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

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  33,228 ratings  ·  1,638 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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Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
One spectacular autumn day about twenty years ago, my wife and I departed from the awesome Saguenay valley for the long trip back to Ontario, by Greyhound coach.

We had been visiting my mother-in-law, who was then living in a seniors’ home. I remember well that my brother-in-law had made the faux pas of dropping us off at the city bus depot instead of the Greyhound stop.

Boy, did we have to scramble...

But we made it with time to spare!

Once seated in that high coach, as we went our long, fascinate
Sep 20, 2012 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
May 16, 2007 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
Oct 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: buddhism
Peace is every step that you make
when you take your brother's hand
and give him a plate of food
or a handful of clothing

And the peace is there
when you shelter him from the storm
whether it is in his heart or on the land

Peace is every step when you breathe
in and when you breathe out
not thinking of your anger
only of solutions.

And when you shelter yourself
from the storm
you shelter all by
giving them a way to continue on.

written by Jessica slade 2017

Many years have passed since I was at Deer Park Mon
Sean Barrs
"Peace is every step.
The shining red sun is my heart.
Each flower smiles with me.
How green, how fresh all that grows.
How cool the wind blows.
Peace is every step."

The main driving force of this book is the pertinent idea that happiness is a choice; it is a decision we each make and a response we can choose no matter what our internal or external situation may be: it is entirely dependent on us.

This idea is undeniably and irrevocably true. We can choose to be happy; however, the true difficul
Feb 15, 2010 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
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
Feb 17, 2010 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
Hákon Gunnarsson
This is the second Thich Nhat Hanh book I read in a a month, and I have to say I like his writing. This book is a bit simpler than the one I read last. It doesn’t cover as much ground, but what it does cover, it does so beautifully.

He talks about his view of life, activism, and Buddhism without being overly preachy. And he also talks about his life, and he has lead an interesting one. Because of his work during the Vietnam war he can’t go back to his native country. It seems that because he and
Aug 09, 2008 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
Aug 01, 2007 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 ...more
Aug 25, 2014 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
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book came to me at the time when I was planning to visit a psychiatrist out of huge suffering and emotional issues. It provided me relief and made me feel confident from the very first day. I was able to get back in touch with my inner soul, my peace, my self worth. Although this is a long path, but even if you have thought of reading this book, please do read.

'I learned how important it is to appreciate the appointment of your consciousness with present, mindfulness just by 2 simple breat
Larry Bassett
Jun 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio
I am not much of one for mindfulness and meditation. But this audible book contains some beautiful language and suggestions about how to live life. It is something to be aware of your breathing in and breathing out. It is something to be aware that everything is part of everything else. The book is not complicated and the chapters are short but the thinking is deep. There is a challenge here about some different ways to view the world and your role in it.
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who led the effort towards peace during the Vietnam war, and has worked for many years in other countries to help refugees and to spread his philosophy of peace. In this book, he speaks about the individual's journey towards inner peace. He maintains that to achieve peace around the world, individuals themselves must achieve inner peace, because peace is not something you can will to exist or force on others, but is rather, a collective understanding of one ano ...more
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
Eme Morato
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A book that I think would make a difference in our modern day civilization if only more people would read it. It is a book of reminders, but not just any reminders, fundamental and essential reminders. We are reminded to breathe deeply and learn to be at peace and experience joy with the present moment. We are reminded of how many of our lives are overflowing with blessings that could easily make us weep in appreciation and gratefulness. We have food, we still have some Nature around us (we shou ...more
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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May 08, 2010 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. ...more
Rivera Sun
Feb 07, 2013 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.
Apr 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
A short mediation on peace. It's not the most practical meditation book out there, but Which That Hanh's voice is powerful and beautiful. It's a nice reminder to always be present. ...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
Arizona Mildman
Oct 06, 2011 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
Oct 26, 2009 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
Durgesh Deep
Oct 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book after being impressed by Thich Nhat Hanh's podcast on breathing. In this book, he teaches simple ways to be mindful in performing our daily activities like cooking, eating, walking, dishwashing, driving, etc. Dishwashing kind of became a meditation for me after reading this book. He also gives precious wisdom on kindness, compassion & love through his past experiences & knowledge of Buddhism. The most impactful experience of him was of Vietnam War whereas a Vietnamese he fa ...more
Darya Conmigo
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021
This collection of thoughts by the renowned Vietnamese monk Thích Nhất Hạnh is both heartbreaking and healing, often all at once.

Every page is a reminder of the beauty and suffering of the world.

Looking back, I guess I came to it expecting the book to be light. I mean, it is all about compassion and love and mindfulness, right? Yes. It is also about how to practice all of those things in the midst of the refugee crisis, environment pollution, poverty, wars, oppression, violence, sickness, death
Apr 02, 2010 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 ve
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: buddhism, self-help
I feel pretty bad that I didn't like this more because overall, I respect Thich Nhat Hanh, his teachings, and the influence he has had in shaping Western Buddhism.

Overall, I found this book out-0f-touch and mildly obnoxious. This is the first Buddhist book I have not really liked at all. It is the first TNH book that I have read, although I did read a book before (One Buddha is not Enough) mostly written by the monks & nuns of plum village that was very much informed by his teachings. I liked th
Alex Orr
Feb 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
I know...the guy is a basically a living saint, and yet I gave the book 1 star. It feels weird, and even a bit unfair, but hear me out. For the most part everything he has to say is good to hear, mostly true, and well worth reading or hearing. HOWEVER, there is really nothing new or all that insightful in here, especially if you've read some of his other works or have spent some time studying mindfulness. As such, maybe your reaction will depend on where you're coming from in terms of immersion ...more
Azadeh Seif Amirhosseini
Jul 01, 2014 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
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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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