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.”
Based on a retreat that Thich Nhat Hanh led for Westerners, this book offers a range of simple, effective practices for cultivating mindfulness, including awareness of breathing and walking, deep listening, and skillful speech. You Are Here also offers guidance on healing emotional pain and manifesting real love and compassion in our relationships with others.
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A Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh is an internationally known author, poet, scholar, and peace activist, and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King Jr. He is the author of numerous books, including the best-selling Living Buddha, Living Christ; Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames; Peace Is Every Step; and The Miracle of Mindfulness. He has founded monastic communities in France, Vermont, and California and teaches actively around the world.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
The heart of Buddhist practice is to generate our own presence in such a way that we can touch deeply the life that is here and available in every moment. We have to be here for ourselves, we have to be here for the people we love, we have to be here for life with all its wonders. The message of our Buddhist practice is simple and clear: “I am here for you.”
In our daily life, we are often lost in thoughts. We get lost in regrets about the past and fears about the future. We get lost in our plans, our anger, and our anxiety. At such moments, we cannot really be here for ourselves. We are not really here for life.
Practice makes it possible for us to be free—to rid ourselves of these obstacles and establish ourselves firmly in the present moment. Practice gives us methods we can use to help us be here in the present moment. Practice makes it possible for us to say “I am here for you.”
The Buddha said, “The past no longer exists, and the future is not here yet.” There is only a single moment in which we can truly be alive, and that is the present moment. Being present in the here and now is our practice.
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