The book first examines the historical background of the Five Mindfulness Trainings—the Plum Village version of the five precepts given by the Buddha. The second part of the book is a study of comparative ethics and the mindfulness trainings.
For readers interested in teaching mindfulness, the book offers an organized sequence with “key tasks” and “stylistic factors” noted at the end of each chapter. The book begins with definitions of mindfulness, a psychological context, and resources—from books and TV shows to recent research. Before practicing mindfulness, my idea about smoking was simple—it was bad, and I should quit. A few days later, under the linden tree, we had a Sangha meeting to water the positive seeds within ourselves before the retreat. I attended my first retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh in 1997, at Omega Institute in upstate New York, in a veterans group gathered in a little building called Cabin by the Field––a safe haven apart from the several hundred general retreatants. This entry was posted in #66 Summer 2014 and tagged veterans, American Vietnam War, Omega Institute retreat, breathing silence, no more war.


Members of the Sangha of Mindfulness at the Suan Pai Vegetarian Restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand.
So too, The Mindfulness Survival Kit is filled with tools to help us practice with the Five Mindfulness Trainings and explore how they can be meaningful and useful in our lives. Here, Thay offers details about different ethics structures as a way of exploring how the Five Mindfulness Trainings fit with other structures and how we might practice with them. All the practices suggested in the book address mindfulness as an experience of purposeful, present-moment, nonjudgmental awareness that helps us choose where we focus our attention and how we relate to experience while cultivating acceptance, compassion, and open inquiry in our thoughts, speech, and actions. The authors here succinctly address the seldom-mentioned problems of teaching mindfulness of the breath to people who have a history of trauma or anxiety.
We can water mindfulness with emotion mind or reason mind, doing mode or being mode, internal or external focus, thoughts or feelings or sensations, and by recognizing effectiveness and using wise mind. Mindfulness has given me the ability to see smoking not as bad or as good—it is just smoking. One time in 1993, when I had been a monk for about a year and a half, I went to America to lead a retreat.


He lives and practices in Oceanside, California, with his wife, Margaret, and the sisters and brothers of the Rising Tide Sangha. We could feel the collective energy of mindfulness at our small table; we experienced joy, openness, and acceptance.
Therapists and anyone interested in the intrapsychic value and effects of mindfulness will find concise descriptions and applications to some challenging habits of mind. Everyone can benefit from the authors’ focus on mindfulness in daily life to experience present moment, wonderful moment. Its success, however, is rooted in the underlying equanimity, compassion, and understanding consistent with Thay’s teachings to hold in mindfulness those parts of ourselves that get activated and need our steadiness.



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