Being Peace

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9780938077008: Being Peace

Since its publication in 1987, Being Peace has become a classic of contemporary religious literature. In his simple and readable style, Thich Nhat Hanh shows how our state of mind and body can make the world a peaceful place. We learn to transform the very situations that pressure and antagonize us into opportunities for practicing mindfulness.

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About the Author:

THICH NHAT HANH is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk. His lifelong efforts to generate peace and reconciliation moved Martin Luther King, Jr. to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967. He travels regularly, leading retreats on the art of mindful living. He lives in southern France, where he teaches, writes, and gardens. He is author of Energy of Prayer, Be Free Where You Are, and many other books.

Review:

At sixty-two poet, author, and Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh is the perfect embodiment of his teachings of sociallyengaged Buddhism. For the past two decades, exemplifying the Buddhist principles of compassion and reconciliation, he has lived and taught primarily in France and America. two wealthy, powerful countries that did their best to destroy his homeland, Vietnam. Being Peace is a jewel of love and wisdom, a mirror reflecting our own happy Buddhahood, as Hanh always points out, and it is a recognition that will inspire everyone, regardless of previous religious persuasion, with the unexpected joy of smiling. Hanh reminds us of the fundamental importance for the world of just one person smiling, breathing, and being peaceand this is empowering. Yet with that distinct Buddhist love for paradox, in the next breath Hanh dissolves our sense of privileged separateness. Engaged Buddhism means we recognize the inextricable interconnectedness of everyone, or in Buddhist parlance, the endless chain of codependent origination. Clouds, water, sunlight, trees, the logger's labor, his breakfast bread"everything is in this sheet of paper." This is the context for meditation, says Hanh, such that when an individual enters the meditation hall, she brings all of society. We meditate the world and we breathe, smile, and be peace for the enlightenment of everyone, for the clarity of everybody's thoughts, feelings, and attitudes. The apparent membrane separating us is very permeable, and the responsibility significant because the Buddha takes refuge in us. Without us, the Buddha isn't real at all, says Hank and Buddhanature goes disembodied. The embodied Buddha is the quintessence of the practice, and we can all be Buddhas because in mundane acts we engage the Buddha in daily life and, from this simple rooting of clarity and mindfulness in the quotidian, we begin to transform the world. With this synoptic, almost holographic, frarnework~ says Hanh, we next understand the Dharma, or basic teaching, is ubiquitous, spoken in manifold tongues. For more than twenty years Hanh has engaged his Buddha nature in the world for our edificaion. He breathed and smiled during wartime Vietnam, when he was chairman of the Vietnamese Buddhist Peace Delegation., when he founded the Tiep Hien (Interbeing) Order of Buddhism and when he wrote his sixty-six books in Vietnamese, French, and English. His gentle, profound and persuasively true example is flawlessly transmitted in this indefatigably optimistic book, enhanced by the line drawings of Mayumi Oda. -- From Independent Publisher

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