Peace of Mind: Becoming Fully Present
Thich Nhat Hanh
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We can’t heal with our minds alone. Thinking can be something productive and creative, but without integrating body and mind, much of our thinking is useless and unproductive. In Peace of Mind, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us that integrating body and mind is the only way to be fully alive in each moment, without getting lost in our thoughts while walking, cooking, driving, and going about our everyday lives. Only by cultivating a mindful body and an embodied mind can we be fully alive. Bringing together ancient wisdom and contemporary thinking, Thich Nhat Hanh says it's like hardware and software—if you don't have both, you can't do anything.
Peace of Mind provides a foundation for beginning mindfulness practices and understanding the principles of mind/body awareness. By learning how our physical body and mind are inseparable in creating our own perceptions and experiences we can begin to trust and nourish our ability to create well-being.
wealth, and power. When we look around, we may see people who have plenty of these things but who continue to suffer very deeply. How much power do we need to be happy? The president is supposed to be the most powerful man in the United States, but I think he feels he doesn’t have enough power. He wants to do so many things, but he lacks the power to make them happen. If you think that having power or lots of money is what you need in order to be happy, that’s a wrong view. There are so many
there in me. I am here to take care of you. Suffering and Happiness Inter-Are There are people who wish to find a place where there is no suffering, like heaven, the Pure Land of the Buddha, or the kingdom of God. We may think that “up there” there is no suffering—there is only happiness. But when we look deeply we see that suffering and happiness inter-are, just as the mud and the lotus interpenetrate each other. A lotus can only grow in mud. If there were no mud, there would be no lotus
the Buddha, the kingdom of God. So your practice is very helpful. You just walk mindfully and breathe mindfully, and all of us will benefit from your practice. You’re a bell of mindfulness. You remind us to come home to the here and the now and become alive again. You may think you’re not doing anything for us, but that’s not true. You’re walking mindfully, enjoying every step, and you’re generating the energy of joy and happiness in yourself. You are helping us. We need people like you, happy
pain, and the difficulties that they encountered in the war, and they can’t let go. In the present moment there are many things to treasure and be grateful for, many miracles; but they aren’t able to be in contact with them. So there needs to be a family member, a friend, or a therapist, who can help remind them that what they’re thinking of is no longer happening now, help them pull themselves out of the past so they can be in contact with the present moment. Why must we keep on locking
because mindfulness and concentration are of the same essential nature, like water and ice. Where there’s mindfulness and concentration, there’s also insight. Mindfulness carries concentration and insight within it. Breathing in, you touch the fact that you’re alive, that your lungs are still healthy and you can breathe in freely—that is already insight. There are people who breathe in who don’t know they’re breathing in. They don’t know that they’re alive and that there are wonders of life in