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Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life [Paperback]

Thich Nhat Hanh
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 1 1992
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.

Lucidly and beautifully written, Peace Is Every Step contains commentaries and meditations, personal anecdotes and stories from Nhat Hanh's experiences as a peace activist, teacher, and community leader. It begins where the reader already is—in the kitchen, office, driving a car, walking a part—and shows how deep meditative presence is available now. Nhat Hanh provides exercises to increase our awareness of our own body and mind through conscious breathing, which can bring immediate joy and peace. Nhat Hanh also shows how to be aware of relationships with others and of the world around us, its beauty and also its pollution and injustices. the deceptively simple practices of Peace Is Every Step encourage the reader to work for peace in the world as he or she continues to work on sustaining inner peace by turning the "mindless" into the mindFUL.

Frequently Bought Together

Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life + The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation + The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching
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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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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brought me back to mindfulness Oct. 15 2011
By Oneness
This is an enjoyable little book, full of powerful little anecdotes to all of life's ups and downs without being too technical or philosophical. I read it all in one weekend and after a week of feeling stressed, this book was the perfect pick me up to get me back on the path of mindfulness. This book focuses your attention into the moment and helps you to realise that problems can only ever be sorted in the present moment. Along with THE ONE , I have all I need to keep my path clear and straight.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Find it very calming Dec 8 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a wake up call to learning how to be present in your day to day activities. Just bought a copy for a friend too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Gem: Small And Precious Dec 15 2002
Peace is not external, so we do not need to chase it. Peace is already present but we have to get in touch with it. This is attained through mindfulness: living in the present moment, in the here and now. Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen master and spiritual leader teaches mindfulness through conscious breathing and smiling. Connecting the body and mind, to find peace and happiness even in the most unlikely situations. Breathing and smiling! Is that it? You may be as skeptical as I was before practicing this exercise: breathe in, while reciting " breathing in I calm my body" then breathe out while smiling and reciting "breathing out I smile" do this three times! This is a very easy yet very effective exercise, do this often enough, in any position at any time (sitting, lying, driving, walking, before you eat, before you wash the dishes, when you hear the phone ring....) and enjoy being calm, relaxed and peaceful.
The author teaches us to be mindful of the people in our life, of the food we eat and of the environment around us.... Turn off the TV and instead walk in the park, visit a good friend, sit down for a meal with family or friends or even by yourself but before you dig in, breath smile, appreciate the food on the table, then eat mindfully, be aware of the taste, the smell, the texture, even if its only a bowl of rice, be happy, be thankful. He also teaches how to transform unpleasant feelings like anger for example into something more wholesome like understanding, using a 5-step method. By practicing understanding and loving speech instead of blaming and arguing we can help each other be happy. By knowing the true nature, the essence of the people around us we can enjoy each other. Mindfulness should lead to proactivity.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Begin Your Journey of Awareness April 3 2002
This book seems very simplistic on the surface, with what appear to be standard Eastern metaphors encouraging inner peace and awareness. Some examples are stories about meditating on a falling leaf or retreating to a quite room in your house. But as you make your way through the book and think about what you're reading, you'll find that Nhat Hanh is actually using these simple stories to make very profound points about how you can embark on a journey of inner peace. And this is serious inner peace as the Buddhists continually strive for, not just the stereotypes that you hear from Western folks who only see this stuff as a fad. Nhat Hanh describes how you can find serenity in the most mundane of activities, such as washing dishes, walking, eating, and even breathing (the breathing techniques he describes are also a key component of Yoga). His techniques for managing anger, depression, and frustration are incredibly useful and should be practiced by far more Westerners. The only flaw in this book is in some sections of Part 3, in which Nhat Hanh attempts to move these techniques from your inner world to the outer world, and contends that these methods of inner awareness can help solve the world's problems or war, hunger, crime, etc. if everyone just practiced them devoutly. He may be right about that, but this is far too idealistic for the real world, even if his Eastern interpretation is far more humane and open-minded than the Western view. Other than that minor flaw, I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a way to cut down on stress or anger, and would like to improve your mental and emotional health.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Peace is only a Breath Away Sept. 18 2000
By Darren
This is probably one of the most simple yet profound books I have ever read. It significantly increased my awareness of how accessible peace of mind, body and spirit is. It reads very easy and the insights are simple observations that in our busy lives, we often forget or take for granted.
With mindfulness and some practice of breathing and 'enjoying doing the dishes' we can learn to grow from and fully enjoy the process of living and the diversity of life's experiences. Regardless of your spiritual tradition, and without trying to 'convert you to Buddhism', this book will help you realize that peace of mind, body and spirit is internal and only a breath away.
I feel this book promotes world peace, one reader at a time, since peace on earth begins in the heart. I have given many copies as gifts and enjoy hearing how others that I have given the book to are now also passing it along. I especially recommend this book to those who feel they need to slow down (or have been told by others or their doctor that they should). It's time to stop and smell the roses. If you have never read Thich Nhat Hanh...start your journey here.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
awesome it self
Published 1 month ago by Roy
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely achieves what I believe it set out to do.
I find that this book is phenomenal for getting one in the "mindset" for mindfulness. In that respect, it absolutely succeeds. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Adam
5.0 out of 5 stars It is an excellent for people of all religions and interests because...
It is an excellent for people of all religions and interests because it keeps us in touch with our spiritual selves in a very unique and quieting way. Suberb!
Published 2 months ago by Edna Cole
5.0 out of 5 stars I highly recommend his books
Thich Nhat Hanh is a very knowledgeable teacher for mindfulness meditation. I highly recommend his books. Liz
Published 3 months ago by Liz
4.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction to mindfulness
This is a very easy read that I'd encourage anyone interested in mindfulness to read and absorb. I have given it to a number of people. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Rod Farrell
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening
It makes me slow down and breath more. Good little book that I can carry everywhere. It is easy to read.
Published 7 months ago by Detox your body
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!
Buy the book. This is probably the best, dearest-to-my-heart book I have ever owned.
A book to read, contemplate, read again and treasure.
Published 11 months ago by NL Shotokan
2.0 out of 5 stars My Reading Experience
My reading experience of reading this book ordered from Amazon would have been great except for the fact that practically every single page of the book had pencil marks and... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Mary Starchuk
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dandelion
What an incredible little book!
Being so caught up in a number of books about spirituality and wholesome living I did not expect a lot from this book of only 134 pages by my... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Michelle
5.0 out of 5 stars Peace in every step
I would recommend this book to everyone! Very amazing and type of book I didn't want to stop reading! Namaste
Published 18 months ago by Eckhart TolleGail
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