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

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4.34  ·  Rating Details  ·  15,706 Ratings  ·  656 Reviews
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, ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published March 1st 1992 by Bantam (first published 1990)
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Kris
Sep 23, 2012 Kris rated it really liked it
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Thich Nhat Hanh is a man who has lived his principles. Exiled from his native Vietnam for his active engagement in the peace movement as a Buddhist monk, he has lived in exile in France for years. He has an extraordinary bibliography of spiritual writing, from slim books to guide meditation to a length biography of the Buddha.

I am not certain he would thank me for providing that short biography. I think he would have preferred for me to start with a focus on the breath, on a gentle
...more
Sarah
Sep 09, 2007 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone who could use some more peace and mindfulness in their lives
I first read this book in college, when my friend Maran told me it was her favorite book ever. It's a little book, and I finished it quickly, and while I really liked it, not much of it stuck with me. It wasn't until I read it again that I realized how genius it really is. I'm never going to be a Buddhist monk, or even a proper Buddhist, but Thich Nhat Hanh talks about slowing down, connecting with the moment, and how to deal with stress and negative emotions in such a loving, gentle way that it ...more
laura
Feb 15, 2010 laura rated it really liked it
'when you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. you look into the reasons it is not doing well. it may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. you never blame the lettuce. yet if we have problems with our friends or our family, we blame the other person. but if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like lettuce. blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and arguments. that is my experience. no blame, no r ...more
Chanita.Shannon
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 psyc ...more
PlatKat
Apr 12, 2010 PlatKat rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to PlatKat by: My old boss from back in the day
This book is full of beneficial guidelines for living a mindful, peaceful life and helping those around you do the same. Even if it confirms what you already know, it is a pleasurable read and a beautiful inspiration to actively appreciate the positive aspects of living.

Like most other Buddhist works, it is centered around living in the present. I wasn't expecting him to devote a section to the idea of hope as an obstacle, but it made good sense. It's very easy to keep looking toward tomorrow, w
...more
Maureen
Sep 02, 2008 Maureen rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Maureen by: Parallax Press
Shelves: buddhism
Some of Thich Nhat Hanh's writings are mostly informational, like Old Path, White Clouds, his biography of the Buddha. Others, like this book, are meant to be experienced.

In each short section of this book, Thich Nhat Hanh tells a story, or seeks to describe an experience to which the reader may relate. Some of them, like washing the dishes, deal with being in the present moment, and being deeply involved in whatever one is doing solely for the joy of having that experience. Others, like his de
...more
Gretchen
Aug 01, 2007 Gretchen rated it liked it
I can't tell if he sounds "pop" because pop-buddism followed him or if he is advocating "buddism lite." He ideas are certainly beautiful and his personal history is amazing (though a few less references by his followers to his nomination for a nobel peace prize would be welcome). My problem comes from the fact that I'm not sure I could be around him or those who follow him for long without going batshit crazy. Maybe i am not that peaceful
Arizona Mildman
Oct 06, 2011 Arizona Mildman rated it it was amazing
Thich Nhat Hanh writes this as if we were completely without any knowledge of Buddhism. He could have called it Simple Meditation Made Easy. I have studied meditation and it is normally taught by people who complicate the process so they can teach you the "proper" way to do it. Hanh teaches that simple breathing is the key. He teaches mindfulness in walking, driving, housework, any occasion and makes it so simple anyone, including me can follow and successfully be enjoying deep meditation by the ...more
Max
Aug 25, 2014 Max rated it liked it
In the beginning of my studying of Buddhism, I quickly came to appreciate Hanh as a wise Buddhist Monk. I've watched many of his video interviews and lectures. This was the first book of his that I read. I was excited at first to begin reading and learning, but quickly I realized that this wasn't the book for me. It's too simplistic, and not in a good way. Although some might say that over complicating peace and mindfulness is exactly what Hanh would advise against, I would argue that some conte ...more
Azadeh Seif Amirhosseini
Jul 05, 2014 Azadeh Seif Amirhosseini rated it it was amazing
Browsing through Waterstones in London in July 2009, I came across Thich Nhat Hanh's, Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life. At this time I was in a place in my life where many dreams and goals were becoming uncertain and life was beginning to become a little negative but all changed after reading this book.

As I began to read through the first chapter, I was captivated by Thich Nhat Hanh's wisdom, writing style and language.

Because of this wonderful book, I am learning ev
...more
Sarah
Apr 26, 2014 Sarah rated it it was amazing
A beautiful little book, this is.

Few people would argue if you told them life feels like chaos sometimes. Or maybe all the time. Stopping to breathe and find peace is, in today’s world, almost unheard of. Particularly in our lovely little over-caffeinated, double-booked, mindless-drone American society, slowing down is practically Original Sin (because everyone knows that lunch breaks and adequate sleep predicated the fall of mankind, duh).

But why do this to ourselves? And, ultimately, to each o
...more
♥ Ibrahim ♥

Originally I heard about this book from another author that I was really, still am, enjoying her book "writing begins with the breath" by Laraine Herring. I was pleased to know that in reading this book I will get some skills in towards enhancing my writing, some skills in mindfulness and some skills so that I may grow as a Christian and human being in my development journey. First thing that struck me about this book was what Thomas Merton had to say about Thây (Thich). He told his students, "J
...more
Justin
Sep 01, 2009 Justin rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful, inspiring little book about simple living, meditation, and opening yourself to deeper compassion and self-reflection. Thich Nhat Hanh is a world-renowned Vietnamese Buddhist Monk, and the work is really just a collection of speeches he's made, anecdotes he's told, and ideas he's scribbled. Hanh's language is not complex, but there is beauty in his prose, as evidenced by this passage:

I asked the leaf whether it was frightened because it was autumn and the other leaves were fa
...more
Rebecca
Nov 17, 2013 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Recommended to Rebecca by: Holly
Shelves: non-fiction, asian

I have always been a proponent for breathing.

No, seriously.

I have had bouts with allergies and asthma and have felt the terror of gasping for a breath ... but I have also had experience with meditation, self-relaxation and deep breathing (I delivered my second child using the 'Hypno-birthing' method). Conscious breathing can be powerful.

Breathing in and out is very important, and it is enjoyable. Our breathing is the link between our body and our mind... Just breathing and smiling can make us v
...more
Kathleen
May 03, 2013 Kathleen rated it it was amazing
Aside from prayer and music, Thich Nhat Hanh is my go-to guy for finding that peaceful, still place in the center of the storm. This book is thin, easy to read, and practical. After explaining why it is important to live in the moment, and how breathing and meditation can assist with this, TNH provides several recipes -- for lack of a better word -- to try out, especially while taking a walk. Written for newbies, not experts, this book is handy and accessible.

I have read several of his books, i
...more
Greg
Feb 15, 2010 Greg rated it it was amazing
Thich Nhat Hanh's older book that I've read about six times. Although it is light in content, and a quick read, and covers subjects such as cooking potatoes, the book is purposefully driving the message that we all are inter-connected and that we should strive to live our lives for others and away from the 'me-driven' ego that western society is so caught up in.

Peace Is Every Step reminds me of Dr. Albert Schweitzer's (medical missionary in Congo and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize) treatise
...more
Bernadet
Oct 26, 2009 Bernadet rated it it was amazing
Thich Nhat Hanh's Peace is Every Step is by far my favorite of all the books written by gurus and thinkers. This book has changed my perspective on my perspective. He has, through his compassionate and down-to-earth dialogue, allowed me to understand and be compassionate toward my own Catholic faith, myself, and everyone around me.

This isn't a book filled with buzzwords nor is it a book that preaches. Thich Nhat Hanh does not offer techniques or ideologies, he simply presents the world as it re
...more
Tanya Hristova
Dec 28, 2014 Tanya Hristova rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is not a book I'd usually pick up. My curiosity often shifts from one topic to another and the last time it was engaged with Eastern philosophy and Buddhism (about a year and a half ago, I think) I was left with a deep certainty that it is not a philosophy I can ever truly accept. Life without craving or desire is not a life worth living, so why would anyone want it? I'm never going to be a person without desires and hopes and dreams that is content and happy just to sit on the grass and st ...more
Carol
May 04, 2011 Carol rated it it was amazing
I loved this gem of a book. Each tiny chapter give you something to reflect upon for weeks. It is about finding peace and happiness in your life and sharing that with the world. He talks about the importance of mindfulness so you can be aware of your inter-relatedness in the entire universe. This book was a Mother's Day gift one year ago and it added greater peace and understanding to my life.
Rivera Sun
Mar 12, 2013 Rivera Sun rated it it was amazing
Thich Nhat Hanh is an inspirational soul. This book is so simply profound. Interspersed with lovely requests, plain English meditations for ordinary people, and tremendously powerful short anecdotes about his life experiences, this book grabs the roots of peace, and plants them in your soul. I highly recommend this book to everyone.
Gry Ranfelt
Dec 17, 2015 Gry Ranfelt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Beautiful words form a beautiful message. I will return to this book to engrave it into my mind and become better at a number of things.
A few things I found pushed me a bit away was when he would talk as if leaves can speak etc. I understand that meditating on a thing can let you realize things about it, but I dislike the phrasing that it "speaks and tells you stuff".
I also wish he'd spoken more on forgiveness when people have been truly wronged and when there are times when we cannot be reunite
...more
Seth Mann
Feb 05, 2014 Seth Mann rated it really liked it
As I was reading the last page of Peace is Every Step, I was reminded of one of the few times in my life I was actually fully present. Truly living in the moment. I was four or five years old. It was a summer evening in Irvington, NJ on a block lined with immigrant Italian families. My grandmother lived across the street and worked at pizza place on the corner. It was dusk and the typical oppressiveness of the NJ summer day was quickly waning. In its place was a softening humidity, a dark royal ...more
Mark Trombly
Nov 26, 2011 Mark Trombly rated it it was amazing
Shelves:
I have only recently begun reading this book and have already found it to be very helpful. I have been worrying an awful lot about my future and I have been experiencing some pretty serious back and neck pain. Through the principles of mindful breathing, staying in the present, and being grateful for the little things I have already begun to see some benefit.

I'll use today for an example. As I have said, I have been experiencing a lot of back pain. It has caused referral pain to one of my shoul
...more
James
Apr 09, 2011 James rated it liked it
Shelves: buddhism
I am a Christian and typically do not look to other religious traditions for Spiritual counsel or advice. I live in fidelity to Jesus happily drinking the water from my own cistern, but still all truth is God's truth. I had this book kicking around and since I feel like North America's biggest religious challenge comes from the East I read it and in itI encountered wise counsel and good advice about being present in the moment and practicing life mindfully.

Thich Nhat Hanh advocates that we be f
...more
Allison
May 31, 2014 Allison rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: my friends and family, those who want to feel joy, those who want to live more mindfully
Shelves: inspirational
I borrowed this book from someone I hardly knew probably 4 or 5 years ago (I still have it, I don't know who she is...?!) I never even looked at it until this last week. I feel like it was transformative. The meditations are simple, thought-provoking (but more than that), present-provoking. I tried to breathe in and out mindfully between every section/meditation and it was helpful. I've been trying to use some of the techniques regularly and it's been very grounding and uplifting. Instead of spi ...more
Melissa
Feb 02, 2010 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Adults interested in Buddhism
Nhat writes about how to obtain mindfulness which is within each person. He speaks of the frivolousness of "things" and how they will never make us mindful of ourselves and our actions. He uses simple metaphors and basic descriptions to teach psychology and the Buddhist way. If you were sitting at a table with a bowl of soup in front of you, Nhat would encourage you to savor the properties of the meal - the smell, the taste, the feeling of warmth, the colors, the bowl, the utensil, etc. This is ...more
Jigar Brahmbhatt
Jun 24, 2015 Jigar Brahmbhatt rated it really liked it
Thich Nhat Hạnh starts with simple practices to garner awareness and gradually expands his view to encompass not only our fellow human beings but the planet as well, so that peace can be possible, not by wars or debates, but by being mindful. I found myself practicing mindful breathing while reading this book. Not bad for a start, after all world peace should begin somewhere, right?
Holly
Mar 31, 2010 Holly rated it it was amazing
This monk's practical application on mindfulness and meditation was more than just thought provoking. His excercises really helped me gain more peace and control in my life. It was also the first introduction to Budhaism that made sense to me. His references to Jesus Christ are sweet though a bit mistranslated. I can't wait to read more by him.
Bill Currie
Jan 02, 2012 Bill Currie rated it really liked it
Shelves: spirituality
T answer the phone in mindfulness was never a thought in my mind. However after reading this book I realized everything should be done with such awareness, such as brushing ones teeth, washing the dishes, diving the ca or vacuuming the house. It has changed my way of thinking and seeing my daily actions in a more profound way.
missy jean
Oct 27, 2010 missy jean rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is changing my life...

"Each time you look at a tangerine, you can see deeply into it. You can see everything in the universe in one tangerine. When you peel it and smell it, it's wonderful. You can take your time eating a tangerine and be very happy."
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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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