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

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  7,200 ratings  ·  374 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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The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thích Nhất HạnhZen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu SuzukiA Guide to the Present Moment by Noah ElkriefFROM BUDDHA TO JESUS by Steve CioccolantiOm Chanting and Meditation by Amit Ray
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1st out of 39 books — 45 voters
Siddhartha by Hermann HesseThe Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama XIVZen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu SuzukiWhen Things Fall Apart by Pema ChödrönPeace Is Every Step by Thích Nhất Hạnh
A Buddhist Reading List
82nd out of 506 books — 648 voters

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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 4 of 5 stars
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
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
Apr 10, 2014 Sheila rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sheila by: ♫~Sapfo~♫
Shelves: self-improvement
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
Juanita Rice
Dec 02, 2011 Juanita Rice rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: buddhism
This is an almost indispensable guide toward establishing an understood meditation practice. Why, how and what: that is, why meditation, how to meditation, and what is meditation, actually. No nonsense, no hoo-ha, no mystification: this is a book my son uses In PRISON to help prisoners discover how they can avoid despair, rage, bitterness, and actually find compassion for themselves and others. Note that an affectionate title many of his students use to refer to him is "Thay," a Vietnamese term...more
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
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
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
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
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
"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
I feel bad for being less-than-thrilled by a book by an activist I so admire… I feel good, however, knowing that my experiences reading The Miracle of Mindfulness shed some light on how I approach writing. It’s rare that I get to see, in my reaction to a single brief volume, a survey of my various methods of interpreting and critically engaging texts.

This book is better poetry than philosophy. Although beautiful, a sentence like “Recall a simple and ancient truth: the subject of knowledge cannot...more
Iona  Main Stewart
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
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 ♥
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
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)

I read a large chunk this book on a particularly awful day a month or so ago, and it offered me some solace. Your mileage may vary.

The edition I checked out from the library did not claim to be an introduction to Buddhist meditation, though I suppose "manual" is close enough. The introduction made it clear enough that the text began as a collection of letters from Thich Nhat Hanh offering guidance to a friend on the subject. As such, it does not claim to be a comprehensive introduction to medita...more
"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
Huma Rashid
I am a huge fan of this man and all of his works. I always find wisdom in his words.
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
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
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
ได้ยินเกี่ยวกับหนังสือเล่มนี้มานานแล้ว แต่กว่าจะได้ซื้อมาอ่าน ก็เป็นฉบับพิมพ์ครั้งที่ 24 แล้วค่ะ
เป็นหนังสือธรรมะเบื้องต้นที่ดีเล่มหนึ่ง เหมาะสำหรับผู้เริ่มศีกษา หรือได้ศีกษามาบ้างเล็กน้อย เพราะกล่าวถึงหัวใจของการปฏิบัติ คือการเจริญสติ ซึ่งผู้ปฏิบัติทำได้ง่ายๆ และจะได้รับผล เห็นผลได้ด้วยตัวเอง ในภาษาที่เข้าใจง่าย ดังนั้นหนังสือเล่มนี้จึงโด่งดังมากในหมู่ชาวตะวันตก เพราะทุกคนเจริญสติได้ โดยไม่เลือกชาติ ศาสนา และได้ผลเป็นความตื่นรู้ เข้าถึงชีวิตในสภาวะที่แจ่มใสแท้จริงเช่นเดียวกันค่ะ

Tim Weakley
The central concepts of the book were mindfulness, and compassion. Hanh does a brilliant job of getting across. I didn't take much from the translated sutra's at the ned of the book but the rest caused a lot of contemplation on the concepts he was trying to get across.
I resisted reading this for a long time, but I'm glad I finally jumped in. So much to savor. I'll want to walk through it again. Parts I liked: Washing the dishes, eating a tangerine, walking, breathing, continuing in mindfulness, maintain a half smile. The artwork.
The best book on mindfulness I've ever read. I refer back to this book on a consistent basis. Its not a self-help book but it will improve the quality of one's life if it is applied. This book is about mindfulness-meditation. Its smart, its simple, and its inspiring. Thich Nhat Hanh teaches the paradox of non-doing wisely and intelligently with some great metaphors that illustrate the concepts so well that even the most analytical people (like myself) won't be able to complicate. Its worth notin...more
Mar 14, 2014 Liz added it
I will need to keep this at the ready for the section on specific meditation practices. Reading this book, I was reminded of the opportunities for peace in the everyday and the importance of breath. <3
Sep 03, 2007 Laurie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone and everyone
Shelves: self-help
This book, along with Off the Map, is my most-often-gifted book. I've read it so many times and I love to share it with people. It's a quick read and, for me, was truly life-changing.
A good foundational guide to the practise of Mindfulness. Good suggestions for daily meditative practices with the goal of living every moment more mindfully.
Along with Peace is Every Step by the same author, this was recommended to me as an introduction to mindfulness. The Miracle of Mindfulness is a good book - and good introduction to mindfulness, but in a more intellectual (and for me academic) way than Peace is Every Step. I enjoyed reading where mindfulness comes from in Buddhist teachings and texts - and was especially pleased to see excerpts from these texts in the back matter of my edition. The basic exercises were also very accessible.

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Amazing! 2 24 Mar 04, 2014 05:49AM  
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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.” 172 likes
“To think in terms of either pessimism or optimism oversimplifies the truth. The problem is to see reality as it is.” 71 likes
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