Home Mindfulness and Happiness The Miracle Of Mindfulness

The Miracle Of Mindfulness
Read in 17 min.
Listen in 21 min.
Learn the key ideas of the book by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Miracle Of Mindfulness

How to make every moment mindful

If we want to live mindfully, we need to focus on the present and prevent our minds from wandering. In The Miracle of Mindfulness, the Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh offers a series of exercises inspired by classical Buddhist texts, to learn the art of awareness through meditation and breathing techniques. By appreciating the simple things, we become more conscious of the miracle of life.

The Miracle Of Mindfulness
Read in 17 min.
Listen in 21 min.

In order to be truly aware of every moment, we must always focus on the task at hand

Most people strive to find happiness and inner peace by pursuing professional success, going on holidays, or seeking validation from others, but none of these really help us connect with the present moment. Focussing too much on the future or the past also makes it difficult to achieve peace, which we can all experience if we live in the moment. Today's society places too high a value on reaching an objective, which is why we forget how to appreciate the simple things of real life. 

The author applied the Buddhist practice of mindfulness to his own life by focusing on the present moment, and developed easy-to-follow meditation exercises we can all follow. Thanks to specific concentration techniques, we too can learn to become aware, and savour even the smallest and most mundane details.

Even commonplace and everyday activities, like washing the dishes, can become meaningful moments. All we need to do is make sure we are focused and mentally aware of the task at hand, without getting distracted by other thoughts. When we wash the dishes, we should only be washing the dishes, trying to remain mindful of what we are doing. It is unhelpful to think of the task as unavoidable and tedious, as is letting our minds wander to the steaming cup of tea waiting for us when we have finished – this is not what being alive is about. While standing at the sink, we should try to remember that life is a miracle, and not let our minds wander into the future. It is important to be aware of our bodies, movements, and thoughts while we are washing the dishes. When the time finally comes to drink our cup of tea, we shouldn't let our minds wander to other things, but focus on the taste of the tea in our mouths. 

The Buddhist manual "Sutra of Mindfulness" teaches us to be constantly and perfectly mindful of our actions. Our minds must always be fully conscious, regardless of the task we are performing, or the position our bodies are in. 

Mindfulness is the key to taking notice of life's wonders and miracles. People usually consider walking on water or on thin air as a miracle, when the real miracle is to walk on earth. Every day, we are part of the wonder of life and nature that surrounds us.


The key ideas of "The Miracle Of Mindfulness"

In order to be truly aware of every moment, we must always focus on the task at hand
Breathing with awareness allows us to maintain mindfulness and improve concentration
Mindfulness should ideally be practised every day, but we can also reserve just one full day of the week to mastering our time
If we can't find inner peace and happiness through meditation, we won't find it anywhere
True mindfulness is the understanding of interdependence between objects, through concentration and meditation
Meditation is not evasion, but a serene encounter with reality
When it comes to meditation, there are many simple exercises and techniques we can use to embark on the path to mindfulness
Take-home message
4books preview

Try 4books Premium for free!