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The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  12,570 Ratings  ·  571 Reviews
In this beautiful and lucid guide, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh offers gentle anecdotes and practical exercise as a means of learning the skills of mindfulness--being awake and fully aware. From washing the dishes to answering the phone to peeling an orange, he reminds us that each moment holds within it an opportunity to work toward greater self-understanding and peacefulne ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published May 1st 1999 by Beacon Press (first published 1975)
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    Margaret Kennedy for a beginner, the book "Journey with your soul to heal your body and your mind" would be a great place to start. It teaches visualisation through…morefor a beginner, the book "Journey with your soul to heal your body and your mind" would be a great place to start. It teaches visualisation through two stories and the basics about meditation and being present with yourself. It is simply written and is a small but powerful book to start you on your journey of daily practice.
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    Community Reviews

    (showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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    stephanie
    probably the best book on mindfulness meditation out there. thich naht hahn is a bloody genius, and this book isn't even my favorite of his. but really, the one-thing-in-the-moment meditation has helped me a lot. we joke about it - going to wash one dish when we are upset - but it's surprisingly useful. my favorite thing to do is go through my books/papers/etc. - a tactic i learned from this book. it's wildly relaxing, and i feel like i've accomplished something. this is also the reason my books ...more
    Lisa (Harmonybites)
    Jan 17, 2012 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it really liked it
    Recommends it for: Everyone
    Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
    The subtitle is "an introduction to the practice of meditation." That's a bit misleading. This is a lot more than a value-free manual. The introduction tells us this the main text was originally a long letter from Thich Nhat Hanh to a fellow Buddhist monk in Vietnam in the midst of the war in 1975. Hanh, exiled from Vietnam, worked against the war and was nominated by Martin Luther King for the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Translated into English under his supervision by a friend, you can't sever this fro
    ...more
    Diamond Cowboy
    Nov 06, 2015 Diamond Cowboy rated it really liked it
    This is a very good and therough book on the practice of meditation. It is written by a Budist but any one of any mindset or religion can use this book's practices.
    I found it informative and I believe I shall reread it and try the practice out.
    Enjoy and Be Blessed.
    Diamond
    howl of minerva
    A practical phenomenology of Zen consciousness (genetivus subjectivus and genetivus objectivus).

    "He searches all around for his thought. But what thought? It is either passionate, or hateful, or confused [i.e. is bestimmt by a Grundstimmung]. What about the past, future, or present? [Zeitlichkeit/Temporalität]. What is past that is extinct, what is future that has not yet arrived and the present has no stability. For thought, Kasyapa, cannot be apprehended, inside, or outside, or in between both
    ...more
    Mark Robison
    Aug 29, 2015 Mark Robison rated it it was amazing
    When I read this 20 years ago, it had a big effect on my life. I decided to read it again, and I remembered all the parts that had been so meaningful before but I didn’t love it. In hindsight, I don’t think I read it mindfully. (Irony alert.) So I read it almost immediately again, and absolutely loved it this time. My favorite parts are when he’s traveling across the U.S. and his friend Jim starts popping pieces of a tangerine in his mouth while discussing their plans. He suggests to Jim he ough ...more
    Sheila
    Apr 10, 2014 Sheila rated it really liked it
    Recommended to Sheila by: ♫~Sapfo~♫
    What a fascinating, thought provoking book. I am very interested in this idea of "mindfulness" and am now trying to put into practice many of the ideas the author of this book suggests. I am finding doing this helps my stress too. If I can focus on the moment, if I can control my mind and just enjoy the moment, the present, what I am actually doing, it does make me calmer and less frazzled. It is a great idea! Who would have thought that it could be calming to wash the dishes, or fold the laundr ...more
    Gearóid
    Sep 02, 2015 Gearóid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: to-be-continued
    Very chilled nice book to read.
    Vikkat
    Oct 21, 2012 Vikkat rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: kindle
    While I was reading this (excellent) book, it struck me how much of it recognize from, well, life. Some of the most composed and peaceful people I know already seem to be following TNH's directions, altough they wouldn't call it zen or meditation. This might sound funny, but the most vivid example is washing dishes, brought up by author so often. My stepfather, who is a very wise man, would never go to sleep when there's dishes in the sink, and always takes his sweet time washing them, as if it ...more
    Mary Wilson
    Dec 24, 2012 Mary Wilson rated it really liked it
    I remember when I was a student. The rules were to simply meditate and that was it! The same with Hindu Yoga. The same with all Eastern paths. Then I stumbled on this book. It was wonderful. Did you know that you can put in as little as 10 minutes a day of sitting meditation and then apply this mindfulness of breath to "washing the dishes"? Later, apply mindfulness (being aware) to taking a bath. To eating. Well, you will meditate now for 1 hour a day. In fact, Buddhist Masters state that minful ...more
    Craig Plunkito
    Jan 30, 2015 Craig Plunkito rated it liked it
    Viktor Frankl, a WW II Holocaust survivor, author, and artist wrote the following profound quote:

    "Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In those choices lie our growth and our happiness."

    The only problem is, that's really hard. Especially if someone appears to take a certain pleasure in disregarding your experience, or perhaps even would like to get a rise out of you to make things get physical.

    It's a nice little manual
    ...more
    Pammu
    Jun 18, 2012 Pammu rated it really liked it
    I'm in the middle of reading this. This is milestone book for me because It's the first book I borrowed from the public library. I'm such a slow a reader: I borrowed this last month and I'm just about to approach the 90-page mark. This book is barely 100 pages.

    I picked up this book because last month, I was going through a phase, or a refining fire, or a test. Someone I've known for quite some time and only recently became a friend pointed me to Pema Chondron's thoughts on shenpa and Thich Nhat
    ...more
    Christina Bouwens
    Aug 03, 2011 Christina Bouwens rated it really liked it
    Who knew Thich Nhat Hanh would be so brilliant, philosophical while also writing at the Everyman level? A book to savor and apply. Drawing on Tolstoy, "there is only one important time and that is now. The present moment is the only time over which we have dominion. The most important person is always the person who you are with, who is right before you'. . . . We talk about social service, service to the people, service to humanity, service for others who are far away, helping to bring peace to ...more
    Erik Dabel
    Mar 05, 2012 Erik Dabel rated it really liked it
    Great book. Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the great Buddhist masters of our time, but his work, and his writing, go such much farther than one religion or way of thought.

    This book introduces methods and thoughts on meditation, and how to transfer those methods and thoughts to our everyday lives, not only when meditating, but when doing pretty much anything.

    The idea of slowing down, and simply paying attention to, ones breathing while being aware of what you are doing at any given moment is somethin
    ...more
    Freya
    Apr 12, 2016 Freya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: own, non-fiction
    review to come :)
    Travis Duke
    Apr 18, 2016 Travis Duke rated it really liked it
    Highly recommend this for mindfulness beginners. Very easy to digest the concepts he is talking about. I also really liked the short story/anecdote format, really well written. I recently became a father and the stories about Allen and his thoughts about sharing time with his family really hit home. I'm always trying improve on being in the present and enjoying life and I think the author writing in such a simple yet profound way resonates quickly. Even if you only read a few pages you can see t ...more
    Ladan
    Jul 16, 2010 Ladan rated it liked it
    "Recall the most significant achievements in your life and examine each of them. Examine your talent, your virtue, your capacity, the convergence of favorable conditions that have led to success. Examine the complacency and the arrogance that have arisen from the feeling that you are the main cause for such success. Shed the light of interdependence on the whole matter to see that the achievement is not really yours but the convergence of various conditions beyond your reach. See to it that you ...more
    Em
    Jan 03, 2015 Em rated it it was amazing
    I had read this book on my own in 2010 either just before or just after I started to regularly attend the UU meditation circle on Saturdays. This time I read it with the group. I had previously heavily underlined passages and this time I could now see those marks in three ways; as something I'd never heard of regarding meditation or Buddhism, something actually important to recall and clear signs that wielding my pencil was just an exercise in slowing down my mind. This time through I found the ...more
    Kerry
    May 16, 2014 Kerry rated it really liked it
    "Remember that there is only one important time and that is now. The present moment is the only time over which we have dominion. The most important person is always the person you are with, who is right before you, for who knows if you will have dealings with any other person in the future? The most important pursuit is making the person standing at your side happy, for that alone is the pursuit of life."

    This clear, simply written book is a good supplement to or beginner's volume for the pursui
    ...more
    Phạm Ngọc Hà
    Sep 16, 2016 Phạm Ngọc Hà rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    "Thiều ơi! Có người nói nhìn thực tại với con mắt phật tử thì sẽ thấy bi quan. Thực ra bi quan hay lạc quan là những gì quá dễ dãi. Vấn đề là nhìn thấy thực tại một cách thấu đáo. Một tâm trạng bi quan chẳng bao giờ đưa tới được nụ cười trầm tĩnh mà ta thấy nở trên môi các vị Bồ Tát và những người đạt đạo."
    Ross Cohen
    Sep 06, 2016 Ross Cohen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    In his quiet way, Thich Nhat Hanh writes with great strength.
    Jason
    Jun 13, 2016 Jason rated it really liked it
    Quick read! Very great introduction to not only mindfulness and meditation, but also to the writings of Thich Nhat Hanh. Can't wait to read some more in the future.
    Dina Rahajaharison
    Nov 22, 2015 Dina Rahajaharison rated it really liked it
    'The mind is like a monkey swinging from branch to branch through a forest, says the Sutra.'
    Steve
    There are a few helpful bits in this book.
    Enrico
    Jun 05, 2014 Enrico rated it really liked it
    Ottima introduzione alla meditazione. Dico "introduzione" e non "manuale", come scritto nel sottotitolo, dato che il libro non procede sistematicamente – come un manuale – ma per suggestioni e frammenti, per consigli da mettere in pratica in qualunque momento della vita quotidiana.
    Il fondamento di tutta la riflessione è l'applicazione della "Presenza Mentale", un'attività di per sé banale ad una prima superficiale considerazione, ma che può aprire ad esperienze nuove, ad una nuova conoscenza di
    ...more
    Lara
    May 03, 2014 Lara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: 2014
    This was a very well produced audiobook. Listening to the forward by the translator, I was surprised to find that mindfulness had such a long history, both in the East, and in the West. I'd had no idea about the circumstances that brought the practice from Buddhist monasteries to the West.

    The book is actually a long letter written from a monk to a friend who was trying to train Buddhist students in the middle of a war. The translator knew the author and translated the letter in active partnersh
    ...more
    Jessica Lu
    Apr 04, 2014 Jessica Lu rated it really liked it
    For me, this is an easy book to read for its concepts and philosophies, but a tough instruction book to follow for various meditation methods through breathing.

    The book is written by a Vietnamese monk/poet, Thich Nhat Hanh, who lives in exile in France. He believes the true enemies are not people, but ideology, hatred and ignorance. Under the Vietnamese political repression for several decades, he still teaches his followers to contemplate the interdependence of all objects. Once we understand t
    ...more
    Iona  Stewart
    Aug 06, 2011 Iona Stewart rated it really liked it
    Unfortunately, I had to read this book in Danish translation, since the library wouldn't get it for me in English (I can't buy all the books I read). The English version is a translation from the Vietnamese, the author Thich Nhat Hanh being a Buddhist monk who wrote the book in 1974 as a letter to a teacher at a social school in South Vietnam from his exile in France.

    The book exhorts the reader to mindfulness, i.e. to live in the "now", as Echart Tolle directs us to do, and explains how to do so
    ...more
    Nitya
    Oct 24, 2010 Nitya rated it it was amazing
    This gem of a book has inspired me to meditate regularly and for longer periods of time. Using simple stories from daily life, Thich Nhat Hanh points out how important it is to be mindful in every moment of our lives.
    One tidbit that hit home for me: "There are two ways to wash the dishes.The first is to wash the dishes in order to have clean dishes and the second is to wash the dishes in order to wash the dishes."
    He goes on to say that if we wash the dishes to have clean dishes, then we hurry
    ...more
    ♥ Ibrahim ♥
    Aug 12, 2013 ♥ Ibrahim ♥ rated it it was amazing
    I wish I had read Thây (Thích) long time ago! The only reason I didn't read him is because I was afraid of his Buddhist views while claiming to be open-minded,etc. This book is a gem and is a book to keep and refer to over and over again. It begins where one is, with basically very little knowledge of how to "breathe" and be mindful. These breathing techniques are currently being used as excellent tools by doctors and are proven to work very well in lowering blood pressure, etc. Take a look here ...more
    Tong Tian
    Feb 19, 2012 Tong Tian rated it it was amazing
    老师总对我们是说“Focus your mind in a zen-like status”,一个很有意思也很恰当的比方。以前翻过老爹读得关于佛啊禅啊的书,发现又难懂又无聊。这本书内容不超100页,读后的确也有所收获。

    Mindfulness 基本和meditation一个意思,但Mindfulness也解释为留心注意,更好解释了冥想的本质,对脑中的思想的觉察。为什么 meditation? 有的人说是为了排除杂念,也有很直白的人说“我想见菩萨”不过我确定这么想肯定见不到 = =

    书里有个很有意思的例子,关于洗碗“There are two ways to wash the dishes. The first way is to wash the dishes in order to have clean dishes and the second way is to wash the dishes in order to wash the dishes “(p.4)

    大多数人不爱洗碗,因为人们在洗碗的时候总是不停的在思考其他事情,未来的,过去的,而非手上在做洗碗这件事。因为人们很难去专注的
    ...more
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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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    “Feelings, whether of compassion or irritation, should be welcomed, recognized, and treated on an absolutely equal basis; because both are ourselves. The tangerine I am eating is me. The mustard greens I am planting are me. I plant with all my heart and mind. I clean this teapot with the kind of attention I would have were I giving the baby Buddha or Jesus a bath. Nothing should be treated more carefully than anything else. In mindfulness, compassion, irritation, mustard green plant, and teapot are all sacred.” 215 likes
    “To think in terms of either pessimism or optimism oversimplifies the truth. The problem is to see reality as it is.” 93 likes
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