So easy to read, yet hard to describe, Peace was the ideal way to start a young new year with a clean slate and begin to build a foundation for the future.
A guidebook if you will illustrating through metaphor, story and autobiographical tales Peace enables the reader to understand, and begin to attain, what is truly valuable: i.e., peace can indeed be found in every step or moment.
This is not the first time I have read and practiced mindfulness and it won't be the last. You see I am a little denser than the average bear. For me though, the value of this slight tome was in its ease of acceptance. Nhat Hanh made me feel welcome from the beginning. Have you ever read one of those books that made you feel as if the author was proud and contemptuous from the beginning? Smirking between the pages at your lack of knowledge?
Not here. Nhat Hahn made me feel welcome and I could almost imagine entering his small hut and perhaps even sharing some tea as we sat mindfully listening to the wind, feeling the air and watching the clouds passing across the sky without a word between us.
And practicing mindfulness in the midst of your daily being, regardless of what you do or where you live, is at the heart of Nhat Hanh's message. Mindfulness is for living in this world, not escaping into a monastery.
If you are not interested in calming your life just a little bit and seeking a more general sense of connection in your world and relationships maybe this book won't be helpful. And, like all works you have to be in a certain place mentally and spiritually to receive it – when the student is ready, the teacher comes. Yet I found a sense of calm and abiding peace in the simplicity of the words and the power of the message.
- “When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce.”
- “Mindfulness must be engaged. Once there is seeing, there must be acting. Otherwise, what's the use of seeing?”
For me, a beautiful way to begin the year realizing again and again that peace comes from within and isn't something you seek or find, but rather uncover and create.
A wonderful beginning.