Breathe, You Are Alive: The Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing
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Breathe, You Are Alive: The Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  473 ratings  ·  24 reviews
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 a...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published July 28th 2008 by Parallax Press (first published 1987)
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I cannot express how delighted I was to finally find a Buddhist text that focused primarily on breathing meditation. Many Buddhist works tend to briefly cover meditation in a few pages - ensuring the reader knows proper posture and providing a simple counting method - before launching into philosophy on karma, reincarnation,impermanence, compassion, etc.

Thich Nhat Hanh graciously presents a little-known Sutra by Buddha called Anapansati Sutta in Pali and Tipitaka in Sanskrit, or The Full Awarene...more
This is one of my all-time favorite Buddhist books, one which I was all-but-guided to buy several years ago when I was driving in Los Angeles and decided on an impulse to stop at one of my favorite bookstores, the Bodhi Tree Bookstore on Melrose Avenue in W. Hollywood. I parked the car, I went inside, I turned to the right, I turned to the left and went between two shelves to a spot in the middle of the shelf where a bright yellow cover caught my eye, which i proceeded to pull out and there was...more
This is my favorite book by Thich Nhat Hanh. If you are at all interested in meditation, this book spells out how to get started.
This book was really just a follow up to the more detailed and complete "The Heart Of the Buddha's Teaching" by the same author. This book delved into to meaning of the Sutra On the Full Awareness Of Breathing attributed to Buddha. It gives the sutra, and offers some commentary, although the commentary was predictable and didn't reveal much beneath the surface of the meditative words. Below is the complete Sutra, with minor paraphrastic revisions. I have since committed it to memory and have use...more
Though written by a Buddhist monk, this presentation on Buddhist breath-meditation has a very syncretic approach which echoes general new-age concepts of healing, nature and planetary consciousness, and even modern Taoist internal alchemy practices such as the Inner Smile meditation on the organs (as taught by eg. Mantak Chia). With its emphasis on healing and self-care, nature consciousness and inter-being, this appears to be a book written to appeal widely to a general (Western) readership who...more
Brett Bartow
A more advanced reading, I found I just didn't take as much away from this one as I have from others. I'm probably not ripe enough for it yet.
Jay McNair
Thich Nhat Hanh has a remarkable plain-and-simple way of writing as if everything he says were just perfectly obvious and apparent and easy. It's even funny at times, though I'm sure unintentionally. He says things like, "Out of forgetfulness, we create internal knots in each other and don't realize it, until one day we can no longer look each other in the eye, and we watch television instead." Anyway, very helpful and happy and simple advice on meditation, breathing, and peaceful living.
I could never be a Buddhist, because I don't know how to empty my mind. But the main focus of this book is definitely important for anyone to learn. To stop and breathe, focus on the body, focus on happiness. Beautiful thoughts that are very well written with very grand topics made easy to understand. I need to remember to do that more often.
I've given all his books five stars because their wisdom is invaluable, but this might be my favorite. Perhaps the most practical. Awareness is awareness of everything: all that you're thinking and feeling in body and mind. This book gives very practical technology for practicing that.
Fantastic guide to conscious breathing and the exercises you can employ to get the most out of your mediation practices. Best read when you are actually ready to start practicing meditation, or to strengthen or supplement your current practices.
Carol Eshleman
Great reminder of going back to the basics and following the breath. I don't really think this is a book for beginners but I think it's great for people who have been into Zen for a while and need to be reminded of the beginning.
Krittima Thammamitr
here is the key practice of bringing our mind back home to our body. this is a classic teaching from the our great Teacher Sakyamuni Buddha. an essential stepping stone. beware, it can change your life.
I thought that this was an excellent book fore anyone interested in the breath and body, especially in a meditation practice. It outlined a breath practice with insightful commentary.
As always, Thich Nhat Hanh speaks to my heart and gives me
useful information. Literally helpful for those of us with
asthma, spiritually helpful to remind of the essence of living.
An essential, key Sutra. I return again and again to these Hanh translations/commentaries. Highly recommended for anyone on, or wanting to get on, the path...
Kait Barnard
Singers, this is book based on Buddism and sutra but it really applies to singing and making breathing enjoyable. I've gained a lot from it already.
a wonderful reminder that each breath is a miracle! and each breath can serve as a way to bring us back to the present moment.
Oct 09, 2008 Christi rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Christi by: Brandon DeCuir
This book offers good guided breathing meditations with Appendix in the back describing the previous lessons in more detail.

This book is the simplest way to mindfulness, joy, and enlightenment. Happy Cotinuation Day, Thai!
Michael Castaneda
This book has done more for me than any book I've read. I use it's lessons daily. Everyone should read it.
A little technical -- an exposition on a Sutra.
He has other better books with which to begin.
Good instructive book on being aware of your breath to calm and bring mindfulness.
one of the essential texts for Buddhist practice
After reading the sutra, you can breathe....:))
Very simple, but necesary
Merccedes marked it as to-read
Jul 11, 2014
Mabel Kyinn
Mabel Kyinn marked it as to-read
Jul 09, 2014
Todd marked it as to-read
Jul 07, 2014
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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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