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How to Sit

(Mindfulness Essentials #1)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  2,032 ratings  ·  197 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 instru ...more
Paperback, 117 pages
Published April 8th 2014 by Parallax Press (first published March 14th 2014)
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Average rating 4.31  · 
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 ·  2,032 ratings  ·  197 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 se
You could approach this two ways -- because it is just over 100 pp. with few words on most pages (and some taken up by illustrations), you could say it's an overly simplistic description of meditation, breathing, mindfulness.

Or you could say simplicity is the perfect vehicle for such lessons. This book is about doing nothing, after all, so let's get to the point. Doing nothing means mindfulness means appreciating your life in the moment. What could be easier?

Right. As if you have no hankering fo
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 sug
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 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Short and simple, yet still a little gem of a book.
FunkMaster General
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Breathing in, I feel calm.
Breathing out, I feel ease.
Calm / Ease.

Let's hope.
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.
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 s
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’d like to extract a paragraph to sum up the whole book.
“Sitting is a practice. The kind of sitting we’re used to doing is sitting in order to work at our computers, to be in meetings, or to space out in front of a screen. So we have to practice sitting just to be with ourselves without distractions. In our time, in our civilization, sitting and doing nothing is considered either to be a luxury or a waste of time. But sitting can produce the most nourishing calm and joy and we can all afford s
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. ...more
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. ...more
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.
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A wonderful book.
Angela Palmer
Mar 12, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Repetitive, confusing, and boring

This book is nice because it's short but it also falls painfully short. Basically each page is a "new" item about sitting but they are so disconnected that it leaves you wondering how they all interact together. Also, this only covers things at a surface level and does not go further into how to improve your practice.
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.
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
While it is difficult to argue with the ideas present in the book, they are simple to the point of triviality. Entire content can be summarized by one sentence: "when you sit down to meditate, enjoy it". OK, that makes sense but it is hardly sufficient for a book (even a very short one). ...more
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is my second time reading. The first time was when i was a bit new to the practise so i couldnt understand the profound insights this book provides. This time around, each new chapter is like a bell, taking me back to the practise and peace. I love this book and i love thay.
Sidney (aka Sidsbooks)
Jul 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Mindfulness is such a beautiful practice we can access anytime we wish to. If you have difficulty meditating or sitting for a long period of time I highly recommend you read this book. It can even be read in one sitting hehe.

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.
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.
Digdem Serter
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
It is always pleasure reading Thich Nhat Hanh's words. ...more
Sep 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: self-help
The Bodhi Tree or Bodhi Fig Tree ("tree of awakening") was a large and ancient sacred fig tree (Ficus religiosa), (Mentioned on page 43)

I used to drive by a business with a sign out front “Bodhi Yoga”. I concluded that it was pronounced Body Yoga and though Oh How Cute. But from this book I learned there is such a tree, and google even knows about the genre of yoga called “Bodhi Yoga,” although from Google, it looks like just one studio.

During the final yoga pose, some yoga teachers tell the cla
Leslie S.
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Never more important than during these pandemic times... “How to Sit” is one of Thich Nhat Hanh’s essential books on mindfulness (along with How to… Love, Relax, Walk, and Eat). “To *sit*, in this book, means to sit in such a way that you enjoy sitting, to sit in a relaxed way, with your mind awake, calm, and clear”, and it definitely takes training and practice (p. 11). *****
Much of this book focuses on the HERE AND NOW, THE PRESENT MOMENT. “The present moment contains the whole of life” (p. 47
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 ar
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 these ...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

Other books in the series

Mindfulness Essentials (8 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
  • How to Connect (Mindfulness Essentials Book 8)

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