Thich Nhat Hahn’s Breathing Practice


Today I guided students through a mindfulness practice including the four phrases used by Thich Nhat Hahn in his Breathing Practice.

The phrases In/Out, Deep/Slow, Calm/Ease, and Smile/Release help students to anchor themselves on their breath and highlight the progressive building of concentration and bliss that results from the practice.

Afterwards, I quizzed students on whether they could remember the second word in each pair. After doing a jig-saw reading, in which small groups were given a short commentary on each set of words to read, I asked them to create a poster for their group’s phrase.

One student chose to illustrate breathing in and out with a hamburger from In and Out Burger. When I questioned her choice, she reassured me that the burger did, in fact, breathe.

These phrases are so helpful to remember whenever one has a few moments to practice, particularly in times of stress.

Thich Nhat Hanh’s breathing exercises