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How to Relax (Mindfulness Essentials, #5)
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How to Relax

(Mindfulness Essentials #5)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  2,760 ratings  ·  266 reviews
How to Relax is part of The Mindfulness Essentials series of how-to titles by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, introducing beginners and reminding seasoned practitioners of the essentials of mindfulness practice. Pocket-sized, with original two color illustrations by Jason DeAntonis, How to Relax shows how critical it is to regularly interrupt the hub-bub and routine of our liv ...more
Paperback, 120 pages
Published November 3rd 2015 by Parallax Press (first published September 8th 2015)
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Heidi The Reader
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
There are very few spiritual leaders who can communicate with the simplicity and succinctness of Thich Nhat Hanh. As wise as the Dalai Lama is, I've only been able to really understand one of the books he's written and I think that was because he had a co-author. It seems like he contemplates this stuff so much, you know, like it's his job, that when he's just trying to talk to a regular person about it, there's a gap that can't be crossed. That isn't a problem in Thich's Mindfulness Series.

Elizabeth A
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2016
Thich Nhat Hanh says that when we relax, we “become calm water, and we will reflect reality as it is. If we’re not calm, the image we reflect will be distorted. When the image is distorted by our minds, it’s not the reality, and it causes lots of suffering.”

This is a little book, and I mean teeny weeny, with a big message: Relaxation is important, nay, vital for your well being. And if you don't think that's important, then think about how your well being affects not only the well being of your
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: meditation, buddhism
I've been carrying this one in my backpack for about 6 weeks and have read and re-read several times. It's a simple and beautiful book - like the others in the series. ...more
When I picked up this boxed set of "Mindfulness Essentials" around Christmastide the idea was to start the new year with a reset -- mostly to deal with the clutter that had built up in my mind (and soul) due to Covid and the associated stress it brought not only to my life but to everyone else's around me.

Little did I know that I would have to practice its tenets even more thanks to events of 6 January (the U.S. equivalent of Guy Fawke's Day, I dare say). Repeat a lie often enough and people wil
Nov 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A very small book with a very big message. Thích Nhãt Hahn explains how relaxation is not just something we should do but something we need to do in such a hectic world. He includes simple breathing techniques and chants to help you learn to relax.
Ha Truong
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
4 stars for the content and an extra for the illustrations. I love this book because of its short and sweet words.
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Whenever animals in the forest are wounded, they rest. They look for a very quiet place and just stay there without moving for many days. They know it’s the best way for their body to heal. During this time, they may not even eat or drink. The wisdom of stopping and healing is still alive in animals, but we human beings have lost the capacity to rest." I hope someday I may learn to let go and relax whenever I want to and be free of all these feelings that bring too much weight to carry around.. ...more
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Breathe in, breathe out. Concentrate on your breathing. Relax. Ok now you don’t need to read this book.
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a really pleasant read and something I needed right now. Mindfulness is something that I’ve always strived to incorporate into my daily life since I’m often either stuck in the past or worrying about the future. I definitely recommend this!
Amir Talai
Dec 31, 2019 rated it liked it
It’s fine. It’s a book of truisms about mindfulness. “It’s important to breathe”. “You don’t have to wait for conditions to be totally distraction-free to be mindful”. “When you calm down, it’s good for your health”.

There’s nothing bad about the book, it’s just that for anyone with even a rudimentary level of experience with meditation or mindfulness, there will be nothing revelatory about it.
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
A tiny, adorable, powerful book with charming and minimalist illustrations (not enough of them, in my opinion), and the always-thought-provoking and moving wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh.
Cat Noone
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great and short pocket guide worth reading over and over.
Jo Red
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I‘ve read a couple of the books in this series, and I think that this has given me the most so far. I love how well Thich Nhat Hanh is able to break the topic of Mindfulness down and how he makes it so easily accessible. It‘s just all very down to earth, close to life easily digestible, without losing it‘s meaning. Now I‘ll just have to try to actually include these meditations in my every day life.
Ankita Chauhan
Nov 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
1. Smiling means that we are ourselves, that we have sovereignty over ourselves, that we are not drowned in forgetfulness.

2. We tend to postpone being alive to the future, the distant future, we don’t know when. It’s as if now is not the moment to be alive. We may never be alive at all in our entire life. The only moment to be alive is in the present moment.

3. Our breath is like a bridge connecting body and mind. In our daily lives, our bodies may be in one place and our minds somewhere else, i
Mindy Kannon
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: inspirational
Love this little book about relaxation and meditation. Has great little hints and tips for when you're uptight and stressed out, how to go back to breathing and mindfulness. This will be one that I read portions of every day. ...more
Kris Muir
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh writes simple, elegant prose that reminds us to slow down, notice deeply, and become more aware as beings. He has 5 of these short books (100 pages or so) that help us see how effortless it can be to relax, sit, walk, eat, etc. I've also read two of his longer books--The Art of Power and You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment--I highly recommend both as ways to quiet the mind and become more present for yourself and those around you.

Jun 07, 2021 rated it liked it
Received this as a gift from my beloved teachers.

I would like to say I take it as a sign and a message of caring. I'll bring this with me to new places and on new adventures as a reminder, a guiding voice. Yes, I need to learn HOW TO RELAX still.

Thank you for all the high school days. #classof2021seniors

"Whenever animals in the forest are wounded, they rest. They look for a very quiet place and just stay there without moving for many days. They know it's the best way for their body to heal. D
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It’s size may be small, but this book is full of big ideas and practical daily practices. My book is full of sticky notes and highlighting! It will be on my bedside table moving forward. A reference guide for mindfulness! It has tips for pulling ourselves out of our emotions and into the present moment. There are a variety of meditations for all parts of your day. Worth the read - definitely purchase the paperback version to mark the text for yourself!
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Solitude doesn't mean being by ourselves or away from civilization. Real solitude means we're not carried away by the crowd, by sorrows about the past, by worries about the future, or by strong emotions in the present. We don't lose our stability and our peace. We take refuge in our mindful breathing and come back to the present moment, and to the island of peace within ourselves." ...more
If we only concentrate on breathing in and seeing that our body is a wonder, we can see that nothing else is really important. It’s only the peace in our body and in our mind that matters. Anyone can attain this insight. While we sit, we can be with our breathing, we can let go of tensions, and we can have peace. This peace is the most precious thing there is, more precious than any pursuit.
Kari Napier
Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Found this helpful with it's short little descriptions on how to deal with different issues and things that come up in life! Overall, a decent quick little read. ...more
Karel Baloun
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Delightful, eminently practical tiny book. Complete it in one easy sitting, and then reflect on whatever part calls you at different times.

In. Out.
Deep. Slow.
Calm. Ease.
Smile. Release.
Present moment. Wonderful moment.

Mindful and relaxed, we can know happiness and be useful to the world.
"The key point is that you are fully there in the present moment, in the here and now, to take care of yourself and what’s happening around you. You don’t think too much about the future or project too much about how it might be; and you’re not trapped too much in the past. You have to train yourself, to learn how to go home to the present moment, to the here and now, and to take care of that moment, to take care of your body and your feelings in this moment. As you learn how to be in the presen ...more
Feb 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
I borrowed this from the library, but really this is a book I need to own and tuck in my coat pocket. It's a beautiful object, small with charming sketches throughout. Well, how do you relax? Breathe. That's it. Do it again. The little chapters are deceptively simple, like breathing, which is why I want to carry this around and take these lessons in slowly over time, and in different points and places in my day. Breathing. ...more
Rachel S
Aug 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a gift sometime last year; I thought it was a novelty, waiting to open until I discovered Thich Nhat Hanh elsewhere. It accompanied me on a walk through a camp site, in the early morning mist, a kind of walking meditation. So much gentle, stirring power in this little book. Incredibly helpful and wise for the well-stressed. The realization of relaxation vs. escape has really stayed with me.
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My favorite of these little books so far. Something I will read again and again.
Tracy Torres
Dec 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book has given me some ideas on how to relax. I hope it works considering I don't really know how to do it! ...more
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Short and sweet. But so tough to follow, except for the idea of "lazy days." That I can do. ...more
Feb 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2016
Interesting - brought out some aspects regarding the importance of taking time to relax that I had not previously paid much attention. A helpful read for dealing with stress.
Jun 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent little book/reminder to appreciate all that is around us and take time to rest the body and soul
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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 Sit (Mindfulness Essentials, #1)
  • How to Eat (Mindfulness Essentials, #2)
  • How to Love (Mindfulness Essentials, #3)
  • How to Walk (Mindfulness Essentials, #4)
  • How to Fight
  • How to See
  • How to Connect (Mindfulness Essentials Book 8)

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“A smile can relax hundreds of muscles in your face, and relax your nervous system. A smile makes you master of yourself.” 7 likes
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