Book Club Meeting, Chapter 3: Sitting

Sitting is something we do all the time. We sit at our desks, around meeting tables, and in our cars, but how often is it that we sit just for the purpose of sitting? When our bodies and minds can rest instead of becoming attached to racing thoughts, tensing up in the process? This is the focus of Chapter 3 in Thich Nhat Hanh’s Making Space.

Nhat Hanh suggests creating a designated space in the home for nothing else but sitting. And not the same spot where you sit to eat or read or hang out with friends… no, this spot is solely for sitting, breathing, and being.


Sit in a chair… sit on the floor – with a zafu (meditation cushion) or without. Wherever it is that you sit, make sure you feel stable.


For me, that place is right here in the middle of my floor, on top of a beautiful blanket. I always know that when I come to this spot, it’s time to re-ground myself, breathe deeply, and smile.


Sometimes I’ll surround the area with candles, incense and plants, to deepen my state of comfort and peace. Nighttime is when I usually find myself here – when the goings-on around me have simmered down, and there’s nothing being asked of me; nothing beckoning me to do.

Once you’ve settled in your spot, begin to breathe deeply. Be mindful and focused, while straying away from using your intellect. “Thinking requires strenuous mental work and makes us tired,” Nhat Hanh says. “This is not the case while resting in awareness, or recognizing thoughts and emotions that appear, or even when taking the time to look deeply into them.”

To sit in mindfulness without thinking is still a difficult task for me. I have to constantly remind myself to let go of my thoughts. I have to snap myself back into the present again and again. But it’s important that this is done without negative judgment. I think to myself, I just found myself caught up in my own thoughts again, and that’s okay. It feels good to even be able to recognize this… and right in this moment, I’m exactly where I need to be.


Perhaps the most powerful paragraph in this chapter is the one that follows:

Our minds create everything. The majestic mountaintop, brilliant with snow, is you yourself when you contemplate it. Its existence depends on your awareness. When you close your eyes, as long as your mind is present, the mountain is there. If your eyes are closed, it’s so that your mind can see better. Sitting in meditation, with several sense-windows closed, you feel the presence of the whole universe because the mind is there.

It really makes you think.


+ Who’s reading this book with me? I’d love to hear what you think of it.

Follow along with our book club!

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9 years ago

Hi Brigette, thanks for sharing this teaching and ideas! and for the really inspiring pictures. hugs Kate

9 years ago

This is beautiful! I love the thought of having a designated space – and the care you’ve put into yours is wonderful!

Warm Regards,

9 years ago

I got the book on Sunday!
so now I’m in the sitting chapter with you
I was looking for a book about meditations for a long time, and this is a perfect one to start with.
I love the Vibe of this book!!
Thank you for the inspiration! :)

9 years ago

that’s a good looking kitty.

9 years ago

I think sitting and meditation are very important also.
I love your posting.

9 years ago

I’m reading the book too! I love how it is so compact, the chapters are so wonderfully short, leaving time to experiment and explore his wonderful suggestions for creating peace and inner harmony. I love his chapter on bells. I have a pair of Tibetan bells with a delicate chime, its sound radiates a feeling of serenity throughout the room. Thank you for recommending such a wonderful book!

The Weaver Of Words…..give me 15 words and I’ll tell you a tale

9 years ago

I love this! Its so easy to get caught up in the noise of the world in which we live, and forget to enjoy every passing minute in quiet appreciation and being. It looks like I’m going to have to read this book :) Thank you for your thoughtful comments.