Episode 5: The Art of Living by Thich Nhat Hanh – Book Review


Hello lovely listeners, it‘s Jackie and Maria again with a new podcast episode.
This month we read the book The Art of Living by Buddhist monk and spiritual leader Thich Nhat Hanh. We both got a lot from this book and hope you do too.


The Art of Living by Thich Nhat Hanh on Goodreads with links to different sites this can be purchased or borrowed (don’t forget local libraries).

Plum Village – A global community of mindfulness practice centers offering retreats and teachings on engaged Buddhism and the art of mindful living, founded by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.

Heraclitus of Ephesus – Ancient Greek, pre-Socratic, Ionian philosopher and a native of the city of Ephesus


E05 – The Art of Living by Thich Nhat Hanh

Maria: Hello and welcome to the Becoming Mindful podcast. Today we will be reviewing a book by Thich Nhat Hanh called The Art of Living. I am Maria.

Jackie: And I am Jackie. And we are Becoming Mindful.

Maria: All right, let’s start out talking about a short summary of what the book is about and how we liked it, and then we can go into a little bit more detail.

Jackie: Yeah, that sounds good. I think it was both of our second times reading the book, right? You’d read it before, Maria?

Yes, I did.

Yes. interesting to read a second time.

I think I read it the first time when it first came out, which was almost five years ago. And after reading it this time, I really felt like it was the perfect book to read right now. But That’s probably honestly always true, because I mean, it’s so universal and applicable to pretty much anyone.

It’s like a handbook for how to be a human and like how to work through the frictions of being a human. So, I think it applies to me today just like it applied to me like five years ago. And applies to someone on the other side of the planet or in another time because it’s so universal Yeah, I loved it.

I love how he and he did so by offering practices and perspectives for everyday moments that we all meet all the time. So, it was so approachable, and helped it seem really possible to cultivate peace and compassion and wellbeing by, not numbing or turning away, but like the exact opposite and like diving into life and how to get more into life and be more present and experience more.

 and find a path to peace that way. it’s so beautiful. I think everybody should read it.

Maria: Right? Yeah, I had the same feeling. So, just very well rounded book and also very, universal. So, even though he comes from a place of Buddhism and he does mention, kind of religious terms like God and things like that, and he mentions Christianity and Buddhism and some of the practices, but it comes over a lot more secular than then that so he really tries to not put any and maybe that’s also a Buddhist thing where you’re not converting anyone to anything, but, it wasn’t very, heavy on religion.

And, which I liked, it was very universal to every person in the world. And he’s also very practical. So, going through the different, areas and giving examples on how to, practice that in, real life. So, that was very nice.

Jackie: I also really liked how he talks about religion because he gives examples from all sorts of religions and shows like the common thread through them, the part that we can all relate to and breaks down the walls between different religions because, the things that he’s talking about, the spiritual practices, he’s describing can be applied to anyone in any religion or no religion.

Maria: Exactly. And that, which makes it really so applicable and, a really nice little handbook right? Yeah. Yeah.

Jackie: Handbook. I like that. Yeah.

Maria: So, to start off from a structure perspective, he does talk about, some Buddhist, fundamentals here.

Right. But, not that they’re really necessarily not applicable to non-Buddhist people. So, he starts off with this, what are these questions, this fundamental questions that really every human being has, where do we come from? Where are we going to, how can we live to our fullest potential, and, what happens after death, those kind of like really.

fundamental question that really any human being has in any religion, in any, in any class, on any, stage of life. Yep. And, talks about some of the things that, we seem to be looking at maybe a little bit wrongly. I mean, he, I think he describes it as wrong views, but it’s not. it’s not that harsh, like it sounds like you’re wrong or something.

That’s not really how he describes it. I think that’s a Buddhist term. Yes. The wrong views. Yeah. Yeah. I think so too. But it, it did net, it did not come over as, a critique or, and really like focusing on how you can learn, by looking inward. And he was describing then in the book the fundamentals.

So, we have three fundamental practices that he calls the doors. Three doors of liberation. I guess that’s what, I don’t know if Buddhism calls it or if he calls it just like that. because I’m not that familiar with Buddhism. which is emptiness. signlessness and aimlessness. And then he adds for more concentrations, that he mentioned as an additional.

so, they’re a little bit more and not the main core, but they’re also part of the principles and which is impermanence, non-craving, letting go and Nirvana, which is a very Buddhist term. and then, in the book, he goes through each of the seven principles.

Jackie: and the three doors of liberation is from Buddhism, but like you said, when you break it down into the components and what they’re really talking about there, I mean, it’s applicable to anyone, you get down to impermanent suffering and I mean, those aren’t Buddhist concepts, that’s just.

Human concepts, right? Right.

Maria: Right. Yeah. And I also think that he broke him down into those two, two groups, with the three and the four, because, once you, once we talk about them, you can see that, they’re some of them are similar. so, you could probably also really describe everything with the three if you really wanted to, if you took them in a little bit broader sense, I think.

Right. and even, and what I really liked is like every single chapter, even in the introduction, he puts in like one or two of these little practices that you can do and describes them, which I really love. So, I noted down some of the practices that would be something that I would want to do.

So, for the introduction, for example, I noted down, he had two, which was listening to the rain to help, the mind come to stillness. And focus on like one thing to bring stillness and the mindful breathing, which is very core, right? And, so you concentrate on the breathing and what I thought was interesting is when he’s, you mentioned like, imagine a violin string, like it goes back and forth on a violin.

So, that was really nice. I like that.

Jackie: I like that. That’s very soothing. I loved the practices that he shared too. And one, my favorite one that, that he shared was the bell of mindfulness. Yes. Every time a bell rings, well, in the monastery where he lived, he said that every time a bell rings, they stop what they’re doing, and they come home to themselves.

They relax and they enjoy breathing mindfully. But he also described a hospital that did the same thing and they rang a bell over the intercom at regular intervals and then every time they heard a bell anywhere else, everyone just paused and took a moment and came back to their breath and relaxed and became a little more mindful and I thought was so beautiful and you can Turn your, notifications onto a bell and every time you hear one, have a moment of mindfulness or anytime you hear a bell like that’s such a beautiful, simple, practice or a little reminder to come back to yourself.


Maria: I was thinking the same thing. Like if you could just have like a reminder on your phone or something that sounds like a bell because he was also even mentioning the phone. So, like if the phone rings, they’ll take like a little moment before they pick up essentially to like to grab themselves again and like come back to the moment, which is really awesome because then you obviously also more.

Focused with the new, with that, conversation, right? Because you’re not still hanging in whatever you did before, right?

Jackie: Yeah. Love it.

Maria: Yeah.

Jackie: Let’s start breaking down the chapters.

Maria: All right. Cool. Awesome. All right. Emptiness. so, the first concept he mentioned is emptiness, which, essentially talks about that. We are not, we don’t have a separate existence. from anything around us, right? So, we are not separate. he really that everything and every living being and, also non-living being, which includes all, all of that also includes humans, of course, are really full of non-self-elements.

So, we are full of things that are not us. So, we are also empty of a separate existence. Okay. and that’s what that emptiness stands for, that we’re not separate, but we’re all one. We contain the whole cosmos, and nothing can really exist by itself.

Jackie: Yeah. I loved how he spoke about whenever we do something, we’re doing it.

With our ancestors inside of us and our whole past inside of us as well. he spoke about, healing and finding these spiritual practices. And he made the comment, maybe you are the first person in your lineage to, have access to these practices and find these spiritual practices. So, when you do practice, you’re practicing for yourself and also for everyone before you, that, got you to this point and you can’t get away from that because, the people who came before you are in your whole being.

They’re in every. Every cell in your body and, right, you’re always connected to that,

Maria: right? So, yeah, exactly. Like he mentioned, like, we really are our ancestors as well as we are our children as well as, really. everything that like this whole concept of the continuation body, I think also a Buddhist term where essentially anything you come in contact with is a continuation of you and your continuation of everything else, like whatever the water you drink, and anything, which In, in the end, if you put it together like that, it would really be the whole cosmos, but yeah, definitely the part about, so like, us being able to do them, do this, mindfulness practices and all this research and like, getting into this is really also something that, um, is then in turn happening to our ancestors at the same time, because they’re, Us like they’re within us.

Yeah, very interesting concept. He

Jackie: spoke about to how one of his students, I believe they had built a stupa for him. Yes. Yeah, they said they, they had built a stupa for him to be placed after he died, and he said he didn’t want to be buried. Stuck in there. He wanted to be outside and, they said it was already built and he said, okay, that’s all right.

But if he said you would have to put a sign on it to let people know I am not in here, he was like, well. Well, then I’m going to have to clarify a little farther and we’ll have to put underneath that. I’m not out there either, but he went on to, he went on to describe that, that he can be found in your peaceful way of living and in your breath and in your mindful walking.

And he talked about how that was him continuing on. And even if you’ve never met Thich Nhat Hanh, I think he said, if you find peace in your breathing, I’m there with you. So, I thought that was so beautiful and such a beautiful way to think about what your impact is on the world. And, you live on through the way that you touch the world and how you, the gifts that you can give people,

Maria: right.

Yeah. So, essentially, like everyone listening to the podcast, right? So, yeah. Yeah. So, we continue to that too, for example, or the things that we listened to. So, he is obviously then also continuing within us because we’re reading his book. Yeah. doing some of these exercises.

Jackie: Yeah, he talked about how, um, through his writings in his book, he can be in many places around the world at one time because he has this, piece of himself that he has this, Sent around the world, and he doesn’t have to be there, but he’s there in his words,

Maria: right?

Yeah, so that was from a spiritual perspective, which was great and you know Then he’s also talking about it more from like a physical perspective for you know He’s talking about the cloud that You know, the rain is also the cloud like it’s got continue as a cloud and then the rain would be continued maybe as your tea.

So, it would be continued as you because the water becomes part of you and because everything is. is, what does he tell you? So, he’s talking about this. It’s not destroyed. So, nothing is created or destroyed, only transformed. So, which is really interesting. So, this, he calls this re manifestation, which also means that we don’t get destroyed or die, but we are only transformed into other things, which on a spiritual level would be, people listening to us or people that learn from us.

our children or our friends or our family, whatever, and then on a physical level, of course, whatever plants grow where we get buried or if, whatever, something like that. So, that was very interesting. I thought just this, yeah, no separate self and the continuation is.

something else, which actually goes into the next chapter a little bit too, but, as I said, they’re all overlapping. It’s really interesting because some of these really, are the same, just a little bit different, like impermanence is really the same as emptiness, but over time, so not like, I’m, I’m the same as, where, nothing is like separate, but then that’s like over time.


Jackie: interesting. Well, let’s talk about impermanence.

Maria: Yeah, why don’t we talk about impermanence? although I did want to mention the other concept that he was talking about, which was that, where it’s, where he’s essentially saying that we’re all a part of each other in, which is this interbeing that he mentioned.

So, he mentioned the word interbeing. I can’t remember now, but I’ve heard like something similar. it’s just with different words. I think like oneness was one of those. Oh yeah. Words, that were used before for that same concept, that there is really no Self. It’s just an idea.

Jackie: And we’re made up of completely non us parts.

Maria: Yes, like a lot of them. And if you would take them away, we would cease to exist right or die. Yep. Yep. So, yeah, so it’s really interesting. so yeah, that’s, that was the interbeing sorry I just wanted to mention that. Yeah, thank you. Yeah. Yeah. Let’s talk about impermanence because that’s really similar to emptiness.

Jackie: I love the idea of impermanence. And I mean, the way that Thich Nhat put it was really beautiful in the book. He said, he said, thanks to impermanence, everything is possible. And I love that because impermanence is so challenging because we don’t want things to go away. We don’t want things to leave, but he was saying like, like you said, without impermanence, a seed would never become a tree and a child would never become an adult.

Like everything is possible because nothing stays the

Maria: same, right? life wouldn’t be possible without impermanence.

Jackie: Yeah. Like you said, time, it adds that time element.

Maria: Exactly. Exactly. And. And also, that impermanence is not really a bad thing. For example, that also means that suffering will end at some point, right?

So, it allows us to see that there will be some change coming. So, nothing bad will ever stay forever. Just as nothing good will always stay forever. you have, you’re not stuck in mystery forever either. So, I really like that as well. And that was again, this transformation part, right?

but there’s no birth. There’s no death. There’s no coming. There’s no going. There’s no sameness. There’s no difference where the sameness and difference is really that emptiness part. We’re all the same. We’re all part of the same thing. And then the impermanence is. it’s really just transformation from one into the other.

Yeah. Nice. One thing that, he also mentioned this one saying from, oh God, I’m not going to, I’m going to butcher this name, Heraclitus of Ephesus or something, you got me, philosopher. I’m going to have to put that in the notes. We’ll put that in the show notes. yeah, how it’s actually spelled. so, he said, you can never bathe in the same river twice.

Jackie: Yeah, because it’s always

Maria: moving. Everything is changing. So, the river is moving, so you’re never going to go into the same. Part of the river when you go back and again, that’s also you’re not the same. You constantly have new cells are created, cells are dying. You eat something, you drink something, you pee, whatever, right?

So, you are not the same. That you were before. Or maybe you had an enlightening book that you read, right? You’re not the same person after that book. So, it’s just everything changes all the time. And so, the saying is that you can never bathe in the same river twice, which I thought was amazing. Just really

Jackie: cool.

Yeah, I love that. Along that line too, that’s where our mindfulness practices come in, right? Because We have the ability to change and to direct our path. And he talks about how your mindfulness practice can transform your suffering. And. Can transform how you live your life and can help us to bring calm and peace into our lives as we move through, stressful environments and, crazy world.

But because of impermanence, we have the ability to transform that suffering through our

Maria: practices, right? Exactly. Because everything changes. So, one thing he said is you want to cherish everything you have, right? You want to cherish the moment, but you also don’t need to be afraid to take action because everything changes anyways, right?

So, everything is only what I thought was really profound was everything is Only for one brief instant, so everything only exists in whatever form it is for a brief instance, and then it’s something else already again. So, really, this, cherish what you have the present moment, but also, not being afraid to act, right?

We can’t cling, we can’t cling to anything, which lets us, which goes to the other part again about letting go, which,

Jackie: yeah, just reinforces the importance of presence and. this is the only moment we have, so, it’s going to change in a minute.

Maria: Right. Yeah. Which is, it’s just really also facing the ultimate fear, which is the fear of dying that every person has.

Right. And it’s interesting. I wrote down the remembrance meditation that he mentioned in the book. I don’t know if, should I read it? Yeah. Okay. So, the remembrance meditation goes like this. I am of the nature to grow old, there is no way to escape growing old. I am of the nature to have ill health, there is no way to escape ill health.

I am of the nature to die, there is no way to escape death. All that is dear to me and all that I love are of the nature to change, there is no way to escape being separated from them. My actions are my only true belongings, I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. They are the ground upon which I stand.

So, essentially that’s something you can tell yourself. I thought that was pretty profound, like I get goosebumps when he, when they,

Jackie: yeah. I think it’s comforting. Yeah, it is. It is. It’s pretty heavy, but it’s

Maria: comforting. It is very heavy. You need a moment. Sit with this for a moment. Right.

So, signlessness. I thought signlessness was a little complicated and I also felt that it was heavily overlapping with emptiness and impermanence. Do you have that same feeling? I can see that, yeah. So, like, the formlessness is the outside appearance of things is not really what they are, like what the cloud and the rain, the cloud and the rain are the same thing, but they look differently, and you categorize them differently.

I’m not really 100 percent sure when I was reading that I was not really sure how that’s really different and emptiness and impermanence. I don’t know. Yeah. Yeah. I think one note I took here is, really too we must look beyond the outside appearance of the signs, right? and one of the things that He was talking about was the wave on the ocean, that the wave is the ocean, like that we have to see the ocean.


Jackie: it was when Thich Nhat Hanh was talking about signlessness, that he talked about teachers and how our teachers and our guides, should be just that they should be guides and not, what we ultimately look up to for the teachings, because What they have to teach us is far more important than the teacher themselves.

they’re like, they’re a conduit of the information and, help you to find the answer within yourself. So, you should be looking within and. All the teachers, I think in the book, they talked about Buddha. but any teacher that, guides you through, these contemplations and things right now, we’re looking at Thich Nhat Hanh, but really what he’s stressing is that we hear his words and.

Use those to look within ourselves versus looking up to him in any sort of way.

Maria: Yeah, you’re right. That’s, I remember the Buddha part and essentially that every human can become a Buddha, when they are mindful or they’re looking into nature and like, are aware of. the nature and the beauties of nature.

Jackie: We all possess buddha nature and it’s more about accessing it within versus looking for it anywhere externally.

Maria: and that was also where he was talking about that. Some of the transformation in that life is limitless and we’re essentially that we are essentially immortal. In a way. Right. Right. The body is not, the body is not emotional model, but we are as a consciousness or the, because of that interbeing.

Yes. Yeah. And then the kind of the thing of how to notice these things, I think, how to get there and how to do these things. That’s where we come to the mindfulness part. I think is the path, right? so when we’re looking at the third door, which is aimlessness, um, and aimlessness, the way I understood it, it was pretty much mindfulness.

Yeah. so, you arrive in the present moment is everything you have been looking for. You don’t. Aim for anything anymore because you already have what you want and you already have or you already are, you want to be, so not something not to have, not to put something in front of you that you chase after, but you’re already there.

And he calls that the stopping, which is actually where he talked about that bell that you mentioned before, which was so beautiful. and the other example he gave was the cypress tree. so, to find your cypress tree, that you look for on your path. the example or the story he was, is that, someone was, asking their teacher or was.

worried that they didn’t get the full meaning of all of the teachings and the teacher said, did you see the cypress tree, um, on the way here? Because, if you can’t, see the cypress tree, if you don’t notice these things, then how can you really see the teacher or your loved ones or God, right?

Yeah. So, the aimlessness is really just seeing what you already have, what’s already there.

Jackie: Yeah. He talked about not running from the past or running to the future. we don’t need to run anywhere. We’ve got. Everything we need inside of ourselves.

Maria: Exactly. We have everything we need. there’s a few things he talks about.

What is, obviously the outside and the nature and to appreciate that but also like your body. So, to cherish your body. and he’s essentially saying like we don’t need to die. To experience these things to right here already. one of the things to is, this whole concept of you are enough, which is a lot of it’s like use a lot of his self-care motivational quotes.

But, that’s really what it comes down to is. You don’t need to chase anything. You’re already, perfect the way you are. and you’re not going to be happier, by trying to get something else that you don’t have.

Jackie: Yeah, he said something that made me giggle and think, He mentioned like asking a tree, what are you looking for?

It’s like, well, the tree’s happy. And so be like the tree.

Maria: Right. He might say some water, some sun. Yeah. So, that was definitely one of the things like just be yourself and, try and see that you have what you need. What was also interesting about this chapter was, that he said something like.

Well, then, how does this then not prevent us from being passive and not acting? and not, just being, if we have everything, if we’re happy with the way everything is, then why would we ever do anything? why would we ever, help any, try and fight, some suffering because everything is fine, right?

Everything is good. We have everything we need. But he said to that’s not really the thing. That’s not really how this works because the peace and kindness and the loving passion. That you gain by this for yourself will then, go towards other people too, because again, we are all one. So, of course you’re going to feel this passion, this loving, kindness to other people as well.

And, doing this and, expressing, it’s not passive. so, the be like he’s saying the being in a certain way, in a certain state of mind with other people and lets you act. In a certain way that, it’s helpful and it will transform things. So, one of the things he said is like, someone might say, oh, don’t just sit there, do something, and he said, well, in the end I am doing something. and also, you could put it the opposite way where you see. Or he’s one that puts it the opposite way. Don’t just do something. Sit there. I love that. so, you sit with it. You be mindful and stillness and like this, he gave some examples, but essentially, you’re building sanctuaries.

Versus, um, doing some mindless things to try and help that might not really help.

Jackie: Right. Alright. What do we have

Maria: next? I think there’s, there’s three things we didn’t touch on. The non craving. He’s talking about letting go and the Nirvana part. Okay. I think the aimlessness and the non-craving very, very similar.

And even the letting go, um, it’s like they, they flow into each other very similar, so very much because really to be aimless, you have to do the non-craving. Thank you. That’s not really different. I’m not sure why it’s mentioned separately. But it was one of those where I, my note says, why is this mentioned separately?

 cause yeah, I think the one thing he puts into that chapter is the identification of the cravings. And the actual, practical steps of, inviting it and accepting the cravings or the fears or something suffering. It’s like neatly flows into each other. It’s like one big thing, right?

For me, if at least it’s how it felt like. So, in the, letting go part, he’s, essentially talking about, again, we are enough to be happy and, living in every moment and that we shouldn’t be chasing about things and talking about how to identify these cravings, like how to, where did they come from, what are they, that we identify that we have these cravings.

And we invite them in and identify the hook or the suffering that these cravings bring and letting go is talking mostly about transforming your afflictions into happiness. So, facing the suffering, so this, facing the suffering is the only way out of the suffering.

Jackie: Right, turning toward the suffering and sitting with whatever is coming up and that’s the only way we can learn from it and heal from it.

Maria: Yeah, in the, in this, he also talked about the belly breathing. Practice. Yeah. So, mostly to ground yourself or root yourself when you experience strong emotions, like you have a storm and then, the breathing brings you more to your root part or your stem part of the tree. He’s talking about a tree and how the leaves are like rustling in the.

And, so that’s how he was talking about the belly breathing and how you can practice that when you have strong emotions or when you’re like waiting for something where you then try and distract yourself, right? So, you can do that.

Jackie: And that can bring in a sense of ease. And he talked about that a lot as a relaxed state of peacefulness and of tranquility.

and how important. ease is to cultivate in our lives to nourish ourselves and to, heal ourselves. And really that, that’s the product of these mindfulness practices, right? Right. Like the breath.

Maria: Yeah. The breath and kind of the accepting the suffering with my, with kindness and compassion.

. so, the idea, bracing the suffering.

Jackie: Oh yeah. And he gave the example of a mother comforting a crying baby. And the mother represents mindfulness, and the baby represents the suffering. And, the mother is going to care for and tend to the suffering baby. And. Love it and be compassionate, right?

Maria: Yeah. And then just by doing that, just by the embrace, the baby already feels better, right? The suffering is less. Yeah.

Jackie: Acknowledging the pain and saying that you’re here for them. You’re here for it.

Maria: Yeah. Exactly. The welcoming and accepting of the Suffering with kindness and compassion.

That was so beautiful. I love that, too. Another

Jackie: way that he, talked about turning towards suffering was taking your suffering for a walk and going outside and letting your suffering. feel the sunshine and, see the blue sky and, basically reconnect with the fact that you have everything within yourself and that you have everything that you need, and,

Yeah, you can just let nature kind of embrace you and bring you back into, I think he called it your cosmic body, to embrace your pain and allow nature and everything around you to comfort you and, come back to yourself.

Maria: yeah. So, that you don’t need to get rid of your suffering or ignore your suffering or that really you embrace it and that you.

You need to learn how to deal with your suffering and transform it instead. So, it’s really an integral part. So, he’s, when he was talking about in the next, in the last chapter, when he’s talking about the Nirvana, is that without your suffering, you can’t touch Nirvana,

Jackie: right? That’s why he, I loved how he said, take your suffering for a walk because you’re not getting rid of it.

you’re being with it. And then, if you can through, if you can through your practices, transform your suffering, that’s nirvana. that’s little touches of nirvana is how he described it.

Maria: Yeah, exactly. So, so, and he was also talking about the greatest misunderstanding really of the westernized Buddhism is that nirvana is like this eternal death thing where you’re not getting reincarnated anymore because that’s not really what nirvana is.

It’s actually like right here, like it’s an experience where you can only experience this when you’re alive. Not when your body is dead,

Jackie: right? And everyone can, everyone has the capacity within themselves to access it,

Maria: right? Right, exactly. You can access it in any moment in your life. not that it’s not difficult, but right, right, right.

But you can, like, it’s possible. So, it’s there. And of course, yeah. And of course, so that it is always linked to suffering too, so the awakening and the suffering always go together. It’s okay to suffer. We just need to learn how to handle it and deal with it. Exactly. Yeah, so without the suffering, there wouldn’t be any Nirvana, because we belong together.

everything exists, if it wouldn’t be there, like the light and dark kind of thing.

Jackie: Right. Yeah, and he talks about how we can, adapt to the world that we live in. come to a daily practice, the daily mindfulness practice to protect yourself from, the toxic environments and stress.

And, you can transform or you can protect yourself through the way that you. Think and the way that you breathe and the way that you walk and, they can help you to touch peace and touch, those moments of nirvana, and also protect you from contributing to make any makes making suffering worse.

Maria: Right. Yeah. So, like, and, but doing that with really any small action again, if you do things in a compassionate kind manner in a very, aware men and mindful manner. And, that’s how you’re bringing this into the experience of Nirvana into your life. you can do that with the smallest things, just, you don’t have to do these great acts of, um, heroic things, but you can do this with the smallest thing, in front of you.

Like, yeah, very cool.

Jackie: He rounds out the book, by saying this is my life and I want to live it deeply. And I

Maria: love that. Yeah. Me too. I love it too. Yeah. I was really impressed with the book, and it was, I had a very good flow. I thought, a lot of practical stuff in there. So, I think, for me personally, what I’m taking out of this is.

I took some of the notes of some of these practices that can be, done. definitely would like to include them in my list of things and just trying to remember, um, throughout the day,

Jackie: but I’m definitely going to try to implement that bell practice in my house.


Maria: agreed.

Exactly. Probably do it with wind chimes too.

Jackie: Oh, I like that. I love wind chimes. I think books like this are really grounding and you can, I feel like I should just come back to It regularly because it brings you back to the basics and the roots of mindfulness and they’re really simple and there, it’s after studying mindfulness for a while, it’s things you’ve heard before, but someone puts them in a different perspective or just in different words or relates it in a different way and all of a sudden like little bells go off and, you, you all of a sudden have this whole new way of looking at things and even just reading it, several years after the first time I read it, I’m in a, I’m in a totally different place in permanence.

So, it’s like a new book. So,

Maria: yeah, I agree. And even for me, because it wasn’t too long ago that I read it. First time around, it was this year and then, I read it again because of wanting to do this book review with you. and even then, it’s very different. but also, it’s also not new. So, what I really love about it is.

the simpleness and straightforwardness of this. Now, obviously, we had a few questions where, some of these things overlap, but I think that the main concepts, it’s very clear, it’s very straightforward, it’s very practical, and, you can implement that into your life easily. It feels like taking these things that I’ve read now into my life, and, it makes it really easy to, like this thing of like, you can’t unlearn that or you can’t unsee that.

You can’t understand. Right. It just comes into you and now it’s there. So, this is, that’s like wonderful because some books sometimes are very complex and then it’s, you don’t retain maybe everything. This is just so, I thought it was very well written and it’s very clear and it’s very straightforward.

So, this is, it makes it almost impossible to really forget the basics of it.

Jackie: Yeah. It’s extremely accessible. I recommend it to anyone who’s looking for some guidance on how to live more peacefully, I guess.

Maria: Yes. Agreed. I would recommend it as well. I think, next month we want to do another book review, right?

Yeah. So, we’ve decided that we do want to go ahead and release some of these videos of some mindfulness practices, some of the creative mindfulness practices that we mentioned last episode. I think we can probably also include some of these that we talked about today. Yeah. And do some videos there, but I really like that, just coming up with little videos every now and then, and just, going on with that.

And next month, we’re going to do another book. I think we were going to do Eckhart Tolle’s, The power of now, right? Yes. Yep. Okay. yeah, I think that concludes the episode for today.

Jackie: Thank you for listening. please check us out on social media. We are at Becoming Mindful Podcast. if you have any questions or comments, visit us on our website, becomingmindfulpodcast.com. And, we’d love to hear from you. So, please reach out.

Thank you for listening. Thank you for listening and be well.


[…] Episode 5: The Art of Living by Thich Nhat Hanh – Book Review […]

[…] Episode 5: The Art of Living by Thich Nhat Hanh – Book Review […]

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