Peace of Mind Becoming Fully Present
In Peace of Mind, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us that integrating body and mind is the only way to feel truly alive in each moment.
The peace, calm, and harmony you produce in your breathing will penetrate into your body and your mind. Even if you’re feeling restless, the energy of mindful breathing will encounter your energy of restlessness, and in no time at all you’ll see a change as the energy of restlessness steadily ebbs away and transforms. Someone who has the habit of doing this practice can, in just one or two breaths, completely transform restlessness and feel peaceful. Whatever you learn, whatever insight you gain from practice should be applied right away in your daily life. In that way you develop your confidence and find that you have faith in your practice.
When the mind is restless or angry, allow it to be embraced with the energy of mindfulness. Don’t try to change your restlessness. Don’t try to push it away or suppress it. Just allow it to be. Continue to breathe and to generate the energy of mindfulness. Recognize the feeling of restlessness or anger and embrace it tenderly. As the two kinds of energy—the energy of restlessness and the energy of mindfulness—encounter each other, there will be a change, and transformation will take place. In the energy of mindfulness there is peace and concentration. Even just being aware that you’re restless or angry will already bring some change. In the beginning it may be 5 or 10 percent. As you continue to follow your breathing, there will be a complete change, and loving kindness, the opposite of anger, will arise.
Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the best-known Buddhist teachers in the world today. His books, including Understanding Our Mind and Being Peace, have sold over two million copies in the US alone. He lives in Plum Village, his monastery in southwest France, and travels throughout the world leading retreats on the art of mindful living.