In the rush of modern life, we tend to lose touch with the peace that is available in each moment. World-renowned Zen master, spiritual leader, and author Thich Nhat Hanh shows us how to make positive use of the very situations that usually pressure and antagonize us. In his book, Peace is Every Step, Thich Nhat Hanh discusses solutions and action steps to universal challenges and issues that we face as humans. These challenges and issues include: overcoming anxiety, fear, and depression and how to feel more fulfilled, calm, and happy in the present moment; understanding anger and learning how to live in a more compassionate, blissful state; and bringing peace to both our inner and outer worlds with every step we take in life.
One of the fundamental lessons that Thich Nhat Hanh communicates in his book is that any large scale change – on a community or global level – must (and always) starts with the individual. Peace work is not a means, Nhat Hanh reminds us, it is the way. In the forward to the book, the Dalai Lama introduces this point and discusses the importance of becoming a more compassionate, mindful, and peaceful person and the ripples that our actions have on the larger scale. He says: Continue reading
By: Thich Nhat Hanh
Book Overview: In the rush of modern life, we tend to lose touch with the peace that is available in each moment. World-renowned Zen master, spiritual leader, and author Thich Nhat Hanh shows us how to make positive use of the very situations that usually pressure and antagonize us. For him a ringing telephone can be a signal to call us back to our true selves. Dirty dishes, red lights, and traffic jams are spiritual friends on the path to “mindfulness”—the process of keeping our consciousness alive to our present experience and reality. The most profound satisfactions, the deepest feelings of joy and completeness lie as close at hand as our next aware breath and the smile we can form right now.
“We can realize peace right in the present moment with our look, our smile, our words, and our actions. Peace work is not a means. Each step we make should be peace. Each step we make should be joy. Each step we make should be happiness. If we are determined , we can do it. We don’t need the future. We can smile and relax. Everything we want is right here in the present moment.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step
“The foundation of happiness is mindfulness. The basic condition for being happy is our consciousness of being happy. If we are not aware that we are happy, we are not really happy. When we have a toothache, we know that not having a toothache is a wonderful thing. But when we do not have a toothache, we are still not happy. A non-toothache is very pleasant. There are so many things that are enjoyable, but when we don’t practice mindfulness, we don’t appreciate them. When we practice mindfulness, we come to cherish these things and we learn how to protect them. By taking good care of the present moment, we take good care of the future. Working for peace in the future is to work for peace in the present moment.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step
“In our daily lives, we may see the people around us, but if we lack mindfulness, they are just phantoms, not real people, and we ourselves are also ghosts. Practicing mindfulness enables us to become a real person. When we are a real person, we see real people around us, and life is present in all its richness.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step
“We can smile, breathe, walk, and eat our meals in a way that allows us to be in touch with the abundance of happiness that is available. We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma, and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive. Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step
“The happiest moments in our lives are when we are playing just like children, when we are singing and dancing, when we are exploring and creating just for fun. It is wonderful when we behave like a child because this is the normal human mind, the normal human tendency. As children, we are innocent and it is natural for us to express love. But what has happened to us? What has happened to the whole world?” ~ Don Miguel Ruiz, The Mastery of Love
“Living clearly and presently takes courage. Don’t live in the haze of the abstract, live with the tangible and real, even if – especially if – it’s uncomfortable. Be part of what’s going on around you. Feast on it, adjust for it. There’s no one to perform for. There is just work to be done and lessons to be learned, in all that is around us.” ~ Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy
“A person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about except thoughts, so he loses touch with reality and lives in a world of illusions.” ~ Alan Watts, via Ego is the Enemy
“The aliveness, peace, beauty, and love I seek are never out there, but always right here right now.” ~ Robert Kull, Solitude
“Joy comes from living fully in the here and now, no matter what the circumstance. To live like that I must give up wanting things to be different. The hardest is to give up wanting to give up wanting things to be different.” ~ Robert Kull, Solitude
“Less and less memories will come as the time moves. There will be gaps – you would like to relive something but nothing is coming – and those gaps are beautiful. Then a day will come when you will not be able to move backwards because everything is complete. When you cannot move backwards, only then do you move forwards. Be finished with the past. As you become freer from the past, the mountain starts disappearing. And then you will attain unison: you will become, by and by, one.” ~ Osho, The Art of Living and Dying
“What is the secret to the art of life? The secret is this – live in full awareness. Don’t grope in the darkness; don’t walk in sleep; walk in awareness. Whatsoever you do, no matter what it is – even if it is as insignificant as opening and closing your eyes – do it thoughtfully, do it with awareness. Who knows, everything may depend on that tiny action, on opening and closing your eyes. You may be walking along the road and see a woman, and you may spend your whole life with her! Even opening and closing your eyes, stay alert.” ~ Osho, The Art of Living and Dying
“Real generosity toward the future consists in giving all to what is present.” ~ Albert Camus