Best Book to Reduce Stress

When we accept & transform our suffering, instead of spending our energy trying to run away from it, we get so much closer to peace & joy.

April Showers Bring May Flowers is something I first heard in elementary school.

But it wasn’t until my forties that I heard the phrase, No mud, no lotus.

And as April is Stress Awareness month, I thought I’d share one of my favorite books with you to help reduce your stress.

World-renowned Zen Buddhist monk and peace activist, Thich Nhat Hanh, passed away last year at age 95. He published over 100 books in his lifetime, including, No Mud, No Lotus.

The premise of his bestseller is that without mud, there can be no lotus flower. Without suffering, there can be no understanding and compassion.

Our job is to then use our suffering to channel the energies of understanding & compassion. Within ourselves – for ourselves, and for others.

When we replace the stressful angst of “Why is this happening to me?” with the more peaceful and curious, “What is this teaching me?” we learn how to accept suffering. Suffering is a natural part of the human journey. What we do in response to it can escalate or de-escalate our stress and our peace.

When we accept & transform our suffering, instead of spending our energy trying to run away from it, we get so much closer to peace & joy.  As Thich Nhat Hanh shares, “We become more present and available to life.”

Only when we appreciate the rain, when we understand the purpose of the mud, can we fully comprehend that without them there would be no nutrients fertilizing the lotus blossom – a symbol of awakening.

Here’s to being your own Muddy Buddy on your darker, harder days and asking, “What is this teaching me? How is this making me wiser, more understanding and more compassionate?”

And…here’s to being someone else’s Muddy Buddy on their darker, harder days by showing up with greater compassion and understanding for their suffering.



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