We have put together a collection of resources that many of us have found useful. We hope you do also.
Thich Nhat Hanh is a prolific author and has published over 100 books, some of his best known include:
Peace Is Every Step
The Miracle of Mindfulness
The Art of Power
The Art Of Living
Zen And The Art Of Saving The Planet
No Fear, No Death.
“Mindfulness helps you go home to the present. And every time you go there and recognize a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes.”
Gatha’s are short verses that we can recite during daily activities such as walking, washing the dishes or slicing potatoes, that help us return to the present moment and dwell in mindfulness.
A gatha can open and deepen our experience of simple acts, which we often take for, granted.
A gatha occupies our thinking and helps us set a direction for our practice at that moment.
If used correctly, it also can help us to be mindful of our breathing.
When the gatha ends, we continue our activity with heightened awareness.
Using a gatha doesn’t require any special knowledge or religious practice.
Some people like to memorize a favorite verse that they enjoy coming back to again and again.
Others like to write the verse down and place it in a place where they are likely to see it often.
Finally, some people are inspired to create their own gatha’s to support their practice in specific situations.
Here we offer a selection of gatha’s that you can use right now in different contexts of your daily life:
We should try to offer our presence for every meal.
Serving food to ourselves, we can already begin practicing.
We realize that many elements, such as the rain, sunshine, earth, air, and love, have come together to form this wonderful meal.
In fact, through this food we see that the entire universe is supporting our existence.
“If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy,
not only we, but everyone will profit from it.
This is the most basic kind of peace work.”
The Five Mindfulness Trainings
The five mindfulness trainings offer a down-to-earth method of practicing mindfulness in daily life.
They are one of the most concrete ways to practice mindfulness.
With mindfulness, we are aware of what is going on in our bodies, our feelings, our minds and the world, and we avoid doing harm to others and ourselves.
Mindfulness protects our families, our society and us.
The trainings are true practices of compassion and understanding.
The Five Mindfulness Trainings have been adapted and updated from the 5 Buddhist precepts so they are appropriate and relevant to today’s society.
Though they are based on the Buddhas teachings on the Nobel Eight Fold Path, they are offered without dogma or religion.
Everybody can use them as an ethical guideline for their life without becoming Buddhist.
The Mindfulness Trainings are not rules or commandments, imposed on us by an outside authority, but guidelines on how to lead a mindful and joyful life.
They encourage us in the direction of peace, joy and liberation and awakening.
They help us avoid making mistakes, which create suffering fear and despair.
When we are mindful, we can see that by refraining from doing one thing, we can prevent another thing from happening.
We arrive at our own unique insight.
They help us to think and act in ways that lead to healing, transformation, and happiness for ourselves and for the world.
When we first read the trainings they can seem daunting, intimidating and impossible to live by.
Please remember that the trainings paint a picture of an ideal balanced life and as such are impossible to practice perfectly.
We don’t use them to beat ourselves up with, instead we commit to contemplating and practicing them, exploring how to embody them, and how we inevitably fall short.
Our happiness lies not in being perfect, but in having a path to guide us through the challenges that life presents.
So be gentle with yourself as you try to make a beautiful life by following these guide line.