Meditation Techniques

Meditative Techniques of Thich Nhat Hanh

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rich-man-car-unhappy-1.2What is your goal in life? Is it to get your own house buy a new car? Is it a promotion at work, or to have a family? There are those who are able to have it all and yet they find themselves not at peace, but in great despair and misery. The main goal in life should be to find inner treasures and share it with people you love.

rich-family-car-2.2To become both successful and joyful you must succeed in generating inner peace. You must strive to have peace in your daily encounters. Try burning your favorite incense, hold your palms together and concentrate or pray.


Meditation is a strong approach to living successfully in present times. Through meditative exercises, you can experience full consciousness.

Let us take a look at some of the best practices of the great Thich Nhat Hanh. You may do these in any order you choose but the first technique is primary.

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

1. Mindful Breathing

Thich Nhat Hanh’s most effective and favorite meditation is mindful breathing. In an article published by mindful.org, mindful breathing is a priority technique. Students start to learn more about life’s best process, which is breathing.

Pay close attention to  your “inhalation” and “exhalation”. Use each pattern to exude a feeling of thankfulness and delight for just being alive.

nostril.meditation1.2As Thich Nhat Hanh says, “You are breathing in, and while breathing in, you know that you are alive.” Breathing alone is a cause to celebrate. You must start by celebrating life.

The duration of each In-breath and out-breath may vary.  You may only be able to maintain it for a few seconds.  Focus on your breathing.   That is more than enough. Believe it or not, it has a strong effect.

japanese-man-stress-relief-1.22. Concentration

Next you will work on concentration. By focusing on the process of alternating inhalation and exhalation, you will feel relaxed.  This state of relaxation helps you develop a clear state of mind. No other thoughts will be present. Think of it as emptying your mind.  Don’t worry, your brain will keep working.  You will be accessing the most intuitive parts of your brain.

multi-tasking-woman-2.2When you breathe, you should follow it in your mind from the start until end. Let your mind go with the flow completely, mindfulness then becomes uninterrupted. You can definitely expect high quality concentration like you have never experienced before. With daily practice, this will help you concentrate and focus on everything you do. You will learn things quicker.  You will problem solve more productively.

man-in-touch-with-body1.23. Awareness of Your Body

This technique takes you to a much higher level. In the first steps, you became aware that you are breathing and alive. You tried to go with every breath and have produced energy through mindful breathing. Now it is about time to use that energy to recognize and feel your body.

Mind and body should become one. If your mind is inside your body, the  stronger and more centered you become. You feel more alive as you tap into the energy of the universe. You become in touch with things around you as they are in reality. You stop living in your imagination and memories of past occurences.

woman-meditating-in-office-2.2This technique is not easy, but the effect is worth the work. How often do you feel like your body is there but your mind does not cooperate or is somewhere else? How often do you feel like you are physically present but mentally absent.

Body awareness helps you to love your body just as it is.  It is one part of an intricate YOU.  Enjoy it, get in touch with it.  The more you take care of it and appreciate it, the more it will take care of you.

This technique wants you to let you your mind work with your body. By doing so, there will be harmony. This will greatly benefit both your mental ability and your physical attributes as well.

“Letting go gives us freedom and freedom is the only condition for happiness” ― Thich Nhat Hanh

“Letting go gives us freedom and freedom is the only condition for happiness”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

4. Releasing Tension

Thich Nhat Hanh uses this technique to release tension that you carry with you always. Once you become aware of your body, you will become aware of pain and tension that has accumulated over time.  It’s been there so long you don’t even notice that your body suffers from it. It is essential to find ways to release it.

There are several ways to release it. You just have to find your comfort zone. You can do it while lying, sitting, or standing. Peace is possible anywhere. Practice it several times daily to get the best effect.  This is because our bodies feel different at different times of day.  Many people practice this while at work or while doing household chores. Some practice it while at the gym or while cooking. Take whatever opportunities you can. It will help you feel relaxed and tension free.

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”    ― Thich Nhat Hanh

5. Walking Meditation

Walking, a favorite pastime, is a great time to practice mindfulness. Walking meditation practice fits right in to something you do anyway.

Walking meditation is definitely not your usual walk in the park. It is done slower and requires coordination of movements. Make every step aligned with your breathing. It should be more like meditating than just walking. You need not to exert extra effort to do walking meditation. This must be enjoyable.

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child -- our own two eyes. All is a miracle.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh teaches that when you do walking meditation, you are there physically with an active mind. You are there to enjoy the things that surround you. Every step you take must bring you a sense of peace, joy, and healing.

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

6. Smiling Meditation

Thich Nhat Hanh once said that in-breath can relax the body and mind. When breathing out, you can smile.  Never underestimate the power of smile. There is more to it than you could ever imagine.

First, you have to center yourself. Breathing comfortably is necessary to relax your mind and body. Close your eyes; feel your breathing in your nose.

Next is to focus on your mouth. Let your tongue rest behind your teeth. Lips must be in a natural state. Make your jaw and chin a little slack to relax. When your body is completely relaxed, focus your attention back to your mouth and especially your lips.


“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it. ― Thich Nhat Hanh

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.
― Thich Nhat Hanh

Raise the sides of your lips upward, allowing yourself to create a gentle smile. Widen it slowly while feeling the connection inside you. Eventually, you will feel a state of harmony. Your energy will soon start to shift and that tranquil feeling will radiate all over your body.  Hold that smile until you choose to end your session. Wind down gradually so you can feel the effects of the technique.  You will feel it boosting your energy and a feeling of well being.

meditation.sticky.notes.1.2Always remember, there is more than one way to meditate. These are just some of the best techniques that you can follow, but you have to do what feels right. You must do it on a regular basis to enjoy its full benefits and power. Whether you do it alone or with others, in a private or public place, in the morning or at night, trust in the process. Trust yourself and believe that greatness is just about to unfold.

eating-mindfully-salad-1.2If you would like to learn more about mindfulness, you will love our article about Mindfulness and Eating.

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