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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. 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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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. 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.

30 review for Being Peace

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jessaka

    Being Peace I keep Thich Naht Hanh's books in my book case but anymore I do not read them. I think of him often, ever since he had a stroke. He made it though, but I can't find out how he is. As far as I know he is still alive and still a very wise but old man. Some days when I walk in the woods I try to breathe in peace and breathe it out again, but it has been so many years that now I think more about what people are going through in the world and the changes that are taking place in this earth, Being Peace I keep Thich Naht Hanh's books in my book case but anymore I do not read them. I think of him often, ever since he had a stroke. He made it though, but I can't find out how he is. As far as I know he is still alive and still a very wise but old man. Some days when I walk in the woods I try to breathe in peace and breathe it out again, but it has been so many years that now I think more about what people are going through in the world and the changes that are taking place in this earth, and I am too saddened to think of peace. Yesterday, when I walked through the woods the leaves were falling. For the first time that I could ever remember I actually heard them fall. They fell like paper rain on the forest floor. Maybe Mother Earth had heard it too. I just know though, that she weeps too much these days and probably doesn't hear anything anymore. Maybe like me, she is only hearing her own pain. And I just wish that I could breathe in peace and breathe out peace again. written by Jessica Slade, 2017

  2. 5 out of 5

    jeremy

    i found this book far more rewarding than i had expected it to be. thich nhat hanh, vietnamese poet, peace activist, and buddhist monk, has written dozens of books, many that incorporate the related themes of non-violence and zen buddhism. being peace, originally published some twenty-five years ago, is a slim affair, but contains a wealth of practical insight. nhat hanh focuses his book on the subjects of suffering, perception, non-duality, interbeing, meditation, and peace work, offering a str i found this book far more rewarding than i had expected it to be. thich nhat hanh, vietnamese poet, peace activist, and buddhist monk, has written dozens of books, many that incorporate the related themes of non-violence and zen buddhism. being peace, originally published some twenty-five years ago, is a slim affair, but contains a wealth of practical insight. nhat hanh focuses his book on the subjects of suffering, perception, non-duality, interbeing, meditation, and peace work, offering a stream of fluid, remarkably apt analogies to illustrate his teachings. regardless of one's spiritual inclinations or religious beliefs, being peace presents non-dogmatic observations on the nature of happiness, contentment, and peace both on a personal level and on an international scale. nhat hanh's introduction of the fourteen mindfulness trainings, if practiced widely, could have beneficial effects individually and on society as a whole. being peace is a melodious, reflective, and profound work - one that manifests thich nhat hanh's committed efforts to peace, justice, and the restoration of harmony in its many forms. recommendation promise me, promise me this day, promise me now, while the sun is overhead exactly at the zenith, promise me: even as they strike you down with a mountain of hatred and violence; even as they step on you and crush you like a worm, even as they dismember and disembowel you, remember, brother, remember: man is not our enemy. the only thing worthy of you is compassion-- invincible, limitless, unconditional. hatred will never let you face the beast in man. one day, when you face this beast alone, with your courage intact, your eyes kind, untroubled (even as no one sees them), out of your smile will bloom a flower. and those who love you will behold you across ten thousand worlds of birth and dying. alone again, i will go on with bent head, knowing that love has become eternal. on the long, rough road, the sun and the moon will continue to shine.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Anita

    Even though some references are a little dated (Cold War), this book is entirely relevant now: in order to achieve peace, we each have to become peaceful. We can't wait for peace to happen, we must live it. Even though some references are a little dated (Cold War), this book is entirely relevant now: in order to achieve peace, we each have to become peaceful. We can't wait for peace to happen, we must live it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michael Armijo

    This book was recommended by a 'fellow photographer' friend named Beth Lambert of CANADA. It's an EXCELLENT read for any one. I also introduced it to a young man in France (who was still 'finding himself'--Frederic Deltour) and he often tells me that the book changed/improved his LIFE. This is the perfect book for MINDFULNESS TRAINING--something we ALL need from time to time. ;) Words that impacted me in this book: If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can blossom like a flower, and everyone in o This book was recommended by a 'fellow photographer' friend named Beth Lambert of CANADA. It's an EXCELLENT read for any one. I also introduced it to a young man in France (who was still 'finding himself'--Frederic Deltour) and he often tells me that the book changed/improved his LIFE. This is the perfect book for MINDFULNESS TRAINING--something we ALL need from time to time. ;) Words that impacted me in this book: If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace. To meditate well, we have to SMILE a lot. Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful. To remind ourselves to relax…set aside some time for a retreat, a day of MINDFULNESS. We can practice smiling. Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is a wonderful moment. A smile makes you master of yourself. We have thousands of things which help us be away from ourselves. Practicing meditation is to be aware, to smile. To meditate means to be aware of what is going on. Buddhas are “us”. The Buddha statue is just a symbol of the Buddha. The root word “budh” means to wake up, to know, to understand. A person who wakes up and understands is called a Buddha. “I rely on the Buddha in me.” Three Gems: BUDDHA…The Awakened One. DHARMA…The Way of Understanding & Loving. SANGHA…The Community That Lives in Harmony & Awareness. Sometimes we see someone we like very much, even if we don’t know why. True enlightenment: The highest capacity to understand and love. Sometimes if we don’t do anything, we help more than if we do a lot. We call that non-action. It is like the calm person on a small boat in a storm. That person does not have to do much, just to be himslef, and the situation can change. In our former lives, we were trees. It is science. We have to recall our past existences. Have tea meditation. Practicing meditation is for us to be serene and happy, understanding and loving. Feelings are of three kinds: pleasant, unpleasant, neutral Whether or not we are happy depends on our awareness. Happiness is available. Please help yourself to it. All of us have the capacity of transforming neutral feelings that can last a long time. You take good care of yourself, and I take good care of myself. I can do many wrong things, and that does not help. I took time to look at the picture. To understand something is to take that one thing up and to be one with it. We have to convert anger into some kind of energy that is more constructive. “Sometime, somewhere you take something to be the truth. If you cling to it so much, when the truth comes in person and knocks at your door, you will not open it.” Meditation is not to get out of society, to escape from society, but to prepare for reentry into society. If your children are not happy and do not smile…you cannot smile. One smile, one breath should be for the benefit of the whole day, not just for that moment. Our mind is like a river, with many thoughts and feelings flowing along. When we practice sitting or walking we should pay attention to the quality and not the quantity. To transform our situation is also to transform our minds. To transform our minds is also to transform our situation, because the situation is mind, and mind is situation. The first practice is Face to Face sitting. The second practice is Remembrance. The third practice is Non-stubbornness. The fourth practice is Covering Mud with Straw. The fifth stage is Voluntary Confession. The sixth and seventh practices are Decision by Consensus and Accepting the Verdict. In modern society most of us don’t want to be in touch with ourselves; we want to be in touch with other things like religion, sports, politics, a book—we want to forget ourselves. “In Touch” means in touch with oneself in order to find out the source of wisdom, understanding, and compassion in each of us. Being in touch with oneself is the meaning of meditation, to be aware of what is going on in your body, in your feelings, in your mind. The mind is the root of everything else. 1st MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Aware of the suffering…Life is precious. 2nd MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Avoid being narrow minded and bound to present views. The techniques of understanding is to overcome views and knowledge. 3rd MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Respect the right of others to be different and to choose what to believe and how to decide. It is the spirit of free inquiry. 4th MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Contact with and awareness of suffering is needed. 5th MINDFULNESS TRAINING: True happiness is rooted in peace, solidity, freedom, and compassion. The only way out is to consume less. Once we are able to live simply and happily, we are better able to help others. 6th MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Anger blocks communication and creates suffering. Take care of the energy of anger when it arises and to recognize and transform the seeds of anger. 7th MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Life is available only in the present moment and that it is possible to live happily in the here and NOW. Live in awareness. 8th MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Lack of communication always brings separation and suffering. Learn to listen deeply without judging or reacting. 9th MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Words can create suffering or happiness. Use only words that inspire hope and confidence. The words we speak can create love, trust, and happiness around us, or create a hell. Be careful about what we say. Words can travel across thousands of miles. May my words create mutual understanding and love. May they be as beautiful as gems, as lovely as flowers. 10th MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Practice understanding and compassion. 11th MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Be committed to NOT live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature. 12th MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Cultivate nonviolence, understanding, and compassion in our daily lives, to promote peace education. 13th MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Share time, energy and material resources with those who are in need. 14th MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Sexual relations motivated by craving cannot dissipate the feeling of loneliness but will create more suffering, frustration and isolation. We are determined to perseve vital energies (sexual, breath, spirit). In the religious and medical traditions of Asia, the human person was said to have three sources of energy: sexual, breath, and spirit. Sexual energy is what you spend during sexual intercourse. Breath energy is the kind of energy you spend when you talk too much and breathe too little. Spirit energy is energy that you spend when you worry too much and do not sleep well. Buddhist monks observed celibacy to conserve energy. Your children are a continuation of yourself. Concentration is the first practice of meditation. The more we understand, the easier it is for us to have compassion and love. Understanding is the source of love. Understanding is love itself. Understanding is another name for love. When you grow a tree, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the tree. You look into the reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the tree. Blaming has no effect at all. NEVER BLAME, never try to persuade using reason and arguments. They never lead to any positive effect. No argument, no reasoning, no blame, just understanding. IF you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change. Breathing is wonderful. It unites body and mind. “Let peace begin with me.” Walking meditation can be very enjoyable. We walk slowly, alone or with friends, if possible in some beautiful place. Walking meditation is a wonderful practice You can look at everyone and smile. We never have time to look at each other, even those we love, and soon it will be too late. It is wonderful to do that, to openly appreciate everyone. Set up your own ‘breathing room’. Teach by example. Take his or her hand and walk together into the room for breathing, and sit quietly together. This is the best education for peace. Have a breathing room in your home, a room for meditation. Practice breathing and sitting for a few minutes every morning at home. Go out for a slow walking meditation.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Vaishali

    Extraordinary in its simplicity and humanity, clearly outlining the very personality needed for our species to evolve. Gentle and practical in its approach. ----------- “A smile makes you master of yourself. " “Recently, one friend asked me, ‘How can I force myself to smile when I am filled with sorrow? It isn't natural.’ I told her she must be able to smile to her sorrow, because we are more than our sorrow. A human being is like a television set with millions of channels. If we turn the Buddha on Extraordinary in its simplicity and humanity, clearly outlining the very personality needed for our species to evolve. Gentle and practical in its approach. ----------- “A smile makes you master of yourself. " “Recently, one friend asked me, ‘How can I force myself to smile when I am filled with sorrow? It isn't natural.’ I told her she must be able to smile to her sorrow, because we are more than our sorrow. A human being is like a television set with millions of channels. If we turn the Buddha on, we are the Buddha. If we turn sorrow on, we are sorrow. If we turn a smile on, we really are the smile. We can't let just one channel dominate us…” “We have to take the situation in hand to recover our own sovereignty.” “In Vietnam, there [were] many people, called boat people, who [left] the country in small boats. Often the boats are caught in rough seas or storms, the people may panic, and boats can sink. But if even one person aboard can remain calm, lucid… people have trust in that person. They will listen to what he or she says. One such person can save the lives of many.” “…We have more than 5o,ooo nuclear weapons. Humankind has become a very dangerous species. We need people who can sit still and be able to smile, who can walk peacefully.” “In our former lives, we were trees… This isn't just Buddhist theory; it's science. The human species is a very young species - we appeared on the Earth only recently. Before that, we were rock, we were gas, we were minerals, we were single-celled beings. We were plants, we were trees, and now we have become humans. We have to recall our past existences.” "... People who are awake see the manifestation of the Dharma in everything. A pebble, a bamboo tree, the cry of a baby, anything can be the voice of the Dharma... Each pebble, each leaf, each flower is preaching the Saddharma Pundarika Sutra." “Without you, the Buddha is not real, it is just an idea. Without you, the Dharma cannot be practiced. It has to be practiced by someone.” “…Someone who has lost her sight would give anything to be able to see… she would consider it a miraculous gift. We who have eyes capable of seeing many forms and colors are often unhappy. If we want to practice, we can go out and look at leaves, flowers, children, and clouds, and be happy. Whether or not we are happy depends on our awareness.” “Practicing Buddhism is a clever way to enjoy life. Happiness is available. Please help yourself to it.” “On the wooden board outside of the meditation hall in Zen monasteries, there is a four-line inscription. The last line is ‘Don't waste your life’. “ “If you look at me, the me in myself may be different from the me you perceive. In order to have a correct perception, we need to have a direct encounter.” “Irritation is a destructive energy. We cannot destroy the energy; we can only convert it into a more constructive energy… Suppose you are in the desert, and you only have one glass of muddy water. You have to transform the muddy water into clear water to drink, you cannot just throw it away. So you let it settle for a while, and clear water will appear.” “Every action, every thought has an effect. Even if I just clap my hands, the effect is everywhere, even in faraway galaxies.” “We should be able to be our true self. That means we should be able to be the river, we should be able to be the forest, we should be able to be a citizen of any country in the world.” “To transform our situation is also to transform our minds. To transform our minds is also to transform our situation, because the situation is mind, and mind is situation.” “During the last 2,5oo years in Buddhist monasteries, a system of seven practices of reconciliation has evolved... " : 1. Face-to-face sitting 2. Remembrance 3. Non-stubbornness 4. Covering Mud with Straw 5. Voluntary Confession 6. Decision by Consensus 7. Accepting the Verdict “The way you speak, the kind of understanding, the kind of language you use, should not turn people off.” "I vow to develop understanding in order to be able to love and to live in harmony with people, animals, plants, and minerals.” “Aware of the suffering created by fanaticism and intolerance, we are determined not to be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. Buddhist teachings are guiding…They are not doctrines to fight, kill, or die for.” “Bodhisattvas move in the opposite direction and follow the principle of self-sufficiency. They live a simple life in order to practice the way, and consider the realization of perfect understanding as their only career.” “Words can travel across thousands of miles. May they be as beautiful as gems, as lovely as flowers.” “We are determined not to use the Buddhist community for personal gain or profit or transform our community into a political instrument.” “We are committed to not live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature.” “Is our world safe enough to bring in more children?” “In the religious and medical traditions of Asia, the human person was said to have three sources of energy: sexual, breath, and spirit. Sexual energy is what you spend during sexual intercourse. Breath energy is the kind of energy you spend when you talk too much and breathe too little. Spirit energy is energy that you spend when you worry too much and do not sleep well. If you spend these three sources of energy, your body will not be strong enough to penetrate deeply into reality and realize the way.” “When you grow a tree, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the tree. You look into the reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the tree, yet we blame our son. If we know how to take care of him, he will grow well, like a tree… Never blame.” Some Mentioned Texts/Discourses: ——————————————— * Sutra of Tending Buffalo (Pali Canon list of 11 skills for buffalo keepers) * Saddharma Pundarika Sutra (proper name of Lotus Sutra) * Discourse on Turning the Wheel of the Dharma (Buddha's first sermon to adults) * Abhidharma (writings on Buddhist psychology) * Avatamsaka Sutra (proper name of Flower Ornament Sutra) * The Eight Realizations of Great Beings Sutra * Satipatthana Sutta (basic meditation manual of Buddha’s time) .

  6. 5 out of 5

    Iona Stewart

    I didn’t find this book to be as easy-to-read as ”Peace is every step”, which I previously reviewed. I feel that it goes more deeply into things and thus is more challenging. Thich Nhat Hanh is a Buddhist from Vietnam who now lives in exile in France. He recently had a stroke at the age of about 90 and was seriously ill, but survived. This book is a collection of talks he gave to peacemakers and meditation students in 1985. He tells us of the importance of walking meditation and smiling, and offers I didn’t find this book to be as easy-to-read as ”Peace is every step”, which I previously reviewed. I feel that it goes more deeply into things and thus is more challenging. Thich Nhat Hanh is a Buddhist from Vietnam who now lives in exile in France. He recently had a stroke at the age of about 90 and was seriously ill, but survived. This book is a collection of talks he gave to peacemakers and meditation students in 1985. He tells us of the importance of walking meditation and smiling, and offers a short poem we can recite from time to time, while breathing and smiling. “Breathing in, I calm my body Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is a wonderful moment.” “When we sit down peacefully, breathing and smiling, with awareness, we are our true selves, we have sovereignty over ourselves.” Meditation helps us to return to our true self. “Practicing meditation is to be aware, to smile, to breathe --- We go back to ourselves in order to see what is going on, because to meditate means to be aware of what is going on.” The capacity of waking up, of being aware of what is going on “in your feelings, in your body, in your perceptions, in the world” is called Buddha nature. “Someone who is awake, who knows, who understands, is called a Buddha. Buddha is in every one of us.” Dharma is what the Buddha taught. “It is the way of understanding and love – how to understand, how to love, how to make understanding and love into real things.” Dharmakaya means the teaching of the Buddha, the way to realize understanding and love. Sometimes if we don’t do anything, we help more than if we do a lot. We call this non-action. That is also an aspect of Dharmakaya – not talking, not teaching, just being. Every day we have many feelings. “Practising meditation is to be aware of each feeling.” “Practising Buddhism is to be alive in each moment. When we practice sitting or walking, we have the means to do it perfectly. During the rest of the day, we also practice. --- The sitting and the walking must be extended to the non-walking, non-sitting moments of the day. That is the basic principle of meditation.” In order to understand, you have to be one with what you want to understand. You do not stand outside of something to contemplate it. “Non-duality is the key word for Buddhist meditation.” To sit is not enough. We have to be at the same time. When you breathe and smile, you are the breathing and the smiling. If I am angry I do not fight that. “I know that anger is me, and I am anger.” Since I am anger, if I annihilate anger, I annihilate myself. If I cannot be compassionate to myself, I will not be able to be compassionate to others. The first thing to do when we get angry is to produce awareness. “I am angry. Anger is in me. I am anger.” In Buddhism, knowledge is regarded as a block to understanding. Understanding means to throw away your knowledge. We cannot bring about peace by demonstrating against nuclear missiles but by our capacity of smiling, breathing and being peace. Meditation is not to escape from society, but to prepare for a re-entry into society. This is called “engaged Buddhism”. If we leave society, we cannot help change it. “ --- a meditation center is where you get back to yourself. You get a clearer understanding of reality, you get more strength in understanding and love, and you prepare for your re-entry into society.” We need to bring the practice from the meditation hall into our daily lives. We need to practice breathing between phone calls, or practice smiling while cutting carrots. A gatha is a short verse. Thich gives us one to be recited before phoning anyone: “Words can travel across thousands of miles. They are intended to build up understanding and love. Each word should be a jewel, A beautiful tapestry.” The author is peaceful and wise and this little book helps us to assimilate some of this peace and wisdom. Therefore, I strongly advise that you read both this book and his others. Then we can contribute to the spread of peace and wisdom in the world, even more than we already do.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Joanna

    The more we see, the more we understand. The more we understand, the easier it is for us to have compassion and love. Understanding is the source of love. Understanding is love itself. p.107 This book is incredibly inspiring and insightful. Thich Nhat Hanh writes in a simple and beautiful way and introduces us the teachings of Buddhism and how to use these teachings and guidelines in our daily lives. He educates us on how to be more peaceful and work for peace in order to make our society more li The more we see, the more we understand. The more we understand, the easier it is for us to have compassion and love. Understanding is the source of love. Understanding is love itself. p.107 This book is incredibly inspiring and insightful. Thich Nhat Hanh writes in a simple and beautiful way and introduces us the teachings of Buddhism and how to use these teachings and guidelines in our daily lives. He educates us on how to be more peaceful and work for peace in order to make our society more livable; a society where people are aware of themselves and all beings. He introduces these teachings in a universal way and encourages us to makes conscious decisions in our everyday lives. This is not a religious book, but a book about how to transcend peace, become peace, and work for peace by being in the present, breathing and being aware of ourselves and each other. If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work. p.5

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    This book, recommended by my then therapist, skewed my vision for the better. Instead of seeing black & white, I started seeing and understanding all the shades of grey. The Middle Way. A little hokey, but whatever, it works if you want it to.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

    I've spent the last 3 days listening to the audio version of this book and felt peaceful and calm ever since. Some of my most favourite quotes from the book: “For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.” “Do not say that I'll depart tomorrow because even today I still arrive.” “We have to be in the present time, because only the present is real, only in the present can we be alive. We do not practice for the sake of the future, to be reborn in a par I've spent the last 3 days listening to the audio version of this book and felt peaceful and calm ever since. Some of my most favourite quotes from the book: “For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.” “Do not say that I'll depart tomorrow because even today I still arrive.” “We have to be in the present time, because only the present is real, only in the present can we be alive. We do not practice for the sake of the future, to be reborn in a paradise, but to be peace, to be compassion, to be joy right now.”

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cynda

    1st Read: Worth reading several times over. I have direction on how to deepen my Buddha practice. I will need to read this book numerous times. Fortunately, such a short book, only 115 pages. 2nd Read: I will read this book repeatedly and practice a bit here and a bit here my Buddha nature until it becomes my usual nature.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alok

    This is a quintessential 'good book' - in the sense that it has nothing that you can disapprove of, but again, nothing that you don't know already. Yeah, one must be good, the book says. But how, the book doesn't talk more about that. Yeah, you shouldn't get angry and value others' opinion as much as yours, the book says. But what if you are dealing with a certified moron and unarguably and irrefutably absurd opinions, the book err.. doesn't talk about that. At times, I felt like the author start This is a quintessential 'good book' - in the sense that it has nothing that you can disapprove of, but again, nothing that you don't know already. Yeah, one must be good, the book says. But how, the book doesn't talk more about that. Yeah, you shouldn't get angry and value others' opinion as much as yours, the book says. But what if you are dealing with a certified moron and unarguably and irrefutably absurd opinions, the book err.. doesn't talk about that. At times, I felt like the author started presenting a brochure on Buddhism or offering applications to join some sort of cult. While I was able to understand what the author intended to convey, he certainly sounded very immature, naive and grossly inept with words, while trying to convey that. At some places, it went from naive to funny - The road and signs on the road are the same. Me: umm... No. They are different. Before taking it out for the journey, you must know that the car and you, are the same. Wherever the car goes, you go. Me: I am sure you are on to something, but not quite. Sorry. The book has enormous ratings here, on Goodreads and that caught my attention. It appears, at least to me, simply overrated.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Katy

    Like most Thich Nhat Hanh books, this is a very sweet and very simple book. Good advice. Not complicated. Just clear and direct. Maybe too simple on a couple of points -- not sure. He seems to say that we won't change things by demonstrating. Not sure about that. But being peaceful, clearheaded and calm while planning and participating in a demonstration seems like a good idea. Like most Thich Nhat Hanh books, this is a very sweet and very simple book. Good advice. Not complicated. Just clear and direct. Maybe too simple on a couple of points -- not sure. He seems to say that we won't change things by demonstrating. Not sure about that. But being peaceful, clearheaded and calm while planning and participating in a demonstration seems like a good idea.

  13. 4 out of 5

    David

    In which I learned that Thich Nhat Hanh's way of offering Buddhism to westerners is one of those simple-but-difficult, deep ideas. Just breathe and smile. In which I learned that Thich Nhat Hanh's way of offering Buddhism to westerners is one of those simple-but-difficult, deep ideas. Just breathe and smile.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Peter Upton

    Over the years I have read many spiritual books that are all very similar and generally manage to annoy me by telling me that if I were truly advanced in understanding and in meditation practices I should be detached enough and wise enough not to mourn for the loss of those I love. Yet elsewhere I have read psychologists warning that one of the dangers of meditation is the risk of depersonalization. A state of flattened emotions where you are no longer able to empathize with others. So what to o Over the years I have read many spiritual books that are all very similar and generally manage to annoy me by telling me that if I were truly advanced in understanding and in meditation practices I should be detached enough and wise enough not to mourn for the loss of those I love. Yet elsewhere I have read psychologists warning that one of the dangers of meditation is the risk of depersonalization. A state of flattened emotions where you are no longer able to empathize with others. So what to one group is detachment and an intended achievement is to another group depersonalization and a mental illness! Fortunately in this book comprising of seven talks, Thich Nhat Hanh doesn't take this detached route and throughout the book I could feel his compassion and his commonsense shining through. He doesn't tell you it is wrong to mourn for your loss but encourages you to try to smile in your sorrow, which I have spent 28 years doing until at some point the smile and the sorrow merge into a wistful compassion. It works. He tells us that Buddha is not a person but a state of being awake,to know,to understand and to love and that with practice we can all be Buddha. He says that Buddhism shouldn't be viewed as a religion but as a personal state of being awake and sometimes a person is Buddha 'but sometimes he is not; it depends on his degree of being awake.' One of the things that has always put me off of Buddhism is that it tends to over intellectualize things. Here he recognizes this problem and explains Buddhist concepts clearly; 'Dharmakaya is quite simple, although people in Mahayana (a school of Buddhism) have made it very complicated. Dharmakaya just means the teaching(s) of the Buddha.' He is also realistic and honest enough to admit that meditation centres are not always the places of peace you might expect them to be. He says people tend to go to meditation centres because they feel alienated and 'ill at ease with society' but in joining a meditation centre; 'they discover that this society is even more difficult than the larger society. It is composed of alienated people.' He also says, 'In the peace movement there is a lot of anger, frustration and misunderstanding. The peace movement can write very good protest letter, but they are not yet able to write a love letter. We need to learn to write a letter to Congress or to the President Of The United States that they will want to read, and not just throw away..........The President is a person like any of us.........without being peace, we cannot do anything for peace.' He then goes on to give a talk on the 14 Precepts of Buddhism which I shall sum up very briefly; 1 and 2 = Be open minded to new ideas. 3,4,5,6,8,11,12,13,14 could all be covered by the magic two words BE KIND. 7=Mindfulness. 9 and 10 = 'Have the courage to speak out about situations of injustice, even if they threaten your own safety.' If you followed these precepts conscientiously you would gradually change your personality and become the person you want to be. To Summarize: 1. Become Buddha yourself by being Awake and Aware at all times. 2. Create this state of Mindfulness by Walking Meditations; 'We walk SLOWLY, alone or with friends, if possible in some beautiful place.........Walking not in order to arrive, just for walking. The purpose is to be in the present moment and enjoy each step you make...... We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on (the) earth.' I self taught this technique to myself in my time of grief without knowing it was Buddhist so I would add; Take the time to touch the grass, stroke the moss, the tree bark and the water, seeing the beauty in each and recognizing that it is all alive and part of God and keep yourself awake and aware of this. 3. Sitting Meditation. As the author says, 'There are so many methods ......... In Buddhism it is said there are 84,000 Dharma doors for you to enter reality.' So I will mention the sitting meditation that I practice as I feel it is probably the safest form of meditation and in my opinion, least likely to lead to depersonalization or to mental problems, although according to some psychologists, no one who has had mental health problems should risk getting involved in meditation. Sit listening to, or counting your breaths as a way to gain discipline over your conscious thoughts. When you catch yourself thinking, just smile and return to listening to your breathing. 'We have to smile a lot in order to be able to meditate.'(Thich Nhat Hanh) With practice you will gain control and silence the chattering conscious mind and in this silence you will find a sense of peace. Now just sit peacefully in this silence but with a sense of awake anticipation and one day profound thoughts will rise unbidden to the surface of your mind like bubbles of oxygen in a lake and all the while the sense of peace will grow. Back to Thich Nhat Hanh; 'When we are in touch with our true mind, the source of understanding and compassion will spring out.' 'One smile, one breath (taken in awareness) should be for the benefit of the whole day, not just for that moment. We must remove the barrier between practice and non-practice.' If you want to understand Buddhism without getting lost in its intellectual knot tying 'Being Peace' is the book to start and finish with.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tanvika

    A treasure trove beyond any stars. Being peace is as the name suggests about creating a peaceful, caring, joyous,compassionate,humane individuals, society and world. A synopsis of the essential rubies in the chapter will be quite useful for the aspiring reader and practitioner: 1. 'suffering is enough ' Life has joys and sorrows. We look generally in a skewed manner to the dark. There is also a tendency to escape by TV , telephone etc.Thict suggests being present in the moment while drinking tea, A treasure trove beyond any stars. Being peace is as the name suggests about creating a peaceful, caring, joyous,compassionate,humane individuals, society and world. A synopsis of the essential rubies in the chapter will be quite useful for the aspiring reader and practitioner: 1. 'suffering is enough ' Life has joys and sorrows. We look generally in a skewed manner to the dark. There is also a tendency to escape by TV , telephone etc.Thict suggests being present in the moment while drinking tea, walking, breathing.smiling is also a quick remedy to restore peace and dissipate anxiety. 2. Three gems: An interesting analogy about the chaos in the world using metaphor of a small boat. Three gems: 1. Being awake as buddha. 2. Caring and understanding 3.living community( Sangha). When we understand, care and live in harmony ,we are entrusted as buddha like the seed entrusted in the earth. 3.feeling and perception: Our feelings like anger, pleasure etc fluctuate and move around.the mantra is being aware of our state and not creating the fallacious division of observer and the object. For eg.we are anger. Anger isn't a stranger to be shown the door or avoided. Perception is the way we see a given reality.often problems, conflicts arise due to faulty views. Eg.a man shouts at the empty boat, seeing the rope as snake etc. The key is direct perception free from our assumptions, prejudices etc. Abandoning solid knowledge and seeing things as water. 4. Heart of practice; Meditation doesn't mean leaving the world and going to a special place of peace. It is indeed deeper reintegration with world. As the individual is a made up of the non-individual things. The practice of meditation if done correctly, transforms the individual in everyday life. 5.working for peace: Are we causing disorder in world? By using lot of paper, consuming too much meat etc. It's a matter of awareness. Thich also talks about conflict situations between nations, individuals. The solution.doesnt lie in taking sides, but in understanding both sides.not to punish, but to reconciliate broken lives. 6.Interbeing: Means to be in one and one in many. Here he discusses 14 mindfulness training principles like keeping an open mind,awareness of suffering, living simply,c careful words, no killing etc 7.meditation in daily life: Have a breathing room in the house, where family can stop and again be aware while breathing. This treasure can make our minds and hearts golden if we listen, see and practice.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nshslibrary

    Everyday life is at times filled with stress, confusion, worrying and even suffering. People tend to live their lives in a rush; going for one place to another without ever truly noticing or appreciating the world around them. Thich Nhat Hanh’s book "Being Peace" is all about the importance of being in synch with the wonders of the world, living in the moment, and most of all the effect of being happy and at peace with oneself and how this affects the lives of the people around us. Thich Nhat Han Everyday life is at times filled with stress, confusion, worrying and even suffering. People tend to live their lives in a rush; going for one place to another without ever truly noticing or appreciating the world around them. Thich Nhat Hanh’s book "Being Peace" is all about the importance of being in synch with the wonders of the world, living in the moment, and most of all the effect of being happy and at peace with oneself and how this affects the lives of the people around us. Thich Nhat Hanh is Vietnamese Zen Buddhist master, poet, teacher, and peace activist. In the book, Hanh uses the philosophy behind Buddhism in order to explore the ideas behind living in happiness and how to achieve true peace. The book includes stories from the background of Buddhism and how the religion, and way of life, came about. He uses the history of the practice to further explain his theories and outlook on the world. Hanh also focuses a lot on personal stories and things that he has himself experienced with the world and what he has taken away from it. The way that the story is told, the use of experiences and personal belief, causes the reader to feel one with the author rather than being a outside listener. As Thich Nhat Hanh says in the book, “In order to understand something, you have to be one with that something” (p. 38). Although the book is about the religion, it was mostly focused on helping the reader understand what “being peace” truly signifies for themselves and the people around them. It stresses the importance of allowing happiness to be present in your life, and how to truly be present and not let moments slip away. I am not Buddhist, but for me it was still very interesting to learn about the peaceful way of life in the eyes of a Zen master, and what the religion means for him and other Buddhist people. Reading the book opened my eyes to the importance of truly living, and it gave me a perspective of the world in a way that I have never thought about before. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning about the philosophies behind Buddhism, or just simply the idea of the state of being at peace.~Student: Molly W.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Beautiful poem that has greatly impacted my own life: "Please Call Me By My True Names" Do not say that I'll depart tomorrow because even today I still arrive. Look deeply: I arrive in every second to be a bud on a spring branch, to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile, learning to sing in my new nest, to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower, to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone. I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry, in order to fear and to hope. The rhythm of my heart is the bir Beautiful poem that has greatly impacted my own life: "Please Call Me By My True Names" Do not say that I'll depart tomorrow because even today I still arrive. Look deeply: I arrive in every second to be a bud on a spring branch, to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile, learning to sing in my new nest, to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower, to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone. I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry, in order to fear and to hope. The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death of all that are alive. I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river, and I am the bird which, when spring comes, arrives in time to eat the mayfly. I am the frog swimming happily in the clear pond, and I am also the grass-snake who, approaching in silence, feeds itself on the frog. I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones, my legs as thin as bamboo sticks, and I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to Uganda. I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat, who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea pirate, and I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and loving. I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my hands, and I am the man who has to pay his "debt of blood" to, my people, dying slowly in a forced labor camp. My joy is like spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom in all walks of life. My pain if like a river of tears, so full it fills the four oceans. Please call me by my true names, so I can hear all my cries and laughs at once, so I can see that my joy and pain are one. Please call me by my true names, so I can wake up, and so the door of my heart can be left open, the door of compassion.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    Not as much of a favorite as Mindfulness in Plain English or Full Catastrophe Living, but still very good (and no doubt this is the direction those other books would take if they hadn't been so Westernized). This book is more what I would describe as an introduction to radical Buddhism. I agree with a lot of what Hanh says in terms of making mindfulness and loving compassion part of a daily practice that's not confined to a meditation space, and also what he says about the interconnectedness of Not as much of a favorite as Mindfulness in Plain English or Full Catastrophe Living, but still very good (and no doubt this is the direction those other books would take if they hadn't been so Westernized). This book is more what I would describe as an introduction to radical Buddhism. I agree with a lot of what Hanh says in terms of making mindfulness and loving compassion part of a daily practice that's not confined to a meditation space, and also what he says about the interconnectedness of living things. Where I struggle is in his attitude towards individuals or groups who the vast majority of observers would classify as aggressors. Hanh counsels identification with and understanding of adversaries - a very valuable and powerful notion, but it is this same fierce neutrality that would seem to abolish certain forms of culpability and retaliation. Like perhaps all religions, the world would be a far more harmonious place if absolutely everyone got on board with Buddhism, but that's not the reality we live in, and plenty of world leaders abuse their power to the detriment of their people. Another issue - truth becomes a fluid rather than a static thing with Hanh. The benefits of this are clear - a lack of stubbornness, a flexibility of mind - but then where's the end of a realization? Does it never come? We are never without a controversial moral debate in this country. Once as an individual you've reached a conclusion, if you accept that the moral truth of it is fluid, how do you legislate? All that said, Hanh is articulate, thoughtful, and thought-provoking. Will definitely check more out.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    What a beautiful, quiet, insightful and enlightening book. As soon as I finished this book I wanted to read it again immediately. I got so much out of it the first time through, and I have a feeling I will get more out of every re-read. I haven't read much about Buddhism, so I didn't start this book with a lot of preconceived notions or expectations. However, I did read this book in the middle of taking an extended yoga workshop, and reading about meditation really helped my yoga practice, and m What a beautiful, quiet, insightful and enlightening book. As soon as I finished this book I wanted to read it again immediately. I got so much out of it the first time through, and I have a feeling I will get more out of every re-read. I haven't read much about Buddhism, so I didn't start this book with a lot of preconceived notions or expectations. However, I did read this book in the middle of taking an extended yoga workshop, and reading about meditation really helped my yoga practice, and my yoga practice made me understand more about meditation. I certainly read this book at the right time for me, and cannot wait to read it again. This book is a collection of talks given by Thich Nhat Hahn in the 80s, and he speaks simply, beautifully, and with a knowledge and compassion that amazes. He makes meditation and Buddhism seem accessible, and easy to translate to everyday life. There should be more people in the world like Thich Nhat Hahn, and more people in the world trying to be peace.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laurie Buchanan

    I recommend it on my top-ten list of Peace resources. In order to achieve peace, we must be peace. This simple truth is the theme of this inspiring collection of lectures, given by Buddhist monk, scholar, poet and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh. If we are to change the world, he explains, we need to begin with ourselves, and awaken that eternal part of us where true peace resides - our own Buddha nature. His straight forward writing style helps a person to realise how easy this awakening can act I recommend it on my top-ten list of Peace resources. In order to achieve peace, we must be peace. This simple truth is the theme of this inspiring collection of lectures, given by Buddhist monk, scholar, poet and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh. If we are to change the world, he explains, we need to begin with ourselves, and awaken that eternal part of us where true peace resides - our own Buddha nature. His straight forward writing style helps a person to realise how easy this awakening can actually be. He explains that with inner peace as the guide and criterion for all of our actions, we transform our way of living into one genuinely capable of bringing lasting peace into a troubled world. The book also helps us with some basic understanding of Buddhism and meditation.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lon

    If the meek really do inherit the earth, many will owe their inheritance to the gentle teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh. Thay (as he's called by those who love him) lovingly reminds us not to make ourselves battlefields upon which we wage war against our own anger. Instead, we should recognize the anger as a manifestation of suffering. Be gentle with ourselves and let our own compassionate awareness of our feelings transform our anger into peace and acceptance. The beautiful flower and the compost that If the meek really do inherit the earth, many will owe their inheritance to the gentle teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh. Thay (as he's called by those who love him) lovingly reminds us not to make ourselves battlefields upon which we wage war against our own anger. Instead, we should recognize the anger as a manifestation of suffering. Be gentle with ourselves and let our own compassionate awareness of our feelings transform our anger into peace and acceptance. The beautiful flower and the compost that created it are are not two, but one. When we practice cultivating inner peace--and only when we cultivate inner peace--are we able to "wage" peace in our families, communities, and among nations.

  22. 4 out of 5

    David

    Thich Nhat Hanh's "Being Peace" is an excellent book. It contains a collection of teachings written by Nhat Hanh that cover typical Buddhist topics including (but not limited to) peace, consciousness, interbeing, meditation, love, understanding, and mindfulness. The wisdom found throughout the book has the potential to awaken readers that have an open mind. There is something about his writing style that makes for easy reading and his message seems to be absorbed subconsciously in my mind. Havin Thich Nhat Hanh's "Being Peace" is an excellent book. It contains a collection of teachings written by Nhat Hanh that cover typical Buddhist topics including (but not limited to) peace, consciousness, interbeing, meditation, love, understanding, and mindfulness. The wisdom found throughout the book has the potential to awaken readers that have an open mind. There is something about his writing style that makes for easy reading and his message seems to be absorbed subconsciously in my mind. Having read other books by Nhat Hanh, I am happy to continue learning from his teachings and look forward to exploring more of his works.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Karena

    Simply put, "let peace begin with me" and "let me begin with peace." I always find Thitch Nhat Hanh's writings to be simple, inspiring and refreshing. His messages are so powerful that they stay with me, and I find myself coming back to them or realizing them in my daily life. While he often references Buddhist teachings, his writings are about life, about love, about understanding. The teachings and stories transcend Buddhism and offer simple ways that everyone in the world can find peace in th Simply put, "let peace begin with me" and "let me begin with peace." I always find Thitch Nhat Hanh's writings to be simple, inspiring and refreshing. His messages are so powerful that they stay with me, and I find myself coming back to them or realizing them in my daily life. While he often references Buddhist teachings, his writings are about life, about love, about understanding. The teachings and stories transcend Buddhism and offer simple ways that everyone in the world can find peace in their daily life. And it's not hard, it doesn't take years - every day you can be peaceful.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    A great book! It's a collection of Thich Nhat Hanh's lectures that he gave to peaceworkers and meditation students during his tour of Buddhist centers in 1985. Among many things, he talks about walking meditation, sitting meditation, how our environment affects us and the manner in which we handle situations affects not only us, but those around us. Definitely a book that should be read several times throughout a lifetime...and should be given as a gift to others. A great book! It's a collection of Thich Nhat Hanh's lectures that he gave to peaceworkers and meditation students during his tour of Buddhist centers in 1985. Among many things, he talks about walking meditation, sitting meditation, how our environment affects us and the manner in which we handle situations affects not only us, but those around us. Definitely a book that should be read several times throughout a lifetime...and should be given as a gift to others.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Grace Sanchez

    This book is about the practice of mindfulness and meditation to help oneself be in the world with understanding and compassion for self and others. I first read it in 1988 and it is just as cogent and helpful today as ever.

  26. 5 out of 5

    TK421

    Peace: not a new concept. But, today, it does seem novel. Smile. Breathe. Be mindful. Repeat.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jenna Monaco

    A beautiful, easy to understand reminder of the road to peace and what we can do to get there. Would recommend to anyone.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Aryeh

    I read this book years ago when I took a grad school class on Buddhist meditation practices. I liked it then. I liked it even more this time around, 15 years later. Thich Nhat Hanh is often quoted, because he's pithy and truly excellent as a teacher. However, in larger doses...he's even better. I'm coming to this book as a traditionally observant Jewish yeshivah/rabbinical student. I think, along with Thomas Merton and several other teachers from a variety of religions, that Thich Nhat Hanh's te I read this book years ago when I took a grad school class on Buddhist meditation practices. I liked it then. I liked it even more this time around, 15 years later. Thich Nhat Hanh is often quoted, because he's pithy and truly excellent as a teacher. However, in larger doses...he's even better. I'm coming to this book as a traditionally observant Jewish yeshivah/rabbinical student. I think, along with Thomas Merton and several other teachers from a variety of religions, that Thich Nhat Hanh's teachings have 'what to teach' about the nature of life, communal connection, and useful mindsets, for searchers of truth whether secular or religious. Recommended.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lorraine

    His books when I purchase them, find a special place on my personal bookshelves for a lifetime. I find his words of wisdom bring me inner peace and serenity which I can read over and over. I found his words in this book particularly healing and guiding as we here in the US go through such a turbulent time of fear, anger, hostility, and violence. How do we find compassion within ourselves, how do we find compassion within another, how do we create the bridge of resolution. These are some of the q His books when I purchase them, find a special place on my personal bookshelves for a lifetime. I find his words of wisdom bring me inner peace and serenity which I can read over and over. I found his words in this book particularly healing and guiding as we here in the US go through such a turbulent time of fear, anger, hostility, and violence. How do we find compassion within ourselves, how do we find compassion within another, how do we create the bridge of resolution. These are some of the questions he helps us to explore. Fantastic read. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Stars

  30. 4 out of 5

    Eileen

    3.5 stars (liked it)

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