Peace Is Every Step by Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh is subtitled The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life and that is as good a summary of this book as you are ever likely to get. The Foreword is written by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who points out that if we want to see peace in the world at large, it is essential for individuals to transform themselves first by developing the qualities of love, compassion and altruism in their own lives. Peace Is Every Step is a clear and direct guidebook for anyone who wants to do just that.
This book comprises three parts. In Part One: Breathe! You Are Alive! the author provides a variety of techniques for becoming more mindful as we go through everyday life. If you have read Miracle of Mindfulness by the same author then you will already be familiar with the practice of mindfulness, but here Thich Nhat Hanh explains how the principles can be applied off the cushion as part of your daily routine. You will learn how to transform seemingly mundane activities such as washing dishes, answering the telephone, eating, driving and even encountering red lights into things that actually help to you develop more mindfulness.
In Part Two: Transformation and Healing, you will learn how to deal with difficult emotions and cultivate more compassion in your life. Anger is a very common emotion in modern society, and Thich Nhat Hanh provides several approaches to working with it in an effective and transformative way. He also presents some very useful teachings on love, friendship, community, engaged mindfulness, and more.
Part Three: Peace Is Every Step builds on the preceding sections and presents the author’s teachings on cultivating peace. After beginning with a discussion of Interbeing (the idea that we cannot ‘be’ as individuals, but are always inter-being with others) there are sections on war, peace, awareness, ecology and the art of mindful living, to name just a few of the topics covered.
In summary, Peace Is Every Step is a direct, practical and extremely valuable guide to cultivating peace in life. Apply the principles of mindfulness that are taught by the author and not only will you benefit as an individual, you will also be helping to spread peace to your family, workplace, neighbourhood, nation and even to the world as a whole.