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.
Posted by Will Baum, LCSW