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Happiness: Essential Mindfulness Practices

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  1,376 ratings  ·  135 reviews
Encouraging readers to be intelligent and skillful in their practice, this new collection by Thich Nhat Hanh outlines the essential steps by which we can all obtain real and lasting happiness. Each day, we perform the tasks of everyday life without thought or awareness — walking, sitting, working, eating, driving, and much more. But Hanh points out that if we remain truly ...more
Paperback, 120 pages
Published July 21st 2009 by Parallax Press (first published 2009)
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 ·  1,376 ratings  ·  135 reviews


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Bobb
Nov 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book! The words of Thich Nhat Hanh are so simple and beautifully written. The message is clear. Slow down, breath, and smile! We go through life looking elsewhere for happiness, when the most amazing moment of your life is the one you are currently in...right now! I always thought that meditation was done on a zafu, sitting in silence while alone or in a temple. This book opened my eyes to Mindfulness everywhere! You can slow down and pay attention to your breath anywhere you ...more
Ebony Rose
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book on Buddhist concepts and understandings of finding contentment, joy and maintaining mindfulness. I listened to the audiobook read by Edoardo Ballerini, who was an absolute delight to listen to. Many of the concepts discussed in the book really sunk in and resonated with me. I have earmarked a few places where I intend to go back to and re-listen over the next couple of days and jot some notes down, as there was so much I want to put into practice.

This was just a
...more
Maughn Gregory
Sep 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wisdom-studies
The sub-title of Thay's new book says it all: "Essential Mindfulness Practices." All of the wisdom traditions agree: wisdom - the well-lived life - is not a theory or a belief system but a way of living, i.e. a practice or set of practices. We (I) need to practice in both senses of that word: practice in order to improve, and practice as an established, skilled way of doing something, as a doctor practices medicine or a lawyer has a law practice. Self-transformation and the transformation of ...more
Lubinka Dimitrova
Down to earth, practical exercises on mindfulness, loving kindness and awareness, for any person who wishes to find serenity and to cherish the joy of life each and every day. Following his advice, one can discover that mindfulness could be experienced while engaging in the most mundane activities, like sitting, walking. awakening, eating and drinking, even talking on the phone or simply breathing.

The narrator was definitely a better choice than the author himself, whose other readings were
...more
Books Ring Mah Bell
Mar 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: religion-or-not
I am neither happy nor mindful.

Thich Nhat Hanh presents several practical ways to incorporate mindfulness into our daily lives. Some of these things I will never do (examples: tea ceremony mindfulness or carrying a bell to ring...) other things, I can do. (show gratitude and be mindful when eating or walking)

There is a beauty in tapping into the present moment. There is joy in it. The hard part is training oneself into being aware. Which is why it is called practice.

Positive read.
Melissa McGowan
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I can not recommend this book strongly enough. There is a meditation, mantra, breathing exercise, practice habit for every type of stressor/conflict one can imagine. I listened to it as an audiobook and I think that made the text more accessible for me. Having said that, this is definitely a book I would return to. I loved it and I choose to (read listen) to it at exactly the right time.
Tim Weakley
I'm mixed on this book. It was a well written, well organized explanation of examined and purposeful action in your everyday life. I will borrow bits and pieces from it. My problem with the book lies in the fact that I find a lot of it to be not practical in the least.

Now this may just be me, and I would never suggest anyone not read it if you want a great look at mindfulness. I will say that I liked the Dalai Lama's books better.
Arawn Eibhlyn
Whenever times are difficult &/or circumstances become challenging, I find myself seeking shelter in Buddhism. While my practice has been inconsistent (if I'm being generous), this has been true for 35 years. In recent years, art has become another refuge from the turbulence. Now is the time to see if I can finally commit.
Chad
Jul 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddhism
Full of wonderful mindfulness practices to transform one's everyday experience of life into one of happiness and deep connection.
Ebony Rose
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've been feeling particularly challenged lately, and so I decided to give this wonderful book a re-read (or, re-listen since I listened to the audiobook version). I am in need of some grounding practices, and this felt like the most logical place to start. I am happy I did it.

Happiness: Essential Mindfulness Practices was just as wonderful the second time around as the first. This book teaches me that I cannot control everything in my life, that I cannot avoid negative experiences or even
...more
Dominika
Jul 16, 2019 rated it liked it
This is more of a manual, but gives a look of good ideas for how to incorporate meditation and mindfulness in your day to day life. Here is what I appreciate:

1. The Phone meditation: While there are other things that seem to be helping with my anxious state, this does seem to help calm me down and get me ready to deal with whatever comes my way.
2. Family mindfulness: I think incorporating these practices in your household is a productive way to dealing with strong emotions that take a toll on
...more
Cyndi
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mp3
This is an amazing book! If you ever feel stressed in your day to day life, then you should read/listen to this book and put the principles into action. This book covers a lot of Buddhist practices that will help you live in the present mind. Some of these practices include conscious breathing, sitting meditation, walking meditation, mindful eating, tea meditation and many more. I am not Buddhist, but I do enjoy a lot of their practices and this book taught me quite a few things that I didn't ...more
Aaron Cooker
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful and enlightening breath of fresh air. Thich Nhat Hanh presents many ways we can implement meditative practices into our daily lives that will bring us more happiness, inner joy, and peace within our present lives. Certain chapters lay out specific Buddhist rituals which, even if you don't practice to that degree, is still useful information to think about and put into your own life.

Any book on the subject of Happiness is probably a great book. This book is no exception. It is filled
...more
Mark Robison
Jul 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Not a book I’d recommend to many people, and I had a hard time getting into the e-book version because it’s a lot of instructions on how to be mindful when doing pretty much everything: eating, drinking, meditating, arguing with loved ones, working with a community, playing with children, etc. The audio version helped me see the book as a conversation with Nhat Hanh where he tells about an aspect of life, why it’s important to be mindful while doing it, and detailed practice tips on how to be ...more
Sps
Dec 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 200s
Contains telephone meditation, walking meditation, mindful eating, bathing the baby Buddha, Watering the Flowers, The Cake in the Refrigerator, and other wonderful practices. When I got to the last page of this book, I turned it over and immediately started it again. If I re-read it every week and put it into practice, it would make for a very good life.

Oddly, when I told my mother about the re-reading experience she gave a little gasp and said she'd done the same thing with the first Thich Nhat
...more
Morgane
Nov 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Reading Thích Nhất Hạnh's books always makes me happy. This one especially so.
Halley Sutton
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
In a more perfect version of myself...
Ashley
Aug 23, 2019 rated it liked it
A 3.5. Maybe a 3.75. Thich Nhat Hanh is a Buddhist monk whose work I admired in my college days. Mindfulness is all the rage right now, and this is like a solemn, serious version of Dan Harris's irreverent and fantastic 10% Happier.

I am not Buddhist, but so much of that tradition aligns with my own Judeo-Christian one, though I can already hear the screams of HERESY! from some of my brethren. I studied Buddhism quite a bit in college (academically and on my own), and this was a nice refresher,
...more
Amanda
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Probably the best book on mindfulness I have ever read. Loads of real life situations and practices to help with your mental health and well being. Will definitely recommend this to people.
Vlad
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
A wonderful set of exercises in mindfulness. Books like this make me dream of taking a sabbatical to do nothing but practice the exercises. But this book also helps me tame that impulse, and realize that every moment is an opportunity to practice. I paused and breathed deeply at every period in this short review.
Atul
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shrouded by contemporary lifestyle and our ego, we miss the simple virtues of life. This book brings you back in touch and provides simple changes and practices that can help bring in more mindfulness. Even though this is a short read, this book is meant to be read slowly while embracing its teachings. The changes recommended are simple but profound.
Frank
Feb 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: meditation
Awful! Hippy-dippy fluffy puffy unpractical info. I gave it one star instead of zero only so that I can quickly see that I read it when scrolling down my lists.
Erin
May 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobooks
I don't typically write public reviews for self-help books but I didn't use this for it's intended purpose, nor do I have any misgivings about exploring mindfulness. I downloaded this as an audiobook to see me through a red-eye flight. I find the best way to get a little sleep on an airplane is to listen to something soothing -- ideally movies in a gentle language I don't understand, but I figured a book about mediation would provide equally calming background sound. I had mixed success ...more
Dan Secor
Sep 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My view on this book wavered as I read it. Ultimately I gave this a strong 4-1/2 star rating after feeling some disappointment early on.

Even though I have many, many, many books centered around mindfulness practice, personal events from the past several months have left me ignoring my own personal practice. As part of my reading challenge for the year, I needed to read a self-improvement book, so I felt it was time to return to the roots of my meditation practice. What better way than to finally
...more
Marta
This is a wonderful book. Just reading Thich Nhat Hahn's soothing, simple and grounding voice takes you into a world of wonder. The chapters are short, each with a one-two page introduction followed by a practice. The practices are very simple and many can be integrated into modern, busy lives. He teaches that happiness is within us - and being aware of your breathing brings you to the present, and being in the present is happiness.

"Breating in, I know I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know I
...more
Lon
Jun 07, 2013 rated it liked it

One of Thay's teachings is the importance of experiencing life fully in the present moment. To often the moments of our lives slip by, squandered, because we weren't present to them. Our body might be one place, but our mind is too often in another. He says, "This is the address of life: the intersection of here and now."


Another insight, about not resisting or denying the so-called "negative" emotions, but treating them like a generous host who is gracious to all guests. He says,"Our anger is
...more
Brad McKenna
There's a lot of good stuff here, but Thay missed his mark with me.

I really enjoyed the stressing of mindfulness. The walking meditation where he teaches how to focus on the breath and the steps was particularly useful to me.

But with this book I learned that Vietnamese Zen Buddhism doesn't speak to me the way Tibetan Buddhism does. There is far too much emphasis on ritual. There's a part of the book that describes a tea ceremony. I had heard of the vaunted Japanese Tea Ceremony and the intense
...more
Patience K Phillips
I spent time with Thich Nhat Hanh at the Beacon Theater in NYC this past weekend. Personally one of the most moving moments of my life during the compassion meditation. Hearing him reemphasise happiness as he did in The Art of Mindfulness by being fully present in the moment compelled me to examine some of the books available for purchase. I decided to own this one because it includes all the mindfulness exercises he mentioned and more.

Mindfulness is all that matters if we are truly ourselves.
...more
Ngan
Aug 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a clear and accessible resource for those who wish to learn and practice mindfulness. I'm not Buddhist, but find the messages and practices in this book to be applicable to all who want to live with intention, awareness, and compassion for the Earth and their fellow man. Thich Nhat Hanh makes the topic of mindfulness accessible to the layperson and offers easy and straightforward guidance on how to practice mindfulness through breathing, sitting, walking, and eating meditations (among ...more
Naomi
Mar 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Another terrific book of spiritual practices from Thich Nhat Hanh, for which I am very grateful. Simple practices and life-long ones for every day use. The personal peace treaty is amazing and worth the read even if you skip the rest of the book.

My one wondering: is there not another way for those of us who struggle to walk to practice mindful action than to watch someone walk for us? I think so. I am, of course, not the wise practitioner or retreat leader Thich Nhat Hanh is, but I do have
...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
“mindfulness o la plena consciencia puede ayudarte también a establecer, en tu interior, los cimientos de la libertad, la paz y el amor.” 0 likes
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