Inspiration from Thich Nhat Hanh on Mindful Living


“People sacrifice the present for their future, and life is available only in the present moment.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

While watching “Super Soul Sunday” on the OWN Network, Thich Nhat Hanh was Oprah’s guest. His words were very inspiring. He spoke about living a “mindful” life, being present in every moment of the day and night. He was explaining that being mindful meant to go throughout the day in a meditative state, reflecting on what is going on around you and staying content in the moment. He does a walking meditation everyday that reminds him to stay in the moment reciting in his head, I am home, I am home, I am home. Reminding himself that in this moment is where he should be.

He says the key to mindful living is though mindful movements, which include walking and sitting meditation. He explains mindful movements here,

  • “The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.”
  • “When we walk like (we are rushing), we print anxiety and sorrow on the earth. We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the earth… Be aware of the contact between your feet and the earth. Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.”
  • “The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.”
  • “In mindfulness one is not only restful and happy, but alert and awake. Meditation is not evasion; it is a serene encounter with reality.”
  • “Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.”

And also Mindful eating, he believes that a vegan diet helps protect the environment and the earth around us. He explains mindful eating here,

  • “Being vegetarian here also means that we do not consume dairy and egg products, because they are products of the meat industry. If we stop consuming, they will stop producing. Only collective awakening can create enough determination for action.”
  • “By eating meat we share the responsibility of climate change, the destruction of our forests, and the poisoning of our air and water. The simple act of becoming a vegetarian will make a difference in the health of our planet.”

These words are truly inspiring to me because I believe that I can retrain my thinking and begin to see life in simpler terms. By being mindful in everything I do, say, think, and eat I will feel calmer and more at peace in the chaos of the surrounding world. Going back to the quote at the beginning, ” People sacrifice the present for their future, and life is available only in the present moment.” That quote sums up what I want to ultimately change about my thinking. Life is stressful, filled with what’s happening next. If I focus on the present and what is happening in the moment, my mind will not be filled with the future and the unknown.

Life is happening right now. When that moment passes it becomes your past and remains only a memory. The only reality is the here and now. Live in this moment and begin to focus on what you do, say, think, and eat as mindful thinking and movements. Because what happens in this moment will effect the future.


5 responses »

  1. Hi Christine,

    Thanks for sharing. Your post will be my lesson for today and many more days to come. Yes it takes consciousness and effort to be mindful. I agree there are too many distractions around that can confuse and lead us off in a thousand different directions at the same. We walk and eat like if it was something getting in the way and we have to move on to things that are more important. Walking has become just a mode of transportation that gets us to the next task that has to be performed. But your post emphasis that during the act of walking (that we usually take for granted) we should be so aware that this is our connection with the earth.

    All the Best


    • Hi Ron, thank you for your comment! The reason for this post is because this is what I struggle with as well. I need to take things slow and not let the present moment pass by without “being present”. I constantly worry about the future, either the far off future or just minutes to hours from what it is in that moment. There are so many distractions that I barely come up to breathe. I want to slow down and focus on the world around me more as the “oneness” that is shared. Your comment was very meaningful, thank you for sharing!

  2. Hey Christine I love your blog! I’m currently attending UCF for an IDS degree, with English & Sociology as areas of study! Awesome post. I love Thich Nhat Hanh. I look forward to more posts!

      • Thanks to you for the comment too! The recipe for chimichangas you’ve got here looks pretty darned tasty. I know that we’ll be giving that a go! Namaste:)

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