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Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life Paperback – March 1, 1992
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Thich Nhat Hanh's writing is deceptive in its subtlety. He'll go on and on with stories about tree-hugging or metaphors involving raw potatoes; he'll tell you how to eat mindfully, even how to breathe and walk; he'll suggest looking closely at a flower and to see the sun as your heart. As the Zen teacher Richard Baker commented, however, Nhat Hanh is "a cross between a cloud, a snail, and piece of heavy machinery." Sooner or later, it begins to sink in that Nhat Hanh is conveying a depth of psychology and a world outlook that require nothing less than a complete paradigm shift. Through his cute stories and compassionate admonitions, he gradually builds up to his philosophy of interbeing, the notion that none of us is separately, but rather that we inter-are. The ramifications are explosive. How can we mindlessly and selfishly pursue our individual ends, when we are inextricably bound up with everyone and everything else? We see an enemy not as focus of anger but as a human with a complex history, who could be us if we had the same history. Suffice it to say, that after reading Peace Is Every Step, you'll never look at a plastic bag the same way again, and you may even develop a penchant for hugging trees. --Brian Bruya
From Publishers Weekly
"Next time you are caught in a traffic jam . . . sit back and smile . . . a smile of compassion and loving kindness." While such sappy Zen advice from a Buddhist monk, a Vietnamese resident in France following his exile in 1966, could send Western seekers of enlightenment into overdrive, fortunately most of the suggestions offered in this slim guidebook are of more substance. In a series of vignettes and short passages, e.g., "Cooking Our Potatoes," Nhat Hanh outlines techniques for living mindfullly, that is, in the present. Emphasizing that all things are interconnected on personal and political levels, he notes, for example, that the wealth of one society is based on the poverty of others. This book of illuminating reminders bids us to reorient the way we look at the world, turning away from a goal-driven, me-first modality toward a humanitarian perspective.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
Being a zen buddhist munk Thich Nhat Hanh shares great clarity and insight with simplicity and humility to kindly remind us all that in spite of differences we are not enemies by nature. We are interconnected flawed beings and the only way to heal our flaws and the suffering they sustain is by taking responsibility for your inner life. By embracing the dirt inside yourself as a vital medium for inner growth you plant a seed to forgive yourself and others. By healing yourself you take an active part in healing the outer world as well.
The key is practicing mindfull awareness. In a very down to earth fashion Thich Nhat Hahn provides specific simple pointers as well as lessons of the universe. He gently guides the reader towards greater understanding of what meditation is all about and ultimately a greater appreciation of life itself. It all starts by learning how to love your true self beyond your ego as this true self is a vital, inter-connected part of this world and it's beings.
I am in deep gratitude for the healing words and kind guidance of Thich Nhat Hahn. I can heartfully recommend the fundamentals of the mindfull practices recommended in this book. I find it to be working although I often slip due to my 'old programming'. It does not matter that much though so rather than complaining I simply do my best to practice. I breathe, smile and slowly walk the path my life of knowing I am doing good to myself and those around me when being present.
The writing may at times appear simplistic but the truth running beneath the words is undeniable and the seeds of self patience and tolerance will sprout within you if you embrace his teaching.
Buy this gem - read it with an open mind. I am grateful I did.
The author does a great job of showing the inextricable connection between the mind, the body, and the environment. Mindfulness is an awareness of our living right now. It helps us to become and remain mentally and physically healthy and to live harmoniously in our symbiotic relationship with each other and our environment. Our survival on this planet depends upon it.
Hanh encourages us to be mindful in everything we do--for example, when we peel a tangerine eat it mindfully. He encourages us to feel the spray as we peel it. Smell the fragrance and feel the texture of fruit. Enjoy the taste and nourishment. Think of the mother of the fruit--the tree, its leaves, its blossoms and our connection with it and the environment.
The author encourages us to slow down, breathe, and live in the moment. Instead of being frustrated by the obstacles--red lights, traffic, layovers--that prevent us from getting from one place to another quickly, use those moments to practice Mindfulness.
I recommend this book to people of all ages and backgrounds. The author's writing style is simple and insightful. His aim is to promote peace, happiness, health, and wisdom. He did a great job!