How To Relax. Finished 11-8-15, rating 4.5/5, meditation, 120 pages, pub. 2015
How to Relax is part of The Mindfulness Essentials series of how-to titles by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, introducing beginners and reminding seasoned practitioners of the essentials of mindfulness practice. Pocket-sized, with original two color illustrations by Jason DeAntonis, How to Relax shows how critical it is to regularly interrupt the hub-bub and routine of our lives to stop, relax mindfully, and recharge.
Thich Nhat Hanh says that when we relax, we “become calm water, and we will reflect reality as it is. If we’re not calm, the image we reflect will be distorted. When the image is distorted by our minds, it’s not the reality, and it causes lots of suffering.” With sections on healing, relief from nonstop thinking, transforming unpleasant sounds, solitude, being peace, and more, How to Relax includes meditations you can do to help you achieve the benefits of relaxation no matter where you are.
It’s a unique gift for those who want a simple guide to achieving deep relaxation, controlling stress, and renewing mental freshness and clarity, appropriate for those practicing in any spiritual tradition, whether seasoned practitioners or new to meditations. from Goodreads
I became a fan of Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh when I read The Miracle of Mindfulness years ago. It really did change the way I think and view everyday tasks and I’ve been meaning to reread it for years, but lucky for me I found this little gem that touches on the basics and is a great refresher. How can you not like a guy who says that lazy days are important? And there is a tiny section on using snoring as a way to bring you in the here and now and sleep easily. I made sure to read this page to Jason since he has to put up with my snoring 🙂
I am a worrier. I come by it honestly, a family tradition, but it is not conducive to living life fully. By focusing on my breath or even adding a few short meditations, I can come back into the present easily. This is important since worry is all about the unknown future and happiness can be found in the present moment. It takes practice and that’s why I love the format and length of this book. I can easily pick this up and turn to the pages I’ve marked for a peaceful moment.
If you’ve never really read anything written by a Buddhist monk on meditation (seriously, who hasn’t :)) I think this would be good, but The Miracle of Mindfulness even better. I do think this is a perfect gift for people who may need to take a moment and relax. It’s a great way to introduce the practice.