On opening the package that landed on my doorstep I admit that I expected more. The Miracle of Mindfulness is a very tiny book, but gosh does it make an impact!
In The Miracle of Mindfulness, Buddhist Monk and Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Thich Nhat Hahn (pronounced Tik · N’yat · Hawn) describes the practice of mindfulness beautifully through anecdotes, as well as providing practical exercises with the aim to arrive at greater self-understanding and peacefulness, regardless of our own religious beliefs.
The Miracle of Mindfulness has certainly assisted me in the development of my own mindfulness practice. I am slowly becoming less anxious and less judgmental. I am breathing better, and my body doesn’t feel as tense.
My favourite practice that I’ve taken away from the book is doing anything with a half-smile, just as the statues and painting of Buddha depict him sitting cross-legged with a half-smile. Aside from relaxing the muscles on your face, and helping to lift your spirits, it’s hard to remain so when you are sitting there with a half-smile. Try it out next time you are irritated. Half smile, and then inhale and exhale. Maintain the half-smile for three breaths. The entire thought just amuses me!
Aside from that The Miracle of Mindfulness has helped to remind me to focus on the beauty and miracles that are around me at any moment in time:
I like to walk alone on country paths, rice plants and wild grasses on both sides, putting each foot down on the earth in mindfulness, knowing that I walk on the wondrous earth. In such moments, existence is a miraculous and mysterious reality. People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognise: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child – our own two eyes. All is a miracle.
I am in love with this book and in awe of Thich Nhat Hahn. For me, The Miracle of Mindfulness: The Classic Guide to Meditation by the World’s Most Revered Master has been like finding a little nugget of gold. It is oh so valuable and has enriched my life.