One day the Buddha held up a flower in front of an audience of 1,250 monks and nuns. He did not say anything for quite a long time. The audience was perfectly silent. Everyone seemed to be thinking hard, trying to see the meaning behind the Buddha’s gesture.
Then, suddenly, the Buddha smiled. He smiled because someone in the audience smiled at him and at the flower. The name of that monk was Mahakashyapa. He was the only person who smiled, and the Buddha smiled back and said, “I have a treasure of insight, and I have transmitted it to Mahakashyapa.”
Solutions to universal challenges we all face as humans.
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.
Post(s) Inspired by this Book: 13 Powerful Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes on Happiness, Anger, and Peace /// Focus on what’s going RIGHT – The Power of Mindfulness [VIDEO]. /// Don’t Miss the Flower – A Short Zen Story from Thich Nhat Hanh /// How to Handle Your Anger – A Mindfulness Exercise from Thich Nhat Hanh /// Pillow Punching – Good or Bad for Anger Management?
“Hope is important, because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today. But that is the most that hope can do for us—to make some hardship lighter. When I think deeply about the nature of hope, I see something tragic. Since we cling to our hope in the future, we do not focus our energies and capabilities on the present moment. We use hope to believe something better will happen in the future, that we will arrive at peace, or the Kingdom of God. Hope becomes a kind of obstacle. If you can refrain from hoping, you can bring yourself entirely into the present moment and discover the joy that is already here.” ~ 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
“Our culture is so focused on progress that we frequently don’t experience our own lives just as they are here and now. But the world will always be exactly as it is in each moment. It’s astonishing how much time and energy we expend in trying to deny this simple fact. This doesn’t imply passivity. Our visions and ideals are also part of this moment. Everything changes, no matter how slowly, and we can act to alleviate suffering. Yet if plans for the future are not balanced with acceptance and joy in this moment, just as it is, our lives go unlived. The challenge is to work with our lives as they are rather than imagine that things are different. If we can learn to soften our aversions and desires, our lives might become less frantic and more spacious.” ~ 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 things to be different.” ~ Robert Kull, Solitude
“It isn’t actually non-doing that generates anxiety, but rather fretting about doing or not doing. When I’m simply in the moment, without worrying about what I ought to be doing, my mind is at ease. It’s when I try to microplan everything that my imagination runs amok – because I can’t really know what will happen.” ~ Robert Kull, Solitude
“And that’s the trick. Somehow in looking back, almost any situation seems to have been ok. The challenge is to live that acceptance in the present, not just in memory.” ~ Robert Kull, Solitude