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Publisher's Summary

In The Art of Power, world-renowned Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh offers a surprising and radical new understanding of how we attain true power.

Power is one of the central issues in our lives. From work to personal relationships, the struggle for power plays a pivotal role and, more often than not, prevents us from attaining freedom and happiness. The bottom-line mentality in our culture seeps unnoticed into every other part of our lives. Thich Nhat Hanh illustrates how our current understanding of power leads us on a never-ending search for external markers like job title or salary. This me-first approach to life may have originated in the business world, but the stress, fear, and anxiety it causes are being felt by all of us every day.

Turning the conventional understanding on its head, Thich Nhat Hanh teaches us that true power comes from within and that what we seek we already have. With colorful anecdotes, precise language, and concrete practices, this book will have an important and lasting legacy on how we understand our culture and choose to live our lives.

(P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Thich Nhat Hanh is a holy man, for he is humble and devout." (Martin Luther King, Jr.)
"[Thich Nhat Hanh] shows us the connection between personal inner peace, and peace on earth." (the Dalai Lama)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • Reno, NV, United States
  • 08-29-15

It seems simple but this is real power

This book is aimed at CEOs, politicians and other powerful people about how real power is not dominating others with your wealth or power, but the power to be happy in the present moment and free from addiction, despair and anger. As sometimes happens when I read his books, the advice seems almost too simplistic to work in the real word in hard situations: breathe to get in sync with your body, the present moment is a wonderful moment, realize there is no self and that others are really you too, and practice compassion toward yourself and others. But then Nhat Hanh tells of being exiled from his home country of Vietnam because the government’s thought he was a danger for teaching peace. They banned his books and kept him out for 40 years. He’s finally allowed back and the communist government tries to thwart his lectures — and he uses the techniques in this book and creates a crack in the state apparatus aligned against him, until by the end of his visit, government officials are packing his lectures to hear him speak about peace and loving kindness. Now that’s power. (It's a very small part of the book.) An anecdote stuck with me: His book “Being Peace” sold a million copies just in South Korea while his book “Touching Peace” only had 10,000 copies printed — if you’re happy with what you accomplished, then what happens afterward is inconsequential. There’s a long appendix where the creator of Patagonia tells about his business philosophy, which fits perfectly with Nhat Hanh’s advice, and how these principles made Patagonia such a power house today. Quote: "Protesting is a kind of help, but it should be done skillfully, so people see it as an act of love and not an attack." Grade: A-

The narration is solid.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Great Message

This was my second TNH book and the message (while still amazing) was really a rehashing of the first book. Still, its an incredibly important message and if this would be your first TNH book its probably a great choice. The book has a western narrator, which is both good (definately easier to understand) and bad (lack's TNH's incredible charm). I highly recommend this book - but if it's a second TNH book, be prepared for lots of overlap.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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grateful read

thoughtful wisdom and a depth of connection to the ordinary that will surprise you and push you to lead an examined life

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • Raleigh, AE, USA
  • 01-09-08

The Distilled Wisdom of a Happy Being

How highly should you recommend a book that is the distilled wisdom and insight of a 90-year old monk who has lived nearly his entire life in the service of others and while having no wife, children or money and while owning nothing and representing the complete antithesis of what our society holds up as successful, is happy down to the core of his being?

21 of 28 people found this review helpful

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Clear, thoughtful, easy listen

This book inspired both the gracious and gentle practice of mindfulness and an activist approach to bring peace through daily decisions of beneficial choices and living.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Thanks be it to Loyd James.

This book was always on my to do list. My father bought it for all of his children in paper form around the year that it was published, but I am not the kind of reader who reads with my eyes. So it nestled into the back burner part of my list. Finally, I have come to it, thanks to the narrator and the audio book and some extra credits from my self publishing. I guess my father wanted his children to each self empower towards their happiness, mindfulness, and existing in a way that helps the world. And that seems a worthwhile goal for my father, for his children, and for Thich.

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Inspires me to be better.

Loved it! Highly recommend for anyone with anxiety and difficulty sleeping. I listen to this book over and over again when I have high anxiety and trouble sleeping. it's so focused on peace and compassionate thinking it helps put things in perspective.

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Life tune up

Sometimes in life you need a reminder of what’s important - a tune up. If that is you, if things are kinda coming off the rails and you are frustrated and coming to the end of yourself, you might find this book helpful. I went into it depressed and a little hopeless but came out with sone tools and hope and focus.

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Great reflection on what truely matters

Great reflection on what truely matters in life and how we get distracted from it and go chase things that only make us feel the lack even more acutely.

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Makes the Complicated Simple

When someone can explain something complicated in a simple way, that's how you know they really understand it. If you think about your life and the world, I recommend this book. The author bridges the gap between esoteric philosophy and very real world challenges ranging from finding peace in love, with family, in professional fulfillment and life satisfaction. Narration is not grating at all, and makes you feel a real connection to the test. And, if you like, there's no reason not to skip around the in book.