Maureen's Reviews > Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh
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's review
Aug 09, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: buddhism
Recommended to Maureen by: Parallax Press
Recommended for: everyone
Read in January, 1991

Some of Thich Nhat Hanh's writings are mostly informational, like Old Path, White Clouds, his biography of the Buddha. Others, like this book, are meant to be experienced.

In each short section of this book, Thich Nhat Hanh tells a story, or seeks to describe an experience to which the reader may relate. Some of them, like washing the dishes, deal with being in the present moment, and being deeply involved in whatever one is doing solely for the joy of having that experience. Others, like his descriptions of a sheet of paper or eating a tangerine, show the interconnectedness of life. In the case of the sheet of paper, the sun, the rain, the tree, the man who cut the tree down, and other factors go into the making of the paper. Without the "non-paper" elements, the paper would not be.

Contemplation of a tangerine is another favorite: one day Thich Nhat Hanh gave some children tangerines. They contemplated not just the fruit in their hands, but also its mother, the tree that bore the fruit. Then they visualized the blossoms in the sunshine and the rain, and the growth of the tiny fruit. Then the children were invited to peel the tangerine, taking in the sensations of the spray of the mist from the peel, the smell of the fruit, and its texture. Finally, they were invited to taste it.

I have eaten a tangerine with Thich Nhat Hanh, and if the exercise is entered into sincerely, it is a mind-blowing experience. To think that this man who has such a deep reverence for the simplest things of life has also endured the self-immolation of his brothers in the Order of Interbeing in protest of the war in his homeland, the tragedy of the Vietnamese boat people, and life for so many years in exile, brings an almost unendurable sorrow.

And yet, the tangerine remains.
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06/04/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Timur Great example with the tangerine !
I am glad that "tangerine experience" it touched you and changed you.

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