Book Club Meeting, Chapters 4-5: A Breathing Room & Inviting the Bell

It’s a space that calms you upon entering; an entire room dedicated to taking breaths in and out, connecting mind to body, and returning home to yourself. This is the concept of a breathing room, as discussed in the fourth chapter of Making Space by Thich Nhat Hanh.

Just as we have a kitchen for cooking and a bedroom for sleeping, Nhat Hanh believes that a breathing room is a necessary part of every home. It actually doesn’t even have to be an entire room – if you have limited space, even just a corner or a little portion of a room will do.

I love the idea that such a room brings with it the quality of immunity. “There needs to be an agreement in advance that everyone respects the breathing area,” Nhat Hanh says. “Once you’re in the breathing room or breathing corner, no one can shout at you anymore. You have immunity.”


Whenever you’re feeling upset, anxious, or mad… enter the breathing room and bring yourself to a state of instant peace. Even a few minutes spent in the breathing area can help ease your discomfort – and develop a better understanding of why you’re feeling that way to begin with.


At the start and end of each breathing session, it may be helpful to invite the bell, as discussed in chapter 5.  You can also invite the bell during a meditation session, to help bring your thoughts to a lull and come back into the present moment.


You can keep a bell in any area of your home – especially a busy area. When there is a lot going on, anyone is welcome to invite the bell, calling everyone to pause what they’re doing and take three mindful breaths. This can really create a powerful sense of peace in the room in a matter of moments.

I keep a singing bowl in my bedroom, and I like to invite it at the end of the night, before I go to sleep. Every time I hear it, I’m reminded to slow down and connect to my breath. It’s a beautiful way to bring calmness to the body and mind before drifting off into dreamland.


+ Do any of you have a breathing space in your home? Do you invite the bell, as well?

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8 years ago

singing bowls, i miss those, but no not really

8 years ago

This space is really lovely. I would love to have the room for setting up a Breathing Room (or corner) but unfortunately I just don’t have that space in my current living situation. I would love to get myself a singing bowl though. Their sound is just so beautiful. Will be taking a look at Nhat Hanh’s book now!

Rae | love from berlin

8 years ago

Oh i love it love it…

I do practice pranayama as well, and I believe my body is a temple of my soul, this place is just awesome!

8 years ago

I adore this – and bells! It started in my yoga classes and is the sound of my alarm in the morning – so very peaceful and such a gentle way to bring one back to the present.

On staying in the present I recently heard, “Keep your mind where your feet are.” Love that!

Warm Regards,

8 years ago

living mindful moments is a requisite to peace, beautiful reveal of a very necessary thing~

8 years ago

These were 2 simple chapters but loaded with good advice! I love the idea of a breathing room but my 1-bedroom apartment sadly offers little space. Set on the idea though, I’ve cleared a corner, underneath a window to bring in natural light. I’ve laid down a soft blanket and surrounded the small space with a few things that help me relax, as Thich Nhat Hanh suggests. Some days it seems like we wake up, go to work, run errands, get home, and then just continue the business until bed. Truly I never feel like I have time to relax until the weekends. I think a “breathing corner” might remind me to sit and relax for a few minutes each day and get centered again.