When I was a little girl, I loved to play in the woods. Isolated from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, my imagination was free to run wild. I could explore nature or simply find a good sun spot and bask. In that cocoon of sunshine and nature I felt most at peace and solved all the world’s problems, as well as my own. I don’t have routine access to those woods anymore, but I still find myself craving the silence and safety they provided. So I’ve had to create a safe, silent place to which I can retreat in the here and now. How did I go about doing so? It happened over time. I studied philosophy, medicine, meditation, martial arts and all of the great religions. As I became more self-aware and empowered, I developed a better understanding of my physical, emotional and spiritual needs and set about meeting them. Although I know how I set about accomplishing this, I still haven’t found the words to best express the actual journey. Again, I turn to Zen master and wordsmith Thích Nhất Hạnh for direction.
As described by the publisher, in his book, Silence, “The Zen master and one of the world’s most beloved teachers returns with a concise, practical guide to understanding and developing our most powerful inner resource—silence—to help us find happiness, purpose, and peace.
Many people embark on a seemingly futile search for happiness, running as if there is somewhere else to get to, when the world they live in is full of wonder. To be alive is a miracle. Beauty calls to us every day, yet we rarely are in the position to listen. To hear the call of beauty and respond to it, we need silence.
Silence shows us how to find and maintain our equanimity amid the barrage of noise. Thích Nhất Hạnh guides us on a path to cultivate calm even in the most chaotic places. This gift of silence doesn’t require hours upon hours of silent meditation or an existing practice of any kind. Through careful breathing and mindfulness techniques he teaches us how to become truly present in the moment, to recognize the beauty surrounding us, and to find harmony. With mindfulness comes stillness—and the silence we need to come back to ourselves and discover who we are and what we truly want, the keys to happiness and well-being.”