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on April 30, 2001
This little treatise is nothing less than a handbook for more effective, more joyful living. Thich Nhat Hanh has a beautifully simple, wonderfully direct manner of communicating the need to live mindfully, and using the practice of meditation as a means for becoming more mindful. Living in exile in Paris, this humble Vietnamese monk has worked tirelessly for decades, living his religion of compassion for the poor and orphaned in his native Vietnam. He is a living testament to the power of mindful living.
In addition to being a treat for your mind, Thich Nhat Hanh provides a number of exercises that help the student of meditation begin the process of focusing and concentrating on the moment at hand. It is a book that will be especially of value to those who are just beginning to meditate, (which is where I find myself), though I expect that as with most things written by wise people, the experienced student of meditation will find much of value as well.
This is not a book about Buddhism. It draws very heavily on the path to enlightenment that the Buddha taught as his fourth Noble Truth, but this book is first and foremost about mindful living. In that sense, it is completely accessible to the Christian, Jewish, agnostic or anyone else who recognizes the power of meditation in acheiving a degree of personal enlightenment. Thich Nhat Hanh has written extensively on the relationship between the principles taught by the Buddha and Jesus, and he is ever mindful of the needs of his Christian/Western audience as well as that of his Buddhist audience. Regardless of your religious orientation, you will find this little book to be an effective guide to living mindfully, completely and with joy.
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on September 5, 2000
I remember when I was a student at the Dharmadhatu Center of Los Angeles. The rules were to simply meditate and that was it! The same with Hindu Yoga. The same with all Eastern paths. Then I stumbled on this book. It was wonderful. Did you know that you can put in as little as 10 minutes a day of sitting meditation and then apply this mindfulness of breath to "washing the dishes"? Later, apply mindfulness (being aware) to taking a bath. To eating. Well, you will meditate now for 1 hour a day. In fact, Buddhist Masters state that minfulness in daily life is more important than the actual sitting meditation! Buy this book and become a 16-hour a day meditator. Doing "TV meditation", "conversation meditation", "telephone meditation", "cooking meditation". you name it. Nhat Hanh gives a variety of sitting meditations. Pick the one that feels right. Then do the meditation in daily life. Right now, I am doing "write a review meditation". I wasn't at first. But I am presently. The feel of everything that is happening in the present. Good luck.
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on February 10, 2001
In the past year my marriage has had problems, I've lost tons of money and I've had a non-stop cold/toothache. I was the reverse of mindfullness. Everywhere I looked I saw people who were smiling and I couldn't understand what inner resources they had that would allow them to do it. I started to meditate but it was difficult. I dubbed myself 'the worse meditator'. I couldn't focus at all. I was constantly adding up the numbers in my various accounts and trying to figure to figure out how get above zero. This book was incredible for me. It put new light in the definition of 'practice'. Meditation is just practice for post-meditation. Suddenly, everything became a meditation. Watching tv. Driving a car. Typing on the computer. Writing an amazon review. I'm still pretty crappy at meditating. But now I'm having more fun doing everything else thanks to this book.
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on August 30, 2007
Finally a book with exercises and explanations that actually work. As a Vietnam combat veteran, twice wounded, who had to make casualty calls when I returned stateside, forty years of anger and PTSD have finally found their match in "The Miracle of Mindfulness."

Today, when thousands of Iraqi and Gulf War veterans begin to realize they need a remedy to their troubles, I recommend this book number one as well as several other of Thich Nhat Hanh's books.

How ironic--A Vietnamese Buddhist responds and provides peace to a veteran who helped bomb and destroy his people and his country.

Fred Tomasello Jr.
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on March 29, 2003
Thay's writings often seem so simple as to be simplistic or childish, but spend a little quality time with this book (or any of his huge output) and you'll realize that, like other great spiritual teachers, his words have a profoundly life-changing quality. In this classic text, he explains in simple poetic language the basics of meditation practice; what to do, what to expect, and why it's an important and meaningful practice. The operative word in Thay's teaching is PRACTICE, and he really does mean "practice" as if you were learning to play the piano or to play tennis. If absorbed and worked at every day, preferrably in the context of daily meditation as well as the normal interactions of daily life, these teachings have the power to create peace and joy for you and those with whom you live and work. This is the beauty of Buddhist teaching in general and the teachings of TNH in particular: they are not complex theological constructs but simple, practical steps designed to make you happy!
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on January 23, 2007
In simple, plain language, Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk and well known peace activist, gently explains the daily practice of mindfulness (meditation) inviting us to discover personal transformation in ordinary, everyday tasks. He includes no anecdotes drawn from professional work; he quotes little poetry. You'll find no references to other writers and their books on this topic nor any reference to other fields of human achievement. Nhat Hahn's teachings are based on the practice that has permeated his life and thus ring with authenticity. Also authentic are the books concerning awareness written by Deepak Chopra. However, Chopra weaves a glittering tapestry of provocative professional experiences integrated with the words and beliefs of Indian gurus decorated with the verses of Rumi, references to famous authors and art masterpieces and awash with strategies to reveal the Self. A dazzling work of genius. In contrast, Nhat Hahn presents his work garbed in humble cloth and sandeled feet. He tells us how to turn mundane tasks into mindful meditative practices regarding such events as washing dishes, taking a bath, or making tea as opportunities to dwell deeply in the moment transforming an ordinary event into a deeply spiritual one. It is through these small events of awareness, Nhat Hahn explains, that large events are born that can change the world. In a culture largely obsessed with activity, Thich Nhat Hahn calmy shows us that true power is available to us in ordinary human tasks.
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on November 4, 2010
I was diagnosed with depression 4 years ago and was on medications until about four months ago. I believed I had gotten rid of my depression and it would never enter my life again. I thought that I had learned the life skills to cope. Everything in my life was on the surface fine, but underlying were still issues of self deprecation and anxiety. Five weeks ago my arm started to go numb causing me to have panic attacks and soon my entire body felt tingling. This continued for a week until I had to check myself into the psychiatric emergency. It turned out that I had extreme anxiety and Pure-O. During this time, this book was recommended to me. I never before had realized my lack of presence in the moment. While many situations beyond my control (my friend becoming very ill, death of my grandmother, moving to another state) were present, my main problem was my inability to focus on the beauty in my life. I was so consumed with the future that I caused myself to fall back into depression. I completely believe that depression is a physiological condition but I also feel that our attitude plays an integral part in our recovery. This book not only taught me to appreciate the miracle of living but an acceptance of the unknown. While I know that I need therapy and medication for the few years, I ultimately feel that with this book as an introduction, Buddhism and mindfulness can help me overcome my anxiety and ocd. The only thing that is known in life is the present. If you can not learn to recognize the beauty in each moment's existence the future will pass by without acknowledgment. I have been meditating now for three weeks and see significant improvement in my mental state. While I was never spiritual before, this book is opening my mind to all beings interconnectedness. It has sparked my interest in Buddhism and I am so grateful that books such as this exist. I recommend this book to everyone. We must all learn the miracle in the moment and learn compassion for all living beings.
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on May 28, 2012
I was very much looking forward to reading this book, particularly from hearing many glowing recommendations. It's a good book to be sure, with good tips that are real-world applicable even if you have no interest in running off and joining a monastery. But I couldn't help but feel like I wanted a bit more when I was finished. Maybe I was expecting a little more life-changing insight when what I got was simply practical advice.

Either way, I did thoroughly enjoy this short collection of letters, even if I didn't quite seem to connect with it as strongly as others clearly have. I'd recommend it if you're interested in expanding your understanding of mindfulness and meditation and bring a little extra peace to your life, just don't expect it to be more than it is (mindfulness may indeed be a miracle, but this book doesn't quite feel like something that dramatic).

I'd like to give it 3.5 stars if Amazon would let me.
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on April 12, 2002
This book was revolutionary for me. It was one of the most influential if not the most influential book in my life. It very easily explains a deeply fulfilling way of living which is just the opposite of what we are used to in the United States. It simply teaches us a way to live that is deep and meaningful and offers us an alternative to the unsatisfying lifestyles of our culture. It tells us truths we find unbelievable--that all one could ever want is right here, right now. There is nothing that needs to be attained, and nothing that can be lost. It shows us how to live these truths.
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on April 26, 2005
Thich Nhat Hanh has a great way of mixing teaching with story. He does so in all the books of his I have read. I think this book is particularly useful for those who are interested in mindfulness but not so interested in Buddhism. Certainly the concept of providing the focus and concentration you get from meditation within all areas of your life is very attractive and he provides practical tips on how to do this as a layperson.
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