Michael Armijo's Reviews > Being Peace

Being Peace by Thích Nhất Hạnh
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Nov 10, 10

Read in July, 2007

This book was recommended by a 'fellow photographer' friend named Beth Lambert of CANADA. It's an EXCELLENT read for any one. I also introduced it to a young man in France (who was still 'finding himself'--Frederic Deltour) and he often tells me that the book changed/improved his LIFE.

This is the perfect book for MINDFULNESS TRAINING--something we ALL need from time to time. ;)

Words that impacted me in this book:

If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace.

To meditate well, we have to SMILE a lot.

Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.

To remind ourselves to relax…set aside some time for a retreat, a day of MINDFULNESS.

We can practice smiling.

Breathing in, I calm my body.

Breathing out, I smile.

Dwelling in the present moment I know this is a wonderful moment.

A smile makes you master of yourself.

We have thousands of things which help us be away from ourselves.

Practicing meditation is to be aware, to smile.

To meditate means to be aware of what is going on.

Buddhas are “us”. The Buddha statue is just a symbol of the Buddha.

The root word “budh” means to wake up, to know, to understand. A person who wakes up and understands is called a Buddha.

“I rely on the Buddha in me.”

Three Gems:
BUDDHA…The Awakened One.
DHARMA…The Way of Understanding & Loving.
SANGHA…The Community That Lives in Harmony & Awareness.

Sometimes we see someone we like very much, even if we don’t know why.

True enlightenment: The highest capacity to understand and love.

Sometimes if we don’t do anything, we help more than if we do a lot. We call that non-action. It is like the calm person on a small boat in a storm. That person does not have to do much, just to be himslef, and the situation can change.

In our former lives, we were trees. It is science. We have to recall our past existences.

Have tea meditation.

Practicing meditation is for us to be serene and happy, understanding and loving.

Feelings are of three kinds: pleasant, unpleasant, neutral

Whether or not we are happy depends on our awareness.

Happiness is available. Please help yourself to it. All of us have the capacity of transforming neutral feelings that can last a long time.

You take good care of yourself, and I take good care of myself.

I can do many wrong things, and that does not help.

I took time to look at the picture.

To understand something is to take that one thing up and to be one with it.

We have to convert anger into some kind of energy that is more constructive.

“Sometime, somewhere you take something to be the truth. If you cling to it so much, when the truth comes in person and knocks at your door, you will not open it.”

Meditation is not to get out of society, to escape from society, but to prepare for reentry into society.

If your children are not happy and do not smile…you cannot smile.

One smile, one breath should be for the benefit of the whole day, not just for that moment.

Our mind is like a river, with many thoughts and feelings flowing along.

When we practice sitting or walking we should pay attention to the quality and not the quantity.

To transform our situation is also to transform our minds. To transform our minds is also to transform our situation, because the situation is mind, and mind is situation.

The first practice is Face to Face sitting.
The second practice is Remembrance.
The third practice is Non-stubbornness.
The fourth practice is Covering Mud with Straw.
The fifth stage is Voluntary Confession.
The sixth and seventh practices are Decision by Consensus and Accepting the Verdict.

In modern society most of us don’t want to be in touch with ourselves; we want to be in touch with other things like religion, sports, politics, a book—we want to forget ourselves.

“In Touch” means in touch with oneself in order to find out the source of wisdom, understanding, and compassion in each of us. Being in touch with oneself is the meaning of meditation, to be aware of what is going on in your body, in your feelings, in your mind.

The mind is the root of everything else.
1st MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Aware of the suffering…Life is precious.
2nd MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Avoid being narrow minded and bound to present views.
The techniques of understanding is to overcome views and knowledge.
3rd MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Respect the right of others to be different and to choose what to believe and how to decide.
It is the spirit of free inquiry.
4th MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Contact with and awareness of suffering is needed.
5th MINDFULNESS TRAINING: True happiness is rooted in peace, solidity, freedom, and compassion.
The only way out is to consume less. Once we are able to live simply and happily, we are better able to help others.
6th MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Anger blocks communication and creates suffering.
Take care of the energy of anger when it arises and to recognize and transform the seeds of anger.
7th MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Life is available only in the present moment and that it is possible to live happily in the here and NOW.
Live in awareness.
8th MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Lack of communication always brings separation and suffering.
Learn to listen deeply without judging or reacting.
9th MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Words can create suffering or happiness.
Use only words that inspire hope and confidence.
The words we speak can create love, trust, and happiness around us, or create a hell.
Be careful about what we say.
Words can travel across thousands of miles. May my words create mutual understanding and love. May they be as beautiful as gems, as lovely as flowers.
10th MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Practice understanding and compassion.
11th MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Be committed to NOT live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature.
12th MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Cultivate nonviolence, understanding, and compassion in our daily lives, to promote peace education.
13th MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Share time, energy and material resources with those who are in need.
14th MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Sexual relations motivated by craving cannot dissipate the feeling of loneliness but will create more suffering, frustration and isolation.

We are determined to perseve vital energies (sexual, breath, spirit).

In the religious and medical traditions of Asia, the human person was said to have three sources of energy: sexual, breath, and spirit.

Sexual energy is what you spend during sexual intercourse.

Breath energy is the kind of energy you spend when you talk too much and breathe too little.

Spirit energy is energy that you spend when you worry too much and do not sleep well.

Buddhist monks observed celibacy to conserve energy.

Your children are a continuation of yourself.

Concentration is the first practice of meditation.

The more we understand, the easier it is for us to have compassion and love. Understanding is the source of love. Understanding is love itself. Understanding is another name for love.
When you grow a tree, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the tree. You look into the reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the tree.
Blaming has no effect at all. NEVER BLAME, never try to persuade using reason and arguments. They never lead to any positive effect.

No argument, no reasoning, no blame, just understanding. IF you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.

Breathing is wonderful. It unites body and mind.

“Let peace begin with me.”

Walking meditation can be very enjoyable. We walk slowly, alone or with friends, if possible in some beautiful place.

Walking meditation is a wonderful practice

You can look at everyone and smile.

We never have time to look at each other, even those we love, and soon it will be too late. It is wonderful to do that, to openly appreciate everyone.

Set up your own ‘breathing room’. Teach by example. Take his or her hand and walk together into the room for breathing, and sit quietly together. This is the best education for peace.

Have a breathing room in your home, a room for meditation.

Practice breathing and sitting for a few minutes every morning at home.

Go out for a slow walking meditation.
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