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The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation Paperback – May 1, 1999
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One of the best available introductions to the wisdom and beauty of meditation practice. --New Age Journal
"Thich Nhat Hanh's ideas for peace, if applied, would build a monument to ecumenism, to world brotherhood, to humanity." --Martin Luther King, Jr.
"He has immense presence and both personal and Buddhist authority. If there is a candidate for 'Living Buddha' on earth today, it is Thich Nhat Hanh." --Roshi Richard Baker, author of Original Mind: The Practice of Zen in the West
About the Author
Thich Nhat Hanh is author of Living Buddha, Living Christ and The Blooming of a Lotus.
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I expected scam artistry akin to Eckhart Tolle or Deepak Chopra, not legitimate Buddhist teachings. There's still a few lines of woo-woo that don't mean anything (to me, at least), but the majority of Hanh's Buddhist ideas reject the nonsense of religious text and simply want the the reader to be self-aware: Recognize their emotions and the emotions of others; the causes of social strife and personal discomfort; the is-ness of all things.
It's a straight, beautiful series of meditations to wash away one's anxieties, starting with the most basic step in meditation: Be conscious of one's breathing. Focus on the act of breathing. Focus on any act one's doing and enjoy it -- walking, doing the dishes, the laundry -- because all moments in life could and should be enjoyable.
The book concludes with a useful step-by-step guide on each method of meditation without the letters' contexts -- a great reference for when one needs reminders.
Hanh's writing is succinct, and makes the reader feel beautiful without asking for anything in return. Highly recommended.
Hanh's premise, appreciate the present, be alive to the moment, is not new but he offers helpful exercises to help you achieve this state. The work is informed by his own life, his suffering as a Vietnamese monk and his transformation of that suffering as an activist for peace deepens the meaning of this highly accessible work.
The Miracle of Mindfulness is an inspirational, gentle, loving book that is invaluable as a support for meditation practice and a richer life generally. I especially appreciate Hanh's commitment not only to a sitting practice but to an active participation in the life of the world. I found this increased my appreciation of this work.
Anyone who meditates, seeks out the spiritual dimension of life, or is searching for a greater sense of meaning to ordinary experience should absolutely read this book. It doesn't take long to read but it takes a lifetime to live out.