6 thoughts on “Living Without Joy? Thich Nhat Hanh Shares a Secret

  • September 22, 2009 at 6:52 am

    It’s interesting to me that I read your blog when I’ve given up on getting better. That seems more than a little contradictory. I suppose I feel comforted by the illusion that if I *did* actually have the motivation to try any of this stuff, it might work–but then I’d be stuck here longer. Maybe it’s just because you write well.

  • September 23, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Thank you for your comment Jude. Stay connected and surround yourself with material and people who support you. Then the waves of thoughts that tell you that you don’t want to be here may begin to drift off as you come to terms with the idea that you are not these waves of thoughts, but you are the ocean underneath. Stay connected…

  • September 23, 2009 at 4:59 pm


    As someone who has previously come so close to giving up I can honestly tell you that the single thing that has not only made life better, but joyful every day, is my commitment to mindfulness, particularly Thich Nhat Hahn. My heart goes out to you.

  • September 25, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    WOW–my DBT therapist just recommended his book of essays. Don’t have the title in front of me right now.

    The “half smile” is very useful. Not only does DBT teach this, but also NAMI’s Peer-to-Peer class for consumers (those who have been dxed w/a mental illness) also teaches this exercise.

    The mindfulness & skills I’m learning in the DBT class have helped me get off Abilify (needed to physically as I’ve gained 50 lbs. in 12 yrs. on it), lowered my dosage of Lamictal, off Trazodone, Klonopin is not needed regularly at night to get to sleep…

    My dx is bipolar 1, acute anxiety & ADHD. Though DBT is designed for “borderline”–therapist had that as a possible dx, but I just told her to take it off my ins. form as the stigma is so great against borderline. For me, it doesn’t matter. I have the symptoms of extreme emotional dysregulation leading to rash & dangerous behaviors (suicide attempts & such) so the DBT skills have been a lifeline to me after having my 1st suicide attempt at 15 & I’m now 55. Last attempt was 3 yrs. ago & started DBT about 9 mos. ago. Not feeling suicidal every day as I did during the last 3 yrs. Finally, I feel as though I can get some control of my emotions. And can I say it–feel “joy.”

    My mother had a severe case of bipolar & did commit suicide after many placements in a mental institution, ECT’s, meds, etc.

    The meds available now helped me so that I could apply the DBT skills so my meds provider is also excited about my progress.

    Half smiling right now…

  • January 1, 2012 at 11:49 am

    That is the best blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its virtually onerous to argue with you (not that I actually would need…HaHa). You positively put a new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Nice stuff, just great!

  • June 20, 2012 at 9:42 am

    The post reminds me of what I heard a very wise woman say many years ago: My husband’s face was distorted and drawn. I do not remember why. Any way, she looked at him and asked, “Are you okay?” He said, “Yes.” Then she said, “Inform your face.” Perhaps, this post is recommending that you let your face inform your body. I think that is good advice. Blessings always and all ways!


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