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The Pocket Thich Nhat Hanh (Shambhala Pocket Classics)

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This is a collection of powerful and inspiring teachings from one of today's most important and beloved spiritual teachers, the Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh. Next to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh is the best-known Buddhist teacher in the world, and his teachings have touched millions. Thich Nhat Hanh is known for his warm, generous, and joyful teaching This is a collection of powerful and inspiring teachings from one of today's most important and beloved spiritual teachers, the Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh. Next to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh is the best-known Buddhist teacher in the world, and his teachings have touched millions. Thich Nhat Hanh is known for his warm, generous, and joyful teaching style that makes his wisdom remarkably accessible and resonant to readers from all backgrounds. These selected writings are drawn from Thich Nhat Hanh's many published works and provide a wonderful overview of his teachings. This reader covers the main themes that Thich Nhat Hanh has addressed as a Buddhist teacher: mindfulness in our daily lives, Buddhism and enlightenment, working with emotions and relationships, and transforming society (engaged Buddhism).


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This is a collection of powerful and inspiring teachings from one of today's most important and beloved spiritual teachers, the Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh. Next to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh is the best-known Buddhist teacher in the world, and his teachings have touched millions. Thich Nhat Hanh is known for his warm, generous, and joyful teaching This is a collection of powerful and inspiring teachings from one of today's most important and beloved spiritual teachers, the Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh. Next to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh is the best-known Buddhist teacher in the world, and his teachings have touched millions. Thich Nhat Hanh is known for his warm, generous, and joyful teaching style that makes his wisdom remarkably accessible and resonant to readers from all backgrounds. These selected writings are drawn from Thich Nhat Hanh's many published works and provide a wonderful overview of his teachings. This reader covers the main themes that Thich Nhat Hanh has addressed as a Buddhist teacher: mindfulness in our daily lives, Buddhism and enlightenment, working with emotions and relationships, and transforming society (engaged Buddhism).

30 review for The Pocket Thich Nhat Hanh (Shambhala Pocket Classics)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    Maybe, like me, you've taken a glance at the Thich Nhat Hanh shelf (bowing under the weight of its enlightenment) at the bookstore. And maybe you've been overwhelmed by the question of which one to choose. The Pocket Thich Nhat Hanh, turns out, is a Reader's Digest Abridged (or Buddhism for Dummies, maybe) way to cheat. You get excerpts---all two to three pages---from all of the venerated Vietnamese monk's books (or at least a whole bunch of them). Editor Melvin McLeod chose to divide the book in Maybe, like me, you've taken a glance at the Thich Nhat Hanh shelf (bowing under the weight of its enlightenment) at the bookstore. And maybe you've been overwhelmed by the question of which one to choose. The Pocket Thich Nhat Hanh, turns out, is a Reader's Digest Abridged (or Buddhism for Dummies, maybe) way to cheat. You get excerpts---all two to three pages---from all of the venerated Vietnamese monk's books (or at least a whole bunch of them). Editor Melvin McLeod chose to divide the book into four sections: Mindfulness, Enlightenment, Emotions and Relationships, and Peace. Thus, all of his excerpts fit nicely under these categories. Can you judge a book AS a book when it is set up like this? I suppose, but I'd rather just compliment it as an overview, knowing some will find it perfect and others dissatisfying for that exact reason. Definitely, the "expressionism" of these small bursts go from colorful dots to a fuller picture as you read. You begin to put together Thich Nhat Hanh's world view as seen through the lens of Buddhism. Me, I'll keep it for occasional pep talks. Some of these spoke to me with greater meaning, in other words, and when I feel my good friend anger coming on, I might need a rereading of a certain part or two. Anger = Bad, don't you know. Very bad.

  2. 5 out of 5

    One

    Loved, loved, loved this book! I love how it is so concise, yet contains so much insight and direction. This book takes the some of the best messages that he has shared and puts them into one easy to read book. This should be required reading for every person on the planet. The information is just that good and can be used for spreading peace, compassion, and in creating a better world. Two thumbs way up! I also found many wonderful quotes in this book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I keep this book in my purse. This is the best primer on mindfulness I’ve ever read. This book will allow me to lead a happier, more fulfilled life. I will read and reread it for years to come.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Iona Stewart

    This is a wonderful book, as are all this master’s books. It is a tiny book, which is not very practical for reading, but then again it is really a practical size to put in your pocket and carry around with you. There are four sections – mindfulness, enlightenment, emotions and relationships, and peace. The author informs us of the importance of resting . When we do sitting or walking meditation we should be resting. “The Buddha said, ‘My practice is the practice of non-practice.’” Sitting is for the This is a wonderful book, as are all this master’s books. It is a tiny book, which is not very practical for reading, but then again it is really a practical size to put in your pocket and carry around with you. There are four sections – mindfulness, enlightenment, emotions and relationships, and peace. The author informs us of the importance of resting . When we do sitting or walking meditation we should be resting. “The Buddha said, ‘My practice is the practice of non-practice.’” Sitting is for the pleasure of sitting, walking is for the pleasure of walking, and eating is for the pleasure of eating. We need to be 100 percent present in every moment of our daily life – this is mindfulness and is the essence of true Buddhist meditation. “Breathing in, repeat in the here, in the here, Breathing out – in the now, in the now.” “You allow yourself to rest, to heal, to calm.” “We all have the ability to walk in the kingdom of God, to walk in the Pure Land of Buddha every day.” The Kingdom of God is a reality that can be touched in everyday life. “With one mindful step, you touch the Kingdom of God.” As you breathe in, you can say to yourself “Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in”. As you breathe out, you can say “Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out”. After a minute of breathing mindfully, the quality of your breathing improves – it becomes calmer and longer. Walking is an important form of Buddhist meditation. “There is a Buddha in every one of us, and we should allow the Buddha to walk,” Becoming a Buddha is not difficult. A Buddha is someone who is enlightened, capable of loving and forgiving. “When you sit, allow the Buddha in you to sit, When you walk, allow the Buddha in you to walk.” We can stop our fear, despair, anger and craving by practicing mindful breathing, mindful talking, mindful smiling, and deep looking. “When we are mindful --- the fruits are always understanding, acceptance, love, and the desire to relieve suffering and bring joy.” Our habit energies are often stronger than our volition. We say and do things we don’t want to and afterwards we regret it. But if we just smile to our habit energy, it will lose much of its strength. Every day and every hour we should practice mindfulness. But this is not easy in practice. Therefore we should set aside one day a week to devote to the practice of mindfulness. Remember to maintain a half-smile. The Buddha said “I teach only suffering and the transformation of suffering.” “Without suffering, you cannot grow. Without suffering, you cannot get the peace and joy you deserve.” You must embrace and cherish your suffering and look deeply into it. Our suffering can show us the path to liberation and reveal the way to peace. There is nothing to attain. Our purpose is to be ourselves. “Just be. Just being in the moment in this place is the deepest practice of meditation.” The author tells us that we should practice aimlessness for just five minutes and see how happy we are during these five minutes. The above will give you an idea of the wisdom this inspiring, simply expressed little book contains.. Just by beginning to read it, you will start to practice mindfulness. Now I will order yet another book by Thich Nhat Hanh, since continually reading his works reminds me to be mindful and encourages me to be “aimless”. I highly recommend that you purchase this book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nguyễn Thuỳ Linh

    The second book from Master after Neo ve cua y. Step by step I learnt from his lessons and absorb his ideas. This book is written in different short sections, so short that I feel really comfortable reading it. I learnt a lot of how to be mindful and live each moment of my life as it should be. Carpe diem? Live life to the fullest, for each moment.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kenzie

    Martin Luther King Jr. nominated him for a Nobel Peace Prize. And I can see (read) why. Learning Buddhist principles on living how to live a meditative, peaceful, joyful life. Dealing with anger and anxiety. Practical exercises make this book another must have.

  7. 4 out of 5

    S.q. Ng

    One of those books you pick up when you're down in the dumps, experienced a trauma, trying to get yourself out of it. Love how concisely this was written and it definitely had the ability to pierce through my mind's fog to get me back to mindfulness. Another good reminder kind of books. One of those books you pick up when you're down in the dumps, experienced a trauma, trying to get yourself out of it. Love how concisely this was written and it definitely had the ability to pierce through my mind's fog to get me back to mindfulness. Another good reminder kind of books.

  8. 5 out of 5

    James

    I had heard from friends of Thich Nhat Hanh, about his life story being exiled from Vietnam and his teachings on Buddhism. I had been interested in Buddhism and mindfulness and thought this would be a great introduction, it was. I read this book a chapter or two a day, interspersed with my other readings/books. Most chapters were 1-2 pages, so it was very easy to fit in. Which is probably good, since the messages themselves are rather deep on an intellectual or spiritual level. This book is a ser I had heard from friends of Thich Nhat Hanh, about his life story being exiled from Vietnam and his teachings on Buddhism. I had been interested in Buddhism and mindfulness and thought this would be a great introduction, it was. I read this book a chapter or two a day, interspersed with my other readings/books. Most chapters were 1-2 pages, so it was very easy to fit in. Which is probably good, since the messages themselves are rather deep on an intellectual or spiritual level. This book is a series of snippets of other books and teachings from the Buddhist monk. It touches lightly on various subjects, but does give a good sense of what Buddhism is and what mindfulness really is. If you have have been curious on either subject, i would recommend it as a plausible introduction. If anything it has some great words of wisdom on how to deal with internal conflict and be a little more at peace with yourself and others around you. While I am definitely not a converted Buddhist monk or Mindfulness guru after reading, I do feel a bit more 'enlightened'. Was definitely worth the read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    I've never read any of Thich Nhat Hanh's books before. It is full of wisdom and it details how to live a simple and happy life. In line with Buddhist teachings, it teaches of compassion, peace and enlightenment. There are some profound statements that when they hit you, they seem like the answers you need. I'll definitely be checking out more of his books. I've never read any of Thich Nhat Hanh's books before. It is full of wisdom and it details how to live a simple and happy life. In line with Buddhist teachings, it teaches of compassion, peace and enlightenment. There are some profound statements that when they hit you, they seem like the answers you need. I'll definitely be checking out more of his books.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    "By living your life, by producing works of art, you contribute to the work of the collective awakening of our people. A bodhisattva is someone who is awake, mindful, and motivated by a desire to help others to wake up. The artist, the actor, the film-maker, the novelist may be inspired by a desire to become a bodhisattva, helping with the awakening of the people, helping them to touch the seed of joy, of peace, of happiness in themselves, helping them to remove and transform the seeds of discri "By living your life, by producing works of art, you contribute to the work of the collective awakening of our people. A bodhisattva is someone who is awake, mindful, and motivated by a desire to help others to wake up. The artist, the actor, the film-maker, the novelist may be inspired by a desire to become a bodhisattva, helping with the awakening of the people, helping them to touch the seed of joy, of peace, of happiness in themselves, helping them to remove and transform the seeds of discrimination and fear and craving. The artist can do all this. If you are motivated by that desire, you will have so much joy and energy that fame and power will not appeal to you anymore. Nothing can be compared with that kind of joy, knowing that your life on earth is beautiful and is helpful."

  11. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    Simple. Direct. Peace is every step.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Laurel Johanson

    Beautiful words of wisdom from one of the world's greatest spiritual leaders. Thich Nhat Hanh is probably one of the wisest people to have ever graced the Earth. The Pocket serves as a testament to that. Virtually every page is filled with insights so accessible that you don't need to be a Buddhist or even religious (I'm not) to appreciate. The book's wide range of topics include mindfulness, death, peace, fear, love, and relationships. Here are a few examples: "If you are a poet, you will see cl Beautiful words of wisdom from one of the world's greatest spiritual leaders. Thich Nhat Hanh is probably one of the wisest people to have ever graced the Earth. The Pocket serves as a testament to that. Virtually every page is filled with insights so accessible that you don't need to be a Buddhist or even religious (I'm not) to appreciate. The book's wide range of topics include mindfulness, death, peace, fear, love, and relationships. Here are a few examples: "If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist." "Our painful feelings are not other than ourselves, or to put it more precisely, they are a part of us. To deny them is to deny our very selves. To smile to our pain is the wisest, the most intelligent, the most beautiful thing we can do." "The daily wars that occur within our thoughts and within our families have everything to do with the wars fought between peoples and nations throughout the world. The conviction that we know the truth and that those who do not share our beliefs are wrong has caused a lot of harm." The words that Thich Nhat Hanh shares feel like common sense, but are nonetheless refreshing and enlightening to read on the page. If you're like me and you're caught up with worries about the world's current political climate, please consider picking up anything written by Thich Nhat Hanh. The man lived through the Vietnam war and was exiled from his home country of Vietnam for 30 years for his views. He is the epitome of quiet strength and something the world needs a lot more of these days. This book is full of beautiful words like the ones above and reading it always has a calming effect on me.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Barry Clark

    Love this book. For me, Thich Nhat Hanh writes about Zen Buddhism perfectly. In this book he uses precisely the right words, with precisely the right tone, with just the right balance of connecting practically with modern western life. I’ve been looking for a concise, powerful, and snackable book on mindfulness applied to everyday life to revisit frequently. This hits that need. It’s split in to small segments, each one roughly 2 minutes to read and addressing a specific point. With segments group Love this book. For me, Thich Nhat Hanh writes about Zen Buddhism perfectly. In this book he uses precisely the right words, with precisely the right tone, with just the right balance of connecting practically with modern western life. I’ve been looking for a concise, powerful, and snackable book on mindfulness applied to everyday life to revisit frequently. This hits that need. It’s split in to small segments, each one roughly 2 minutes to read and addressing a specific point. With segments grouped together into likeminded sections. Perfect for dipping into for 5 mins. The back of the book references which of his books the segments came from, making this book a highly accessible jumping off point to more of his writing. I highlighted roughly half of the passages in the book on Kindle, which is ridiculous. My favorite sections were the initial basic section on Mindfulness, and the one on Emotions and Relationships.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Foote-Blackman

    I always like to keep a small pocket reader of some kind in my purse for those moments when you're stuck at the muffler service or in a doctor's waiting room, and as a passionate admirer of Thich Nhat Hanh this seemed a natural. So I have carried it off and on with me at different times, delving into it for a few minutes at a time. So it has literally taken me years to finish reading it. This pocket edition is a fine little book for the beginner, offering much earnest and loving advice, but somet I always like to keep a small pocket reader of some kind in my purse for those moments when you're stuck at the muffler service or in a doctor's waiting room, and as a passionate admirer of Thich Nhat Hanh this seemed a natural. So I have carried it off and on with me at different times, delving into it for a few minutes at a time. So it has literally taken me years to finish reading it. This pocket edition is a fine little book for the beginner, offering much earnest and loving advice, but sometimes comes across as a tad categorical and simplistic in dealing with life's issues, human relations and spiritual concerns. If size doesn't matter to you, Thich Nhat Hanh has written other weightier texts, in all senses of the word. One of the best is No Mud, No Lotus.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Elisabeth

    My copy was less than 200pgs. This is a great read that more elegantly identifies and expresses thoughts I have been having, myself, for quite a long time. There is so much to think about on each page. I read the whole book to get an overview of what it contains in the separate sections, but this is a book you will have to revisit to read each excerpt individually and give yourself time to ponder it. It will enrich your life and help you refocus yourself towards your full potential. I am not Bud My copy was less than 200pgs. This is a great read that more elegantly identifies and expresses thoughts I have been having, myself, for quite a long time. There is so much to think about on each page. I read the whole book to get an overview of what it contains in the separate sections, but this is a book you will have to revisit to read each excerpt individually and give yourself time to ponder it. It will enrich your life and help you refocus yourself towards your full potential. I am not Buddhist or interested in Buddhism but the material is universal, although it does describe some things in the context of Buddhism it is not required to follow Buddhism.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tere

    It has really helped drive home the concept of mindfulness and nonself. Some popular stories that I believe come from suttas are explained much better than the other sources I have encountered. It presents a great foundation for these core concepts. Given there are 70 books by this author start with this summary of his work, so that you can get started. Not excessively deep, but still deep. Don’t judge it through quotes, because they can be confusing without his explanations. Let the two page ch It has really helped drive home the concept of mindfulness and nonself. Some popular stories that I believe come from suttas are explained much better than the other sources I have encountered. It presents a great foundation for these core concepts. Given there are 70 books by this author start with this summary of his work, so that you can get started. Not excessively deep, but still deep. Don’t judge it through quotes, because they can be confusing without his explanations. Let the two page chapters on mindfulness influence your practice and the ones on nonself influence your perception of the world.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Thoma

    First of all, this is the perfect size to fit into my purse when most standard sized books won't. Great subway read when you have only a few stops. A little preachy at times, but overall great nuggets o' wisdom! Like: - if you accept non-permanence, you must accept non-self, they are the same - there is no birth or death, only manifestation and hiding. This second thought alleviates suffering. - the true nature of love is unborn and undying - deep understanding makes for deep love. if you claim to de First of all, this is the perfect size to fit into my purse when most standard sized books won't. Great subway read when you have only a few stops. A little preachy at times, but overall great nuggets o' wisdom! Like: - if you accept non-permanence, you must accept non-self, they are the same - there is no birth or death, only manifestation and hiding. This second thought alleviates suffering. - the true nature of love is unborn and undying - deep understanding makes for deep love. if you claim to deeply love someone and don't understand them, start asking questions and listening. - inner peace brings outer peace

  18. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Thorpe

    This book has a lot of nice quotes & statements inside that are all there to make our lives more mindfully. The book consists of many different small topic in life and puts the Buddhist perspective to it. In the end it’s all about being mindful and understanding that everything is interrelated (Cause & Effect) and that thus we should only spread the positive things, so we get the positive things back.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Hiroko Ortiz

    This book gives me a broad view and understanding of Thich Nhat Hanh' teaching yet it contains many good pieces of info in this tiny book. I have many parts that are highlighted and notes of my own. I love the sources section in the back so I can get the original book where the teaching comes from to expand my understanding. This is one of those books that I will keep going back to especially when I want a quick refreshers. This book gives me a broad view and understanding of Thich Nhat Hanh' teaching yet it contains many good pieces of info in this tiny book. I have many parts that are highlighted and notes of my own. I love the sources section in the back so I can get the original book where the teaching comes from to expand my understanding. This is one of those books that I will keep going back to especially when I want a quick refreshers.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jake

    A book of selected aphorisms from his broader work. Because of that, there isn't a strong narrative thread or logical structure so paging through, selecting is okay. Each aphorism, though, is powerful and stands on it's own. Great for all levels of experience with mindfulness and Buddhist teachings as they have layers and are for pondering. A book of selected aphorisms from his broader work. Because of that, there isn't a strong narrative thread or logical structure so paging through, selecting is okay. Each aphorism, though, is powerful and stands on it's own. Great for all levels of experience with mindfulness and Buddhist teachings as they have layers and are for pondering.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Pajtim Ademi

    Really appreciate this great thinker. His teachings are profound yet presented in a very easy, clear manner. Most highly recommend this as well as all his other writings because of the healthy empowerment and illumination Thich Nhat Hanh always provides. A wonderful intro to mindfulness and Thich Nhat Hanh's philosophy. Just awesome! Really appreciate this great thinker. His teachings are profound yet presented in a very easy, clear manner. Most highly recommend this as well as all his other writings because of the healthy empowerment and illumination Thich Nhat Hanh always provides. A wonderful intro to mindfulness and Thich Nhat Hanh's philosophy. Just awesome!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    Wonderful collection of chapters from Thich Nhat Hanh from his many books. The chapters were simple and concrete in their meanings though sometimes very similar. Still a good start for someone to go find his other work.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Polina

    This book is so inspiring. Unlike other books about Buddhism it says how to apply mindfulness in your normal everyday life, how to be happy and enjoy what you do ( you don’t have to become a monk to do it)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    It is such a beautiful and deep book. The concept of interbeing is so amazing. I was also truly shaken by the idea that the book i was holding is actually a representation of the whole universe and its history. Wow! What a book!

  25. 4 out of 5

    nicholas

    Highly recommended The pocket puts items in our everyday life into perspective. I have deep respect and love for Buddhism and this book is a good summary of the teachings as well as the practices

  26. 5 out of 5

    Charles Horch

    Covers Buddhist, Christian Mysticism, Spirituality. Explains the "Skillfull Means" used in Buddhism clearing up Misconceptions about Permanence/Impermanence in the 4 Noble Truths. The real Immortality of Jesus and some of what Scientists said about Mysticism, Science & Immortality Covers Buddhist, Christian Mysticism, Spirituality. Explains the "Skillfull Means" used in Buddhism clearing up Misconceptions about Permanence/Impermanence in the 4 Noble Truths. The real Immortality of Jesus and some of what Scientists said about Mysticism, Science & Immortality

  27. 4 out of 5

    Silvio

    God how I LOVED this little book. The most concise yet profound wisdom for life (and beyond) I have ever seen in a book. If there's just one book to read, it's this one. Everyone should have a copy in their pocket. God how I LOVED this little book. The most concise yet profound wisdom for life (and beyond) I have ever seen in a book. If there's just one book to read, it's this one. Everyone should have a copy in their pocket.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Emily Meacham

    There are some wonderful thoughts and ideas in this book -- my only criticism is some of them seem a little too trivial for the current state (pandemic) that we are in. However, overall it was a refreshing look at changing your mindset through mindfulness.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ron

    A great introduction for someone interested in practicing mindfulness. Read this book 9 years ago but refer to it occasionally to get away from my self/mind and be in the now... I read this book before I read many of Eckart Tolle's more famous works. This is a classic. A great introduction for someone interested in practicing mindfulness. Read this book 9 years ago but refer to it occasionally to get away from my self/mind and be in the now... I read this book before I read many of Eckart Tolle's more famous works. This is a classic.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Karen Aderer

    This is one of the most worthwhile books I have ever read. Broken down into 1-3 page essays, this is perfect for starting every morning off with some mindfulness and positivity. I marked this book up from front to back and will come back to it again and again.

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