Breathe, You Are Alive: The Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing
Thich Nhat Hanh
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
According to the Buddha’s teaching in the Anapanasati Sutra, maintaining awareness of our breathing is a means of awakening to the true nature of all things and arriving at spiritual liberation. Breathe, You Are Alive outlines 16 exercises of conscious breathing that were taught by the Buddha, together with commentaries and further exercises for practicing them every day and in any situation. Thich Nhat Hanh’s insights and explanation give the reader access to the profound nourishment available when we slow down and get in touch with our in-breath and out-breath. He walks the reader through the progression of exercises—from awareness of the physical plane, to the mental and spiritual planes—in a clear and concise manner that is easy to implement.
This 20th anniversary edition includes Thich Nhat Hanh’s most recent commentaries and practices on the awareness of breathing meditation, as well as his "Breathing and Walking" Gatha (practice verse) set to music.
digestive organs, you may see millions of minute living beings that are living inside your intestines. Do not push this perception away. Simply remain aware of it, “Breathing in, I am aware of the minute organisms living within me.” Your awareness of your symbiotic relationship with these organisms can be a rich subject for meditation. Recognize it as such, and make an appointment with yourself to return to this subject later, and then continue on your journey observing the rest of your body. We
the midst of a grove of trees. He feels joy and excitement. His mind and body race towards the pool, and he bends down, puts his hands in the water and brings the water to his mouth. Until the very last moment before he drinks the water, joy is there. His hands are shaking from excitement. But when he finally drinks the water, he tastes real happiness, and his excitement has completely disappeared. The Buddha was not criticizing joy. We need joy very much, but we also need to go further than joy.
mind consciousness. We have to practice looking deeply to recognize our wonderful seeds—the seeds of mindfulness, enlightenment, understanding, joy, and loving kindness. We might think that we cannot love because we have not been able to touch the seed of love within us. Through our practice, and with the support of a brother or a sister, we are able to touch our seeds of love, forgiveness, compassion, and joy. Some people say, “I don’t know what joy is. I have absolutely no joy within me.” That
only have that, I would be happy,” it’s a good time to practice the fourteenth breathing exercise. Many people think that if they don’t have a Ph.D., they can’t possibly be happy. Why do they have to have a degree to be happy? Thinking you’ll be happy if you have a degree is only an idea you have. It’s quite possible that after you have the degree, you still won’t be happy. The idea that marriage or a divorce is the only thing that can bring happiness is also just an idea. There’s no guarantee
Vietnam) with two fellow disciples, Gan Lin and Pi Ye. They may have brought the original translation of the Anapanasati Sutta with them. The commentary and preface were written by Tang Hoi in Vietnam before the year 229 C.E. Tang Hoi’s parents were traders from Sogdia in central Asia who had settled in Vietnam, and Tang Hôi was born in Vietnam, became a monk in Vietnam, and studied Sanskrit and Chinese there. Before traveling to the kingdom of Wu in southern China in the year 255 to spread the