Frequently Asked Questions

Which books by Thich Nhat Hanh should I read to learn about meditation?

The Miracle of Mindfulness

The Miracle of Mindfulness was written by Thich Nhat Hanh, while he was living in exile from his homeland, as a long letter to Brother Quang, a main staff member of the School of Youth for Social Service in South Vietnam in 1974. Exiled from Vietnam he wrote to his students offering concrete practices to help them through the turmoil of the Vietnam war.

In this book Thay offers practical exercises as a means of learning the skills of mindfulness–being awake and fully aware. From washing the dishes to answering the phone to peeling an orange, he reminds us that each moment holds within it an opportunity to work toward greater self-understanding and peacefulness.

Breathe, You Are Alive

A Commentary on The Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing

Breathe, You Are Alive is Thich Nhat Hahn’s commentay on a classic teaching of the Buddha in the Anapanasati Sutra on how to cultivate mindfulness of breathing to awaken to the true nature of all things and arrivw at liberation. This book outlines the 16 exercises of conscious breathing that were taught by the Buddha, and provide with commentaries and further exercises for practicing them every day and in any situation.

How to deal with strong emotions

Taking care of anger

Thich Nhat Hanh invites us to use the energy of mindfulness to pause and recognize our anger, rather than ignore or repress it. Thay explains that if we ignore anger when it manifests in us, it can cause a lot of damage. Instead, with the energy of mindfulness nourished by awareness of each inhalation and each exhalation of our breath, we can calmly look deeply and embrace the anger arising in us with centeredness and concentration, smile to our anger, and gain insight into its causes, which are often rooted in the habit energies of our ancestors. Doing so, we transform our seeds of anger with the energy of mindfulness, concentration and insight, and liberate ourselves, our ancestors and those who follow us from the unhealthy habit energy of anger.

Sitting, Resting and Not Worrying

In this video Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us that worrying is a habit energy that prevents us from healing our body and spirit. We must learn to recognize this habit energy so that it does not overwhelm us. It is possible to embrace the energy of restlessness and worry with mindfulness and learn to stop running, so that we can live happily in the present moment. Mindfulness is like a boat that we cultivate by the practice of meditation and the support of the Sangha that enables us to hold the rocks of restlessness and worry in this boat and prevents us from drowning in a sea of suffering.