Peace Is Every Breath

Happy New Year, everyone!

As most of us start focusing on our goals for the new year ahead, I want to start by focusing on our breath in every moment. It is so easy to overwhelm ourselves with things that need to be accomplished that we forget about what we have in our present. 

“Peace Is Every Breath” is another beautifully written book by Thich Nhat Hanh. The main idea is that having a spiritual practice can help us overcome the difficulties that we all face from time to time. A spiritual practice is more about mindfulness and concentration than setting aside time to meditate. Breathing in during each moment, mindfully, will help us to be fully present no matter what we are doing. It is about being here with our entire presence. 

There are several mantras throughout the book that we can recite from the time we wake up until we go to sleep at night. For example, in the morning, we can start our day by smiling and giving thanks for another 24 hours on this earth. The morning mantra reminds us to live each moment fully and remember compassion during all of our encounters. 

I have found that starting my day with this type of mindfulness has improved my interactions exponentially. As Thich Nhat Hanh says, offering a genuine presence to ourselves in every moment gives us the ability to recognize that every moment is a gift of life. 

Something to keep in mind is that living deeply in every moment means not thinking over the past nor thinking ahead to the future. When we become too preoccupied with our past or future, we create suffering for ourselves and others. Recognizing the habit of being pulled to the past or future and acknowledging it will cause it to lose power over you and give you the freedom to focus on what you are doing now. The idea is to live peacefully and happily in the present.

Towards the end of the book, Thich Nhat Hanh discusses the Five Mindfulness Trainings, which are:

  1. Reverence for life 
  2. True happiness 
  3. True love 
  4. Loving speech and deep listening 
  5. Nourishment and healing 

The Five Mindfulness Trainings are meant to guide us on the path to wisdom. Living on this path can help us create happiness for ourselves and others while letting go of fear. 

I can’t say enough about “Peace Is Every Breath” and the potential it has to help us live more peaceful and compassionate lives. 

I hope your new year is prosperous and happy. Thank you for continuing to take the time to read my thoughts!

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