What Are You Searching For? with Thich Nhat Hanh

We have spent our lives searching, thinking that we have not gotten what we want. The practice of mindfulness helps us realize that happiness is possible in the here and the now, and that we can learn to nourish and heal ourselves.

Mindfulness is the capacity to be aware of what is going on. The object of your mindfulness can be anything. When you look at the sky, breathe in, and say “I am aware of the blue sky.” This is being mindful—the blue sky has become the object of your mindfulness. When you breathe out saying, “I smile to the blue sky,” you have acknowledged that the blue sky exists, and with continued practice, you will see that the blue sky is wonderful.

We can also learn to walk mindfully—walking meditation has become a lifestyle for me. If we’re not walking mindfully—peacefully and happily—then we’re sacrificing our time of walking, our time for life. If I walk somewhere to see a flower, seeing the flower must not be my only focus—I want to enjoy every step. Every step I make must bring peace and joy. We learn that it’s possible for you to enjoy being alive while just making tea, or washing dishes, or walking. If you know the practice of mindfulness, any task can be a wonderful thing to do.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh Return to top of page

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Zen master in the Vietnamese tradition, scholar, poet, and peace activist. He is the founder of the Van Hanh Buddhist University in Saigon and has taught at Columbia University an...

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