"Stopping" is the basic practice of meditation. To keep our flowerness fresh, we have to learn how to stop our worries, anxieties, agitation and sadness so that we can find peace and happiness and smile again. When things are not going well, it is good to stop in order to prevent the unpleasant, destructive energies from continuing.

Stopping does not mean repressing; it means, first of all, calming. If we want the ocean to be calm, we don't throw away its water. Without the water, nothing is left. When we notice the presence of anger, fear and agitation in us, we don't need to throw them away. We only have to breathe in and out consciously, and that alone is enough to calm the storm. We do not need to wait for a storm to begin to practice. When we are not suffering, conscious breathing will make us feel wonderful, and it is the best way to prepare ourselves to deal with troubles when they come.

Thich Nhat Hanh

from p. 13 in "Touching Peace:
Practicing the Art of Mindful Living"
Parallax Press 1992


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