Peace Is Every Step : Thich Nhat Hanh



Book Introduction:

Peace is Every Step is a book intended to teach new followers practices of meditation, mindful breathing, and enlightenment. It is based on Zen Buddhism. Thich Nhat Hanh’s style of direction is uncomplicated, easy to grasp, and concentrates on everyday actions and circumstances. By using incidents, personal tales, and meditation methods, Hanh explains how meditation in ordinary conditions, utilizing mindful breathing, can evoke readers to be mindful of their current realities. The readers can enhance their relationships, reduce their agitation, and boost their feelings of love and happiness. Peace is Every Step is an individual walkthrough towards consciousness to acquire the inner peace required to accomplish peace on worldwide order. 

The first part, “Breathe! You are Alive,” centers on one’s capacity of existing in this very instant, and be “mindful” of every activity in everyday life. Hanh guides readers to exist in the instant through a breathing technique called “conscious breathing,” which enables the individual to pacify him or herself, and concentrate on internal peace. By being conscious of one’s breathing, one can stop thinking of unnecessary or adverse aspects, and concentrate singularly on peace, balance, and harmony. Through laughing, conscious breathing, and different meditations devised to be performed especially during everyday ventures, rather than in a meditational space, Hanh guides his readers to step into the path of mindfulness.

In the second part, “Transformation and Healing,” Hanh utilize the methods presented in the first part to teach readers the methods to improve and change hard, chaotic psychological states into prolific mindful states. By identifying the feeling, becoming whole with the feeling, soothing the feeling, liberating the feeling, and deeply investigating one’s self, one is able to metamorph cynical emotions into means of self-realization and mindfulness. By associating with rage, envy, impediment, toxic relationships, love, and empathy in this method, readers can determine a more serene, mindful life.

In the final part, “Peace is Every Step,” Hanh instructs readers on the connection between one’s own internal peace and worldwide peace and unity. According to Hanh, everything in the universe is connected. A scrap of paper, cannot exist without daylight and trees, which cannot exist without earth and water, and so onward. So, by promoting and nourishing peace within one’s self, one can influence others to discover their own harmony, and use peaceful ways to decrease war, promote environmentalism, grow into nobler citizens, grow into more emphatic relationships, and become kinder human beings. According to Hanh, these methods, acquired through conscious breathing and attaining peace in each movement, are the solutions to world peace and unity.


Author Introduction:

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Buddhist Zen master, spiritual head, and writer. He is also a poet, academic, and human rights reformer.  He’s known worldwide for his endeavors to bring tranquility and equanimity to all persons. He was born in Hue, Vietnam, in 1967. He was appointed as a Buddhist monk at the tender age of sixteen. Hanh has contributed his life striving to consolidate religion to establish a peaceful world. In Peace is Every Step, Hanh utilizes his expertise completely in his journeys. He uses it to acquaint and enlighten readers about the breathing techniques known as conscious breathing, and the outcomes of that meditative energy in the lives of people. 

Martin Luther King chose him for the Nobel Peace Prize. He established the Van Hanh Buddhist University in Saigon. He also laid the foundation for The School of Youth and Social Service and the Plum Village Buddhist community and meditation center in France. He continued to live there for many years. He is the author of many commended books including Peace is Every Step, Old Path White Clouds, and Fear.  He continues to live at the Tu Hieu Temple in Vietnam where he was first appointed when he was sixteen years old. 


Excerpts from the book:

Before we jump into the book, a little housekeeping: The following excerpt is taken from the Online PDF of the book, ‘Peace is Every Step’ by Thich Nhat Hanh. The showcased excerpt is taken from the book’s PART TWO ‘Transformation and Healing’.


The River of Feelings 

Our feelings play a very important part in directing all of our thoughts and actions. In us, there is a river of feelings, in which every drop of water is a different feeling, and each feeling relies on all the others for its existence. To observe it, we just sit on the bank of the river and identify each feeling as it surfaces, flows by, and disappears. 

There are three sorts of feelings—pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral. When we have an unpleasant feeling, we may want to chase it away. But it is more effective to return to our conscious breathing and just observe it, identifying it silently to ourselves: “Breathing in, I know there is an unpleasant feeling in me. Breathing out, I know there is an unpleasant feeling in me.” Calling a feeling by its name, such as “anger,” “sorrow,” “joy,” or “happiness,” helps us identify it clearly and recognize it more deeply. 

We can use our breathing to be in contact with our feelings and accept them. If our breathing is light and calm—a natural result of conscious breathing—our mind and body will slowly become light, calm, and clear, and our feelings also. Mindful observation is based on the principle of “non-duality”: our feeling is not separate from us or caused merely by something outside us; our feeling is us, and for the moment we are that feeling. We are neither drowned in nor terrorized by the feeling nor do we reject it. Our attitude of not clinging to or rejecting our feelings is the attitude of letting go, an important part of meditation practice. 

If we face our unpleasant feelings with care, affection, and nonviolence, we can transform them into the kind of energy that is healthy and has the capacity to nourish us. By the work of mindful observation, our unpleasant feelings can illuminate so much for us, offering us insight and understanding into ourselves and society. 

Non-Surgery 

Western medicine emphasizes surgery too much. Doctors want to take out the things that are not wanted. When we have something irregular in our body, too often they advise us to have an operation. The same seems to be true in psychotherapy. Therapists want to help us throw out what is unwanted and keep only what is wanted. But what is left may not be very much. If we try to throw away what we don’t want, we may throw away most of ourselves. 

Instead of acting as if we can dispose of parts of ourselves, we should learn the art of transformation. We can transform our anger, for example, into something more wholesome, like understanding. We do not need surgery to remove our anger. If we become angry at our anger, we will have two angers at the same time. We only have to observe it with love and attention. If we take care of our anger in this way, without trying to run away from it, it will transform itself. This is peacemaking. If we are peaceful in ourselves, we can make peace with our anger. We can deal with depression, anxiety, fear, or any unpleasant feeling in the same way.


Link to get the book:

You can get your copy of ‘Peace Is Every Step’ By Thich Nhat Hanh from Here: 

Amazon.com and Amazon.in


Reviews of the book:

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

by Thich Nhat Hanh, Arnold Kotler (Editor), Dalai Lama XIV (Contributor)

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.

This review was taken from Goodreads.com


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