Book Review: The Art of Living by Thich Nhat Hanh

This book really spoke to me and it was something I didn’t realize I needed to read right now, at this exact moment of my life.

Maybe it’s because I’m having some sort of pseudo mid-life crisis (because I found my first few gray hairs on my head). Or maybe I’m just perpetually tired thanks to our rambunctious kiddos and trying to keep up with them. Or maybe it’s the COVID doldrums and a feeling of languishing and the constant grind.

But the various topics related to mindfulness and living a happy life that Thich Nhat Hanh covered in this book really resonated with me and I found myself to be much more at peace (and, dare I say, happier) while reading it.

I tried to have a routine mindfulness practice in the past and have fallen off that wagon in more recent times. But I always found myself happier, calmer, and more at peace. Reading this book helped me realize that this is something important that I’ve been missing and I’ve since tried to get back into it.

Here’s an interesting contradiction: I enjoyed this book so much that I didn’t want to finish it. As I started reading through the last half of the book, I really slowed down, because I didn’t want it to end.

Overall, the book can be summed up with the following quote:

“Happiness is not something that arrives in a package in the mail. Happiness does not fall out of the sky. Happiness is something we generate with mindfulness.”

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