting the past continue to shape us in the present moment when it no longer exists as a reality.

“Meditation is the practice of living deeply in each moment of life.”

Some other quotes:

“Know how to shake off the worries and live joyfully. This is an art. Practice to let go of unimportant things that don’t bring happiness.”

“We too are flowers. We’ve allowed ourselves to get weighted down by life’s hardships and lost much of our freedom.”



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