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Peace is Every Step

From the recommended reading list, Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh, a short, simple call to mindfulness, personal and political.  In the book, some nice suggestions about mindfulness practice, including these lines to silently try out during mindfulness meditation:

Breathing in, I calm my body.

Breathing out, I smile.

Worth a shot for the many who find themselves distracted when attempting silent focus on breathing.  There’s also this suggestion for developing mindfulness regarding uncomfortable emotion (in this case anger):

Breathing in, I know that anger is here.

Breathing out, I know that the anger is me.

Breathing in, I know that anger is unpleasant.

Breathing out, I know this feeling will pass.

Breathing in, I am calm.

Breathing out, I am strong enough to take care of this anger.

Substitute “anxiety” or “sadness” or whatever you’re going through for “anger.”  Too much to remember?  Just try “Breathing in, I am _________.  Breathing out, I am ___________.” You may find just slowing down and acknowledging what you’re feeling (and not wanting to feel) helps more than any distraction.

Thich Nhat Hanh’s mindfulness is Buddhist mindfulness–for a secularized (and, for better or worse, less eco/non-violence-focused) substitute, try Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Wherever You Go, There You Are.

Breathing in, you’re done reading this post.

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Posted by Will Baum, LCSW