Q & A with Thich Nhat Hanh: Deepening Our Mindfulness Practice

Q:  How can we deepen our practice?

A: Deepening our practice means having a genuine practice, practicing not in form only.  When your practice is genuine, it will bring joy, peace, and stability to yourself and to the people around you.  

I prefer the phrase “true practice”.  To me, the practice should be pleasant.  True practice can bring life to us right away.  As you practice mindful breathing, you become alive, you become real, not only when you sit or walk, but when you’re making breakfast or performing any activity.  If you know how to breathe in and out mindfully while making breakfast with a smile, you will cultivate freedom – freedom from thinking about the past or worrying about the future – aliveness, joy, and compassion.  That is true practice, and its effect can be seen right away.

From Answers from the Heart (2009) by Thich Nhat Hanh. With permission of Parallax Press, Berkeley, California. www.parallax.org.