Meditation continues to be recognized by our western culture as an important practice for better health. It does not mean that you must join a mediation center or dedicate thirty minutes per day to breath and try to clear your mind… That is an overwhelming prospect for most of us! Daily meditation can be as simple as taking time to breathe while repeating positive words that remind you to calm down and be aware of your body.
Thich Nhat Hanh is a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist, revered throughout the world for his powerful teachings and bestselling writings on mindfulness and peace.
His key teaching is that, through mindfulness, we can learn to live happily in the present moment—the only way to truly develop peace, both in one’s self and in the world. (http://plumvillage.org/about/thich-nhat-hanh/)
Thich Naht Hanh has played a pivotal role in sharing mindfulness practices and mediation to western culture, and he is currently in critical condition after suffering a brain hemorrhage. To honor his compassionate gifts to the world, we share with you some of the meditations he recommends for daily practice.
- You may take three steps while breathing in and say “Breathing in, I calm my body” and then with the following three steps “Breathing out, I relax.” You can then shorten this to saying “calm” as you breathe in, and “relax” as you breathe out.
- “Breathing in, I have arrived, breathing out, I am home.” Then shorten too “Breathing in, arrived, breathing out, home.” Have you ever had the experience where you were rushing home to relax. It doesn’t make sense and isn’t effective is calming the nervous system. Sometimes reminding ourselves that we have arrived to the present moment already and that we are home can help calm an anxious mind. We can then slow down and get home a few minutes later in a more collected and relaxed state.
- “Breathing in, I notice the colors all around me, breathing out, I smile.” Then shorten to “Breathing in, colors, breathing out, smile.” Even if we don’t feel like smiling, the simple act of doing a half-smile sometimes can change the tension in our faces, which in turn affects our mood.
Take the time to experience mindfulness mediation. Even a few minutes a day can change the way your body and mind cope with stress. Thank you Thich Nhat Hanh for dedicating your life to promoting peace, sharing love, and encouraging kindness.