Forget Positive Thinking: A Zen Master Explains How To Actually Rewire Your Brain For Peace

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According to Thich Nhat Hanh, accepting our emotions plays a crucial part of practising mindfulness correctly:

“In mindfulness one is not only restful and happy, but alert and awake. Meditation is not evasion; it is a serene encounter with reality.”

Thich Nhat Hanh says that many of us have the wrong idea about what happiness is. We believe that we have to be positive all the time, but the truth is, happiness is more about being mindful of the present moment.

“Our notions about happiness entrap us. We forget that they are just ideas. Our idea of happiness can prevent us from actually being happy. We fail to see the opportunity for joy that is right in front of us when we are caught in a belief that happiness should take a particular form…Peace can exist only in the present moment. It is ridiculous to say “Wait until I finish this, then I will be free to live in peace.” What is “this”? A di­ploma, a job, a house, the payment of a debt? If you think that way, peace will never come. There is always another “this” that will follow the present one. If you are not living in peace at this moment, you will never be able to. If you truly want to be at peace, you must be at peace right now. Otherwise, there is only “the hope of peace someday.”

Thich Nhat Hanh also suggests that we do not turn a blinde eye to suffering in the world. It’s important to acknowledge that it exists because that’s the only way we’ll eventually reduce it:

“Do not avoid contact with suffering or close your eyes before suffering. Do not lose awareness of the existence of suffering in the life of the world. Find ways to be with those who are suffering by all means, including personal contact and visits, images, sounds. By such means, …awaken yourself and others to the reality of suffering in the world. If we get in touch with the suffering of the world, and are moved by that suffering, we may come forward to help the people who are suffering.”

Looking to reduce stress and live a calmer, more focused life? Mindfulness is the easy way to gently let go of stress and be in the moment. It has fast become the slow way to manage the modern world – without chanting mantras or finding hours of special time to meditate.

In Hack Spirit’s new eBook, The Art of Mindfulness, we explain how you can use mindfulness practically to help you clear your mind, let go of your worries and live peacefully in the present moment.

By devoting full attention on what we are doing in the moment, we can alleviate suffering, fear and anxiety.

With the power of mindfulness at our fingertips and the beauty of looking deeply, we can find insights to transform and heal any situation.

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