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How to Sit

(Mindfulness Essentials #1)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  1,636 ratings  ·  157 reviews
How to Sit is the first in a new series of how-to titles by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh that introduces beginners to and reminds seasoned practitioners of the essentials of mindfulness practice. Pocket-sized with bold black-and-white illustrations by Jason DeAntonis, How to Sit provides explicit, simple directions on the mechanics of posture and breathing, along with ...more
Paperback, 117 pages
Published April 8th 2014 by Parallax Press (first published March 14th 2014)
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 ·  1,636 ratings  ·  157 reviews

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Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A slim but very helpful book by a spiritual leader I greatly admire. Thich Nhat Hanh has written many, highly accessible books on spiritual practice and values. In a few words, he gets to the heart of whatever he is saying, about whatever topic he is discussing. I always find him both comforting and enlightening. Although he talks about the discipline of how to live mindfully and lovingly, he does so in a gentle way that reflects the love he praises.

This book is no exception. He helped me to
Phil Overeem
Apr 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Slim but powerful. I hope to consistently put it to use, since I am teeming with habit energy.
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014, mindfulness
Every page contains wisdom that can easily be incorporated into existing, or new, mindfulness meditation practices. This is a gem I will return to again and again.
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I started reading this book with doubts, wondering if I would be able to relate with it. But having read Fidelity by Thich Nhat Hanh and having loved it, I picked this book for reading. Surprisingly I was able to relate with it. The insight was relatable and followable and it did sort of bring in a sense of peace and calmness.
A goodread indeed.

A lot of ppl these days are interested in Mindfulness.
But then if we google Mindfulness and start reading blogs on it, over and over again it would be
Aug 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mindfulness
Pg 72

Weathering the storm of strong emotions

We can learn to take care of the painful feelings and strong emotions emerging from the depth of our consciousness. We are more than our emotions. We can recognize what is there. “Breathing in I know that this is just an emotion. Its not the whole of me. I am more than my emotions.”
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Short and simple, yet still a little gem of a book.
Kazia Trujillo
Jun 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Everyone should read this book!
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why I'm interested in this book at the first place
The first ever book to be shelved under my new shelf in Goodreads (repetition intended)

What do I think of this book... now that I've done reading it
Little that when I think deep and realized, I'm in my (sitting) zen (daily grind and work-life aside) whenever I'm:

i. Enjoying my meal/beverage while I'm cafe-hopping,and
ii. Reading while on a long train journey

...apart from that, yes, I have been programmed to be on-the-go.

1. A quick read in one
Ann L.
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Ann by: Yard Sale Find-25 cents
A small but essential book on how to meditate, but much more than just meditating. It's how to let go of whatever stress or issues you may have and how to live in the present moment which teaches us that pain comes and go (emotions come and go). One of the most simple books on meditation I've ever read. Nothing complicated. Sitting and doing nothing is doing something. The way to knowing your true self is by meditation. The best 25 cents I spent as a yard sale find.
Matthew Finlayson
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buy the paper copy

A hard book to read on the kindle. The format of short 1 page teachings lends itself to short reads and reflections. I would have preferred to have it by my bed or in my bag to pick up when the desire hit me. Otherwise, wonderful.
Mary Loebig Giles
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A deceptively simple book with bite-sized reflections and breezy line drawings that reflect the beauty and value of mindfulness or "sitting" meditation. Each reflection is as centering and illuminating as the practice itself with instruction and tips embedded along the way. The book can be read in small doses or in one sitting and is peppered with wisdom insights about the need for and transformative power of this practice. LOVED.
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
A slim pocket sized volume about the basics of meditation. I thoroughly enjoy Thich Nhat Hanh's straightforward writing style.

I found reading it to be meditative and calming as well.
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A wonderful book.
Am Y
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
Full of repetitive and simplistic notions of sitting as a form of meditation. Some sentences do not make logical sense: e.g. The author says there is no reason why he sits; he says he sits because he likes sitting. Well, then isn't that a reason? The reason being that he likes sitting?! :P
Probably not a book for the more intellectually inclined; more for those who don't think too much about things and like their text to be very simple.
Stephen West
Apr 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: buddhism
Disappointing.about 120 pages with each page only containing about a paragraph or two. Not sure who this was intended for. Not really thorough enough for a beginner in meditation and to superficial for those looking for insights beyond just an introduction.
Dec 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Some great points about meditation and regulating/building insight into emotions in this volume. I prefer the How to Love and How to Relax editions. Some really useful points for both the therapist and the meditator.
Jun 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
A very useful reminder how and why to lead a mindful life and what to do if you want to establish a meaningful meditation practice.
Digdem Serter
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
It is always pleasure reading Thich Nhat Hanh's words.
Kris Muir
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
How is your focus? How distracted are you? Do future tasks creep into your present moment? Have you ever tried sitting just to sit?

Today I finished reading Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh’s book “How to Sit.” The philosophy of the book seems to adhere to the framework of Occam’s Razor--don’t make things more complicated than they need to be. There are many ways to solve problems in our world, and one of the best ways is simply to practice sitting. The book is short (115 pages), the sentences
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Short and sweet--but each part carries deep messages. He talks about the importance of sitting in order to find and enjoy the present moment. He talks about habit energies--which are our "go to" habits and defaults that are based on the past--which prevent us from finding our present, and which keep us from evolving and growing more deeply. He focuses on breathing & the rhythm each inhale and exhale. He also says that it's just about the NOW, and about finding and enjoying the NOW. All of ...more
Noah Oanh
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book firstly because of the writer Thich Nhat Hanh and then because of the title "How to sit". To be honest, I currently have trouble with my back so when seeing this book, it was like seeing the life-saver in the middle of the ocean. If you want to look at something like what is the posture to sit... it may be not for you. This is more how to sit and mediate and be happy after that - physically and spiritually!

Thich Nhat Hanh mainly focus on how to breath more than just where and
Vee Ronald
Jan 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is filled with amazing advice on how to become more mindful and relaxed. The very first page of this small but powerful manual says: “The first thing to do is stop whatever it is you are doing.” When I read that page while in the bookstore, I thought that that was a very clever way to get the reader to just relax and focus.

You should get this not because of it’s size but because it’ll help anyone become more aware of themselves.
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Don’t just Do Something, Sit there” ... sounds odd eh?

That’s exactly what’s needed to look deeply, build awareness of inside and around us and bring together our mind, body and breath.

“How to sit” is an absolute “little wonderbook”, full of wisdom to help you collect yourself together, energise your being by simply paying attention to your breath.

Joyful read for a stressed mind!
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this little book (4 bucks in paperback, 7 on kindle) is simply a nice collection of paragraphs imbued with wisdom from Hanh on how to sit mindfully...nothing more nothing less...really helped/continues to help this reader in his sitting meditation practice....well worth the money and time (its only 116 or so pages) for beginning (and experienced!) meditators...
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is exactly the sort of book I was looking for when I was starting to take meditation more seriously awhile ago. The writing style was calming just to read, and it was short, accessible, and practical. I would have loved to read this years ago when I was first learning about the benefits of meditation, but it was just what I needed this week as well.
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I've already started adopting the philosophy and advice into my daily life. Helps me relieve stress and calm down wherever I am. Each page is filled with little bits of wisdom. Since I began following this book's advice I have been more mindful of my body, mind, and breath. It's also slim enough to take anywhere.
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Classic Basic

This is a great introduction on how to meditate but it’s also a trusty guide to go back to when you experience obstacles in meditation, as we all do from time to time. Because it is simply written it can be used as a tool to get back on the cushion (or wherever it is you happen to like to sit.)
Shaegan Vishal
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
My perspective is this is a great book on taking control of time. It reads like philosophy should.

Why it captures you from the beginning is it's mindfulness through action rather than the opposite.

In a high paced world, it is easy to lose track that time keeping moving and all we can do is control how we spend it.
Instead of describing sitting meditation as the practice of concentration, looking deeply, and getting insight, I like to describe sitting as enjoying doing nothing. Primarily, sitting is to enjoy the pleasure of sitting, being fully alive and in touch with the wonders of our working bodies, the cool air, the sounds of people and birds, and the changing colours of the sky.
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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

Other books in the series

Mindfulness Essentials (7 books)
  • How to Eat (Mindfulness Essentials, #2)
  • How to Love (Mindfulness Essentials, #3)
  • How to Walk (Mindfulness Essentials, #4)
  • How to Relax (Mindfulness Essentials, #5)
  • How to Fight
  • How to See
“There is nowhere to arrive except the present moment.” 20 likes
“As soon as we pay attention to our breath, as we breathe in, these three things—body, breath, and mind—come together.” 5 likes
More quotes…