This is a wonderful book by Thich Nhat Hanh. His perception of Buddhism and Christianity is correct. I really like your philosophy regarding religion, belief recognition and belief integration. Living Buddha, Living Christ, comes to life as you read these great words on its pages. One is able to feel the “spirit” or, in other words, the “breath” flowing in a natural way while being attentive to the words being read.
This amazing book has ten chapters and a wonderful glossary of terms at the end. However, a great deal of vital information would be lost if the Introduction it is not read. Listen to these words found in the introduction on knowing yourself:
“So while you accompany me, although you still don’t understand it, you have already come to know, and they will call you ‘the one who knows himself.’ Because he who has not known himself knows nothing, but he who has known himself has already understood the depth of all things. “
This is such an amazing start to a book of this nature and for one to read and understand the concepts and principles that are presented.
Chapter one addresses the lessons regarding Stand still and know. The section on “Interaction” says:
“In the Psalms, he says, ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ “To be still” means to become peaceful and focused. The Buddhist term is samatha (stop, calm down, concentrate). “Know” means to acquire wisdom, insight, or understanding. The Buddhist term is vipasyana (insight or deep gaze). ‘To look deeply’ means to observe something or someone with such concentration that the distinction between observer and observed disappears. “
Naturally, you can see that this text doesn’t just explain things progressively. It is also based on teaching the basic foundations for understanding.
Chapter Three Covers The First Supper. As we eat, we must realize that our food is a gift from God and we must be thankful for each meal. Hanh affirms: “To eat a piece of bread or a plate of rice with attention and see that each bite is a gift from the whole universe is to live deeply.” This is really a religious experience for many and it is like when the priest hands over the body of Christ to the communicants.
This amazing book is filled with wonderful words for the mind, body, and soul. Chapter Ten on Faith and practice it will move the mind to another level of realization. Meditate for a while on these words from Hahn:
“Living the Dharma is the path embedded by Buddha, bodhisattvas and all who practice it … ‘The Sangha is composed of the four pairs and the eight types that are worthy of offering, hospitality, gifts and greetings, unsurpassed fields of merit in the world ‘. All Buddhists practice taking refuge in the Three Jewels: Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. Doing so brings a feeling of calm, solidarity, and comfort, and nurtures faith. “
These are simply wonderful uplifting words that enlighten the soul and allow for a greater understanding and understanding of who we are and where we are.
The text ends with the position of Real dialogue brings tolerance. Hanh’s words regarding “The fact that the absence of a true experience breeds intolerance and lack of understanding” are spot on. One really does not know the greatness that exists in another person where there is a lack of dialogue and understanding. When the ego enters the picture, a delusional state of consciousness is produced and all sense of reality is lost in a positive state of mind. Then you are blinded by the dust you have created.
One has to read this book to get the full picture and to become rooted in the beliefs articulated by Hanh. It is an incredible boom to read and meditate for a lifetime. The knowledge to be gained from this text is invaluable.
More information on Thich Nhat Hanh, the author, can be found at the following website: http://www.plumvillage.org/
Submitted by “Epulaeryu Master”.