In Peace of Mind, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us that integrating body and mind is the only way to be fully alive in each moment, without getting lost in our thoughts while walking, cooking, driving, and going about our everyday lives. Only by cultivating a mindful body can we be fully alive. Bringing together ancient wisdom and contemporary thinking, he offers practices for how to relieve stress and cultivate joy. Peace of Mind provides a foundation for understanding the principles of mind-body awareness and introduces critical tools for sustaining authentic well-being.
Like all the great teachers, Thich Nhat Hanh transmits profound insights through simple heart-opening words. His voice is so intimate and open, reading this book is like sitting with him, in his transforming presence. Offering powerful experiential practices and an inspiring vision of what a human life can be, this book shows you how to bring mind and body together to illuminate and heal each one. You could spend the rest of your life reading and rereading this deceptively simple book, it is that deep. —Rick Hanson, Ph. D., Buddha’s Brain
Practice the gentle exercises in this graceful book to achieve the peace and happiness that mindful awareness of the fundamental union of body and mind can bring to oneself and to others.—Richard Shusterman, Body Consciousness
Every Step Is for Relaxation
When you walk from one place to another, as you walk be totally in the present moment. When you walk, take steps in a relaxed way, enjoying the beauty around you. Be totally with the present moment, with the spring rain, with the autumn leaves. Walk in a free and leisurely manner, and arrive home at every step. Taking steps and breathing in and out, you can say,
I arrive in the present moment.
I am home in the here and now.
When you walk relaxingly, happily, you are already practicing mindful awareness.
When you walk and others see that you radiate peace, happiness, and calm, you’re a reminder for all of us. When we see you walking like that, we come back to ourselves and we walk in the same way as you. You contribute to generating the collective energy of mindfulness and peace that will nourish and transform us all. When we practice together, we give and we receive. We offer the energies of mindfulness, concentration, peace, and happiness and we receive these energies from others. The quality of collective practice is the basis of a practice community.
Your steps must bring you back to the present moment and to what is nourishing. You don’t need to rush. There’s nothing to rush for. Every step is for relaxing.
You wish to be successful in your practice. When you practice peace of mind, everyone wants you to be successful. You walk not only for yourself, but also for your parents who may never have had a chance to practice, for your ancestors, your teacher, your friends. In fact, you walk so that everyone will be happy. It looks like you’re walking alone, but you’re not alone. There are many people around who need your practice to be happy and relaxed.