Mindfulness and meditation are about being fully focused on the present moment, not absorbed in regrets, plans, worries or other thoughts. When we practise mindfulness we create more stillness which allows us to see more clearly what brings us happiness and what causes suffering. With this awareness, we can take positive choices in everyday life.
Zen Master 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.
Thich Nhat Hanh has published over 100 titles on meditation, mindfulness, and Engaged Buddhism, as well as poems, children’s stories, and commentaries on ancient Buddhist texts. He has sold millions of books worldwide, some of the best-known include Being Peace, Peace Is Every Step, The Miracle of Mindfulness, The Art of Power, True Love, and Anger.
I started to practice meditation on the advice of an acupuncturist. I couldn’t sit still! I went back to her and said it was impossible and she recommended that I try 5 minutes per day. Only 5 minutes – no more, no less, and preferably at the same time. I not only loved it – at the time my life was very busy with small children and work – but, after one week I slept better and felt calmer. After only one week of 5 minutes a day! I was really surprised.
That was some 20 years ago. Since then I have extended my ability to sit (and walk and stand, because you can meditate doing these things too) for longer and I still appreciate the opportunity to be quiet. Over the years I have meditated in groups as well as alone and I have been through times when it was very hard – the tears fell as I sat there – and I have learned a lot about myself. I find it is invaluable for problem solving and getting things into perspective.
Sitting At Dawn – Edinburgh Wild Geese Sangha Meditation (early morning) Group
A Guest Blog by Chris McAlister, Meditation Practice