In this beautiful and lucid guide, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh offers gentle anecdotes and practical exercises as a means of learning the skills of mindfulness - being awake and fully aware. From washing the dishes to answering the phone to peeling an orange, he reminds us that each moment holds within it an opportunity to work toward greater self-understanding and peacefulness.
©1975 Thich Nhat Hanh (P)2012 Tantor
"Thich Nhat Hanh writes with the voice of the Buddha." (Sogyal Rinpoche)
When I read this 20 years ago, it had a big effect on my life. I decided to read it again, and I remembered all the parts that had been so meaningful before but I didn’t love it. In hindsight, I don’t think I read it mindfully. (Irony alert.) So I read it almost immediately again, and absolutely loved it this time. My favorite parts are when he’s traveling across the U.S. and his friend Jim starts popping pieces of a tangerine in his mouth while discussing their plans. He suggests to Jim he ought to eat the tangerine. “It was as if he hadn’t been eating the tangerine at all. If he had been eating anything, he was ‘eating’ his future plans.” There’s also this: “People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.” My other favorite part is his retelling of a Tolstoy story (he made me a fan of Tolstoy, for which I'll be forever grateful) about when is the best time to do each thing, who are the most important people to work with and what is the important thing to do in any moment. The only part I don’t care for in the book are the very repetitive translations of sutras in the appendix, but they are easily skipped and do show the millennia-old basis for his teachings. Grade: A
As for the narration, it's good, not great. And the appendix with the translations is best skipped on audio. I got the Kindle version, too, so I could highlight my favorite passages.
The narration was superb. He even brought life to the parts of the book that are rather repetitive.
Everything.He seemed to enjoy reading the book and that came through on the narration. Great intonation, volume, meter and phrasing.
Here the author talks you through basic and complex meditations. Unlike other books that talk about the meditations, here they are. At the end of the book the author has put a lot of meditation with each one being labeled for use when you need it. I recommend this book just for these meditations along with the wisdom contained with it. I would also recommend that the publisher include a PDF of all meditations be included or people buy the Kindle version to get them rather than searching all over the Internet for them.
I didn't enjoy this nearly as much as later works such as Heart of the Buddha's Teaching, etc. It's understandable, as I'm sure his ability to relate to a Western audience improved over time. The sutra translations at the end have highly repetitive language (...the monk does this, is aware of it, and thus trains himself...) and are frankly exhausting to listen to. Finally, the reader sounded coldly academic, which contrasted with my memory of Nhat Hanh's warm and gentle voice.
This book was written by someone from SEA. Having a pretentious sounding English person read this great piece of literature seems odd. As well, the narrators tone is that of a fantasy book which makes the information sound like it's all imagination.
Say something about yourself!
It was insightful but a bit over repetitive. most memorable were the phases of mindfulness and application.
Anything. It could not have been worse.
There were no characters.
I couldn't listen to it.
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