Peace and Presence

“Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see.” Thich Nhat Hanh

 I love bookstores. They just feel so good.  I love being surrounded by so many creative creations to explore.  One day, a few years ago, I followed an urge to visit a very cool used bookstore in Kansas City.  I usually don’t have a particular book in mind when I visit a bookstore, but just enjoy the browsing to see what catches my eye and interest that day. This day was no different.  

I walked in and scanned the table not far from the door where they had a random display of books.  One stood out to me that was called “Peace Is Every Step, The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life” by Thich Nhat Hanh.   I hadn’t heard of this author, but the title felt comforting.  I appreciate guidance and inspiration on how I can continue to grow in mindfulness, so this felt like a potentially helpful, positive read.   I opened the book and read the forward by H. H The Dalai Lama then the editor’s note introducing this Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh from Vietnam.  I followed my urge to buy this book. 

I had no idea when I decided to buy this book just how impactful this choice would be in my life.  In fact, I even wondered if it might be one of those books that you buy, read once or maybe don’t finish, and donate. There might be a little dose of good that you gain, but it’s more of a temporary, fleeting impact.  I believe there is value in those types of books, too because they give us something we need in that moment. But this book ended up having a much more significant impact on my life. 

This book was one that I felt jolted me awake to experience a new level of peace and ease.  Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us of the beautiful gift we have in the moment right now.  And in the simplest, most everyday tasks, such as doing the dishes.  

I couldn’t help but want to learn more about Thich Nhat Hanh.  This led me to listening to his talks, reading more of his books, and learning all about his peaceful communities, such as Plum Village, France. 

I fell in love with this book and have since been carrying it with me for a reminder and source of peace.  I share it with others anytime I feel led to.  

I wanted to share this with you for two reasons: 

  1. I encourage you to listen to and trust your inner guidance when you are feeling led to do something.  You never know how much this step could positively change your life.  Every time you take a step from this place, you gain a little more trust and clarity for yourself. 
  2. I encourage you to pick up this book too if you are seeking more peace and presence in your life.  But, you don’t have to buy this book to find peace. You can choose it in this very moment.

Here are a few links of more information on Thich Nhat Hanh’s contributions: