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You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment
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You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  5,983 ratings  ·  406 reviews
In this book Thich Nhat Hanh, the renowned Zen monk, author, and meditation master, distills the essence of Buddhist thought and practice, emphasizing the power of mindfulness to transform our lives. “Mindfulness is not an evasion or an escape,” he explains. “It means being here, present, and totally alive. It is true freedom—and without this freedom, there is no happiness ...more
Hardcover, 143 pages
Published August 25th 2009 by Shambhala (first published March 1st 2004)
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  5,983 ratings  ·  406 reviews

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Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A slow read; I wanted to pause after every sentence to think and meditate! Very enjoyable, very insightful. I'm going to let this book sink in for a while hen probably re-read.
Jan 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
This was my first Thich Nhat Hahn book, and I must say--I was really impressed. He takes Buddhist teachings and makes them relatable to people who live in our chaotic, 21st century world but who are looking for something a little deeper. And the way to really tap into your life is to be present in the moment (as challenging as that can be). He mentioned a metaphor that stuck with use compost to grow healthy and strong. So why not use our own compost, our baggage, our junk, our past ...more
Juan Diego López Rodríguez
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I started two habits more than a year ago. The first, to keep a journal. I write every night about the day. When I am done with the writing, it is usually about a page long, I turned to the next page and write the date for the next day. Then, I fall asleep. As if that day is gone and now I'm looking forward to the next one. The day that past is already history, and the next one is still an unwritten, untold story. The second habit is to meditate. I've been using an App. It guides you through the ...more
Sean Blake
Jun 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, non-fiction
What a treasure trove of inspiration, Buddhist philosophy and spiritual insight, in only 130 pages! Thích Nhất Hạnh writes simply but sprinkles delightful portions of spiritual knowledge for you to take onwards after completing this little literary journey.
Dec 31, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-kindle
(3.0) would that we could all live like Buddhist monks.

Breathe mindfully. Focus on your breaths, but don’t try to alter them. He repeatedly comes back to mantras about breathing and knowing that your breathing. I like the walking meditation idea of one mindful breath per step.

Be mindful of and focus on the miraculous beauty around you.

Be mindful when taking drugs, alcohol or inappropriate media. You will soon learn that you don’t want to poison yourself.

Recognize that everything is impermanent.
Meghan Hughes
Nov 27, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a very quick read that reminded me of many lessons learned on my Buddhist pilgrimage through India in February. Our teacher on the trip was a man named Shantum Seth who taught in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, so this book watered a lot of seeds that were already planted in me on that trip! I have read many “spirituality books” that also could fall into the category of “self-help” & some of them really changed my point of view & had a lasting impact. This book however, while I’d reco ...more
Oct 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
"Some people live as though they are already dead. There are people moving around us who are consumed by their past, terrified of their future, and stuck in their anger and jealousy. They are not alive; they are just walking corpses. If you look around yourself with mindfulness, you will see people going around like zombies. Have a great deal of compassion for the people around you who are living like this. They do not know that life is accessible only in the here and now."
Jul 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, philosophy
thich nhat hanh makes Buddhism accessible and enjoyable to read. This book serves as a great reminder to live in and savor each moment fully. makes me wish i had a Sangha locally that i could work with.

I have arrived, I am home,
In the here and in the now.
I am solid, I am free,
In the ultimate I dwell.

"After walking for a few minutes with the words of this poem, you will see that you are much more solid. The past and the future can no longer grab you and pull you away from life. As a result
Dec 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-books
I have a hard time giving this a "rating". I think there are some books that just aren't rate-able, because it's not about how well they're written, etc. That said, I feel like I only absorbed about 10% of what You Are Here had to offer, as I listened to it on CD going to and from work. To say that I was intrigued by what I did grasp is an understatement, and there are certainly ideas and ways of thinking here that will hang with me. In the meanwhile, I really think I need to get my hands on a h ...more
Olivia Baker
May 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"The secret to happiness is letting go of your cows."
Simple but significant read. Going to carry with me everywhere for when I need a reminder to stop and meditate.
"When you are dealing with pain, with a moment of irritation, or with a bout of anger, you can learn to treat them in the same way. Do not fight against pain; do not fight against irritation or jealousy. Embrace them with great tenderness, as though you were embracing a little baby. Your anger is yourself, and you should not be violent toward it. The same thing goes for all of your emotions."

Reading anything written by Thich Nhat Hanh is always submerging oneself into healing waters. His words a
Jan 12, 2016 rated it did not like it
this book was one big repetition. thich nhat hanh could have written a paragraph instead of a book, and we would have gotten the same information out of it because honestly he just kept saying the same sentences over and over again and this thing just dragged on and on.
inbreaths, outbreaths, flowers being part of the cosmos. it just got old super fast.
plus, he talked so much about mindfulness and walking meditation but didn't really discuss at all how to do these. this was a real gimmick. not w
Feb 14, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wellspring
This book is not for me. Reading it there were occasional almost insights, but mostly I shifted between irritation and a vague uneasy feeling that little parts of my mind were being turned to mush.
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read and reread this book slowly and carefully for months, as short and clear as it is. Much of it is nostalgic of my college years studying Zen. Much of it is finding new understandings of Zen after first encountering it 9 years ago. I reflected a lot on how much Zen changed my life, how it manifested and disappeared and reappeared and so on from the forefront of my consciousness, as I never established a Sangha outside of my time studying abroad in Japan--yet it has frewuently come back to m ...more
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The value in this book is its fundamental approach to being. Thich Nhat Hanh explores the basis of existence as we experience it. His perspective is a reflection of the Buddhist truths written in simple eloquence. It is invaluable wisdom. There really is a path to a better life in it. Life can be lived free of its anxiety through the Buddhist detachments. This is a liberating realization. It opens the peaceful being to more love, presence, and empathy.
The book’s teachings on the self, presence,
Natalie Park
May 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So good! Simple and concise of ideas to work towards over a lifetime. I’m sure I will come back to this again and again.
Karen Marcus
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent! I've never read anything about Buddhism before but realize now that I've been very much aligned with this belief system for many years. Great intro to the topic.
Jason Pettus
To get people caught up who need it, I'm spending this summer reading a bunch of random books from my local library on Buddhism and meditation, ever since starting to practice a secular form of meditation in the last year and recently having a friend remark that my insights about it sounded "surprisingly Buddhist." (See my review of Start Here Now for the full backstory.) That book wasn't so bad, because it was authored by a middle-aged American who only came to Buddhism later in life, and so is ...more
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Someone who I've followed on Instagram lists this book as one of her top three favorite non-religious books. It's short. It's written from a Zen Buddhist perspective and tradition.

I like the idea of being present in the here and now. It seems it all starts with recognizing one's breathing.

I like the emphasis on being kind and tender to oneself and others.

"Are you sure of your perceptions?" he says to post somewhere you can see the question repeatedly.

He mentions the necessity and blessing of im
Feb 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
There's nothing particularly new here- it's the same old "breathing in, I know that I am breathing in, breathing out, I know that I am breathing out."
For all that, it never gets old for me. I need, constantly, to be reminded to be mindful, to be reminded that now, this very moment, is all I ever have.

I'm not at all religious, but the doctrine of mindfulness speaks deeply to me and is one I strive, unsuccessfully, to practice. This little gem of a book is a bell bringing me back to my present mom
Sep 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I want to take Thích Nhất Hạnh's teachings with me wherever I go. Another insightful book from the Zen Buddhist monk. “Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.” Thích Nhất Hạnh's writings are fluid and highly accessible. You are Here would be a great book for anyone wanting to know the basics of nirvana, meditations and breathing, the essence of Buddhist practice. Most of all, it's about bein ...more
♥ Ibrahim ♥
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In the world, there is suffering and it is not always easy; this is life and to think otherwise is simplistic. But mindfulness comes in and instills in us the excellent attributes of understanding and compassion. We communicate compassion and live in a state of inter being-being part of one another and being there for each other.
This kind of books you can read and re-read and then reread again and still find yourself getting something new every time you read it. Getting nourished and powered up
Steve Pipenger
Jan 06, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What am I missing? I thought this book was, from the very beginning, trite and full of pop psychology. I expected something wonderful, but what I found was a written Oprah or Dr. Phil show. To each his own, I guess.
Leah Orlandella
Overly repetitive. I really feel like the book could have been written in a few sentences instead of over a hundred pages.
Jul 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
Very good book and easy to read, with some good breathing exercises, particularly like the ones while walking and mediating..
Cecilia Boyers
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favz
This book is incredible--if you ever need to relax or get in touch with tough feelings, this book is where to look!! Also I keep it on my nightstand for if I'm having trouble sleeping ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Piotr Chrobot
If you have one book to read, read this one.
Laura De Palma
Sep 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Finished this book in Big Sur, CA at a transformational moment in my life. Fitting and lovely read.
Eliza Doll
Oct 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I learned the basic principles of Buddhism in a high school world history class but was recently reintroduced to the basis of the religion while reading Sapiens. Then a few weeks ago my grandma suggested reading Thich Nhat Hanh’s You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment for our book group with my siblings and I was thrilled to read a book written by a Buddhist monk, teacher, and author who was born it Vietnam, studied in the US, and now runs practice centers all around the world ...more
Apr 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
"Dear one, I am here for you." "Dear one, I know you are there, and I am going to take care of you

"Where mindfulness is, true life, solidarity, freedom, and healing also manifest...cultivate this energy that dwells in you, that illuminates you, and makes life possible"

"Things interexist; they interare."

"You should practice this technique of total relaxation every day, in your living room, with your partner, with your children. It is the way to love your body. It is the way to take care of your n
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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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