You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment
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You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment

4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  1,246 ratings  ·  114 reviews

In this book Thich Nhat Hanh, the renowned Zen monk, author, and meditation master, distills the essence of Buddhist thought and practice, emphasizing the power of mindfulness to transform our lives. “Mindfulness is not an evasion or an escape,” he explains. “It means being here, present, and totally alive. It is true freedom—and without this freedom, there is no happiness

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Published August 31st 2010 by Shambhala Publications, Inc. (first published March 1st 2001)
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thich nhat hanh makes Buddhism accessible and enjoyable to read. This book serves as a great reminder to live in and savor each moment fully. makes me wish i had a Sangha locally that i could work with.

I have arrived, I am home,
In the here and in the now.
I am solid, I am free,
In the ultimate I dwell.

"After walking for a few minutes with the words of this poem, you will see that you are much more solid. The past and the future can no longer grab you and pull you away from life. As a result...more
This was my first Thich Nhat Hahn book, and I must say--I was really impressed. He takes Buddhist teachings and makes them relatable to people who live in our chaotic, 21st century world but who are looking for something a little deeper. And the way to really tap into your life is to be present in the moment (as challenging as that can be). He mentioned a metaphor that stuck with use compost to grow healthy and strong. So why not use our own compost, our baggage, our junk, our past...more
I have a hard time giving this a "rating". I think there are some books that just aren't rate-able, because it's not about how well they're written, etc. That said, I feel like I only absorbed about 10% of what You Are Here had to offer, as I listened to it on CD going to and from work. To say that I was intrigued by what I did grasp is an understatement, and there are certainly ideas and ways of thinking here that will hang with me. In the meanwhile, I really think I need to get my hands on a h...more
"Some people live as though they are already dead. There are people moving around us who are consumed by their past, terrified of their future, and stuck in their anger and jealousy. They are not alive; they are just walking corpses. If you look around yourself with mindfulness, you will see people going around like zombies. Have a great deal of compassion for the people around you who are living like this. They do not know that life is accessible only in the here and now."
This is the first Thich Nhat Hanh book I have read, and I found it to be an excellent and simple description of Buddhist philosophy. Many other books on Buddhism have left me scratching my head, thinking, "Huh?" You are Here was easy to read and, most importantly, understandable.

This will be a book I come back to, again and again.
I was really liking this book all the way through, thinking that even though it can be called simple and "self-helpy", it was really helping me to look at the world more positively, question my sometimes cloudy perceptions, and begin to practice some practical methods to alleviate stress and to relax. So I would have given it four stars until I reached the last chapter and Camus' The Stranger was mentioned. ThenI loved it. Thich Nhat Hanh talks about Meursault's "moment of awareness"--when, conf...more
There's nothing particularly new here- it's the same old "breathing in, I know that I am breathing in, breathing out, I know that I am breathing out."
For all that, it never gets old for me. I need, constantly, to be reminded to be mindful, to be reminded that now, this very moment, is all I ever have.

I'm not at all religious, but the doctrine of mindfulness speaks deeply to me and is one I strive, unsuccessfully, to practice. This little gem of a book is a bell bringing me back to my present mom...more
It is just as simple and moving of a message as you can get. You are here! yes, you are. But living in the present is not something that you can wrap your brain on easily. Well, the Thich Nhat Hanh has an amazing way of explaining to you how to do just that. This book connects with the reader, and it connects fast. From the actual instructions of how to connect with the present moment to the philosophy behind that connection, and the implications for your and all's well being, this books spoke t...more
This is an amazing book, one of my favorites of all time. The clarity with which Thich Nhat Hanh explains how to apply mindfulness to life is incredible. He gives very practical advice, accompanied by truly inspired thoughts about life. Some of the words in this book are the emotional equivalent of having a drink of ice water on a steaming hot day. The words provide instant relief from the seeming hardships of life... I like reading excerpts of this book to friends going through difficulties...
What do I think about this book?
Everything I read from Thich Nhat Hanh is thought-provoking and inspirational. I am not a Buddist but I always learn something from his teachings. For me, the big take-away from this book is that we have everything we need already inside of us. And, the same is true for the people around us. A simple concept and one we already know, but a good reminder to approach the day with the awareness of that truth.
Jen Nguyen
I have read several of Thich Nhat Hanh's books now. He's a Vietnamese Buddhist monk (and, a rather prolific writer!). His writings are simple, yet profound. I actually find that even reading a few pages from his books will have a calming effect on me. Highly recommend.
Amy Formanski Duffy
Whenever I'm feeling too negative, I try to seek out a book like this to set me back on the right path. I need reminders to live in the present moment and to enjoy the present moment as much as possible. The past is over, the future isn't here yet. So there's no point in worrying about either one. All we have is now. There is a lot of helpful advice in here about dealing with pain and suffering and negative emotions. I needed a reminder to be compassionate and to try to see things from other peo...more
Sean Goh
How can you love if you are not here?

There are people moving around us who are consumed by their past, terrified of their future, and stuck in their anger and jealousy.

Many people aspire to go to a place where there is no pain and suffering. But without pain and suffering there can be no understanding and compassion. Without understanding, there can be no true love. Without compassion, there can be no happiness.

We should not try to escape pain, we should try to look at it directly. Then, we will...more
Emily Lamb
This is a book I plan to read continuously... Simply wonderful.
Reading Ronnie Hsia's study of Matteo Ricci piqued my interest in Buddhism, a subject which I didn't know very much about. I am really not quite sure what to make of "You are Here," by Thich Nhat Hanh. Some aspects of TNH's book are very thought-provoking, particularly Buddhism's rejection of mind-body dualism, and TNH's positive treatment of suffering and emotion. TNH's message about the importance of living in the present moment was perhaps the most powerful take-away message for me. Yet someh...more
If Thoreau and the Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh had been associates, the Transcendentalist couldn't have lamented he'd "never yet met a man who was quite awake," Hanh is fully awake and alive and there's something about his simple message that rings the bell of mindfulness for the rest of us.

I say "simple" message, but digesting that message requires stepping out of Western paradigms. Personally, I've inherited a cultural and religious model for spiritual improvement that could best...more
You Are Here is a slender volume containing a simple message: you are here, live mindfully. I haven't read a lot on Buddhism and this is the first I have read by Thich Nhat Hanh. On one hand I found it too simple, and very repetitive. It's mentioned in other reviews that this book is condensed, that it sums up messages in other Thich Nhat Hanh writings. And that's exactly the feeling I got while reading through it, like he just rephrased a line and reworked some metaphors he had used before, try...more
Jeff Scott
I listened to The Art of Mindful Living three years ago and it really helped me through a difficult time. It helped me become centered and to focus on the present, what's right in front of you. You Are Here is a very condensed version of Thich Nhat Hanh's writing, but it focuses on that very important point, being present in your everyday life. Being present honors your friends and family and helps you focus on them and less on your own worries. This book is great for those stressed, distracted...more
Kimberly Duquette
In this book, Thich Nhat Hanh emphasizes the power of mindfulness to transform our lives. “Mindfulness is not an evasion or an escape,” he explains. “It means being here, present, and totally alive. It is true freedom—and without this freedom, there is no happiness.”

I must admit, I absorb everything this remarkable monk writes. I highly recommend any of his titles to those looking for happiness in the present moment.

This is a truly amazing book. It's I could see myself carrying around with me and taking a quick peek at every now and then throughout my day. He describes Buddhist concepts that I found hard to comprehend in other books in a really easy to digest way. I love this book! It's definitely one of those books that after reading I feel some deep gratitude for its existence.
I have this book on my nightstand so I can pick it up at regular intervals. Like the Road Less Travelled this book needs to be read over and over. It is such a challenge to stay present and we all get sucked back into the rush and frenzy of everyday life. What I love most about this book is for me it is like reading a meditation. Helps to stop the chatter of the mind.
I have read about mindfulness in many different books and articles, but have never been able to grasp it, until now. Thich Nhat Hanh describes mindfulness in such an accessible way. I was already practicing mindful breathing by the time I got to the second page. From that moment, I was entranced. As I read this wonderful book, I felt as if I was sitting in a room with him, listening to his teachings in person. This is a new favorite of mine, and I highly recommend it!
Exactly what you'd expect from Thích Nhất Hạnh, whose compassion shines throughout. I didn't care for the Christian terminology, but perhaps this will broaden the appeal of the book. I'd recommend skipping the editor's preface. It's short, but superfluous.
I picked this up in Tattered Cover Bookstore while on a walk through downtown Denver. The title practically threw itself at me and is my only purchased souvenir from the trip. This bookstore was about as amazing as the city. If in town, check it out when you have a few hours to spare.


'You Are Here' is simple and amazing. A book that I plan to pass on to friends in hopes they pass it on to others. I cannot imagine keeping this book. It is not a thing that deserves to rest on a shelf - it has...more
Hannah Givens
Finally, someone whose explanations are really as simple as everyone else's claim to be! Usually breathing exercises make my anxiety worse. Doing it the way he explains it, I actually have a reset button for my brain.
Dell Maddox
I am so pleased with this book. All the ways I was showed to lessen the stress at my job. Whit simply breathing in and know that I am breathing in. And doing the same with breathing our. Saved me so many headache this week.
I really enjoyed this book. It was hard to get into at first because it was reminding me to be mindful. Eventually I got out a pencil and underlined a few things. Because I go back and forth between fiction and non-fiction (in my book group and in general) I think that was where part of my difficultly getting into this book came in. But in the end, I loved this book.

I found it extremely informative and accessible. I've begun practicing mindfulness in my running and yoga practice and I've been t...more
This small book by the Vietnamese Buddhist monk and teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, is not a philosophical text but a very personal sharing from teacher to student; it seems as if you are present at a retreat, and he is speaking to you as you sit in the front row. Like his other writings, he writes of deep matters in a deceptively simple way. I particularly liked how he describes being in the present moment as entering "the kingdom of God," a familiar expression for readers who come from a Christian t...more
This was my first Thich Nhat Hahn read and I loved it - it really reinforces my Vipassana meditation practice - and offers another take on the same Buddhist principles I have learned through Vipassana.

The sentences throughout this book are short, often presenting one thought, so easy to grasp and process.

As is often the case for me, some teachings in this read were exactly in line with my current needs for guidance and affirmation.

A very nourishing read for sure!
Isis West
It's not a book about Buddhism. It's a book that actually teaches Buddhism. It's succinct and profound.
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Thích Nhất Hạnh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist who now lives in southwest France where he was in exile for many years.

Born Nguyễn Xuân Bảo, Thích Nhất Hạnh joined a Zen (Vietnamese: Thiền) monastery at the age of 16, and studied Buddhism as a novitiate. Upon his ordination as a monk in 1949, he assumed the Dharma name Thích Nhất Hạnh. Thích is an honorary...more
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“Some people live as though they are already dead. There are people moving around us who are consumed by their past, terrified of their future, and stuck in their anger and jealousy. They are not alive; they are just walking corpses.” 67 likes
“We have to continue to learn. We have to be open. And we have to be ready to release our knowledge in order to come to a higher understanding of reality.” 20 likes
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