Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

Thich Nhat Hanh

Finished Reading:
Oct 14, 2019

Edition Publisher:
Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group

Edition Release:
Feb 1, 1991

Purchase Search via DuckDuckGo:
ISBN 9780553071283

Highlights & Annotations

“If the people in the household cannot smile at each other, the situation is very dangerous.

After breathing and smiling, we look down at the food in A way that allows the food to become real. this food reveals our connection with the Earth. Each bite contains the life of the Sun and the Earth. The extent to which our food reveals itself depends on us. We can see and taste the whole universe in a piece of bread! contemplating our food for a few seconds before eating, and eating in mindfulness, can bring as much happiness.

Having the opportunity to sit with our family and friends and enjoy a wonderful food is something precious, something not everyone has. Many people in the world are hungry. When I hold a bowl of rice or piece of bread, I know that I'm fortunate, and I feel compassion for all those who have no food to eat and are without friends or family. This is very deep practice. We do not need to go to a temple or church in order to practice this. We can practice it right at our dinner table. Mindful eating can cultivate seeds of compassion and understanding that will strengthen us to do something to help hungry and lonely people be nourished.” (24)

“Instead of acting as if we can dispose of parts of ourselves, we should learn that the art of transformation. We can transform our anger, for example, into something more wholesome, like understanding. We do not need surgery to remove our anger. If we become angry at our anger, we will have two angers at the same time. We only have to observe it with love and attention. If we take care of our anger in this way, without trying to run away from it, it will transform itself. This is peacemaking. If we are peaceful and ourselves, we can make peace with our anger. We can deal with depression, anxiety, fear, or any unpleasant feeling in the same way.” (53)

Transformation: (53-5)

  1. Recognize the feeling as it arises
  2. Acknowledge feeling - hello
  3. Calm the feeling - breathing
  4. Release
  5. Look deeply - cause?

“Seeing and understanding are the elements of liberation that bring about love and compassion.” (62)

“Anger is also rooted in desire, Pride, agitation, and suspicion.” (63)

“When we have a sensory input, depending on how we receive it, and knot may be tied in us. When someone speaks unkindly to us, if we understand the reason and do not take his or her words to heart, we will not feel irritated at all, and no knot will be tied. But if we do not understand why we were spoken to that way and we become irritated, a knot will be tied in us. The absence of clear understanding is a basis for every knot.” (65)

  • Letting something fester = more power → diffuse the anger

“Internal formations need our full attention as soon as they manifest, while they are still weak, so that the work of transformation is easy. If we do not untie our knots when they form, they will grow tighter and stronger.” (65)

Byron Katie - questioning your thought process re: Tim Ferriss + Tristan Harris 

Sleepiness as resistance (66)

“But I believe the parents did not mean to plant those seeds. They did not intend to make their children suffer. Maybe they received the same kind of seeds from their parents. There's a continuation in the transmission of seeds, and their father and mother might have gotten those seeds from their grandfather and grandmother. Most of us are victims of the kind of living that is not mine, and the practice of mindful living, of meditation, can stop these kinds of suffering and end the transmission of such sorrow to our children and grandchildren. We can break the cycle by not allowing these kinds of seeds of suffering to be transmitted or children, or friends, or anyone else.” (71) Re: transgenerational trauma

“Each of us needs a reserve of seeds that are beautiful, healthy, and strong enough to help us during difficult moments.” (76) // HP Patronus - strong positive memory

“Yet if we have problems with our friends are our family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does tried to persuade using reason than arguments. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding.If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, the situation will change.” (78)

Fourteen precepts of the Order of Interbeing (126-30)

  1. Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology.  All systems of thought are guiding means; they are not absolute truth.
  2. Do not think that the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth. Avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views. Learn and practice non-attachment reviews in order to be open to receive others viewpoints. Truth is found in life and not merely in conceptual knowledge. Be ready to learn throughout your entire life and observe reality in yourself and in the world at all times.
  3. Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by Authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education. However, your compassionate dialogue, help others renounce fanaticism and narrowness.
  4. Do not avoid contact with suffering or close your eyes before suffering. Do not lose awareness of the existence of suffering in the life of the world. Find ways to be with those who are suffering, by all means, including personal contact and visits, images, and sounds. By such means, awaken yourself and others to the reality of suffering in the world.
  5. Do not accumulate wealth while millions are hungry. Do not take as the end of your lifespan, profit, wealth, or sensual pleasure. Live simply and share time, energy, and material resources for those who are in need.
  6. Don’t maintain anger or hatred. Learn to penetrate and transform them while they are still sees in your Consciousness. As soon as anger or hatred arises, turn your attention to your breathing in order to see and understand the nature of your anger or hatred and the nature of the persons who have caused your anger or hatred.
  7.  Do not lose yourself in dispersion and in your surroundings. Practice mindful breathing in order to come back from what is happening in the present moment. Be in touch with what is wondrous, refreshing, and healing, both inside and around yourself. Plant the seeds of joy, peace, and understanding in yourself in order to facilitate the transformation in the depths of your consciousness.
  8. Do not utter words that can create discord and cause a community to break. Make every effort to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.
  9.  Do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest or to impress people. Do not utter words that cause division and hatred. Do not spread news that you do not know to be certain. Do not criticize or condense things that you are not sure of. Always speak truthfully and constructively. Have the courage to speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so make that in your own safety.
  10. Do not use a religious community for personal gain or profit, or transform your community into a political party. A religious community should, however, take a clear stand against oppression and Injustice, and should strive to change the situation without engaging in partisan conflicts.
  11. You're not live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature. Do not invest in companies that deprive others of their chance to live. Select a vocation that helps realize your ideal of compassion.
  12.  Do not kill. Do not let others kill. Find whatever means possible to protect life and prevent war.
  13.  Is us nothing that she belongs to others. Respect the property of others but prevent others from enriching themselves and human suffering are the suffering of other beings.
  14.  Do not mistreat your body. Learn to handle it with respect. You don't look on your body is only an instrument. Preserve vital energy for the realization of the way. Sexual expression should not happen without love and commitment. In sexual relationships, be aware of future suffering that may be caused. To preserve the happiness of others, respect the rights and commitments of others. You fully aware of the responsibility of bringing new lives into the world. Meditate on the world into which you are bringing new beings.