Meditation does not have to be complicated. Simple practices are very effective. The Vietnamese Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh is characteristically simple, insightful, and to-the-point in Walking Meditation. If sitting still in one place is challenging, try walking meditation. There are five progressive guided meditations on the CD.
The book contains all the essentials to begin meditation without ever being trivial or superficial. It is not filled with technical terms and esoteric concepts but it does deepen understanding of the practice and expectations of meditation.
This book anticipates and answers questions that arise and the difficulties people encounter when meditating. With a gentle and sure tone, the CD leads you by the hand. The honest message is not always what people may want to hear, or are often told by teachers, but it is a message that must be clearly conveyed.
“Meditation is not meant to help us avoid problems or run away from difficulties” is stated upfront on page 5. People who have been attempting meditation for years still cannot accept this statement. They wonder what has gone wrong because their lives and problems have not magically changed according to their wish at a given moment.
The book tells the reader upfront what meditation can do:
To meditate is to learn to stop—to stop being carried away by our regrets about the past, our anger or despair in the present, or our worries about the future. By practicing the art of stopping, we can enter the present moment and be nourished by beauty and wonder of life in and around us: the smell of flowers, the warmth of sunshine, the color of the sky. To practice mindfulness is to begin to realize that we have a choice—to stop and rest, or run, to be angry or happy. Once we choose to stop, everything will be OK.”
Keep moving and flowing with the breath. If painful emotions arise, smile and say hello but keep moving with the breath.