book review: the pocket thich nhat hanh14 May 2021
What are the main ideas?
- the key to enlightment and ultimate freedom from suffering is being with everything as it is.
- duality, the belief in the lie of separateness, is one of the key causes of suffering. when you can see that everything in you is connected to everything in everyone and everything else, compassion is much more accessible.
- if you look carefully and with the “eyes”/mindset of full consciousness, it is clear that everything contains everything else. the entire universe can be found in a single sheet of paper.
- the buddha used suffering as a means to liberate himself; we have access to the same path.
- it is through our own suffering that we deepen our capacity to be compassionate to the suffering of others. when we ignore our suffering, it is easy to be harsh towards others.
- when someone is angry or causing harm to others, it is rooted in their own inability to tend to their suffering. this is a cause for compassion, not a response of more anger.
If I implemented one idea from this book right now, which one would it be?
“meditation is to be aware of what is going on.” it is not quieting the mind or paying attention to the breath. those are tactics to support awareness. there are many tactics/techniques. whatever the tactic, always remember that (at least in the zen tradition) the point is to make yourself aware of what is going on.
How would I describe the book to a friend?
a true gift to the world. this book is a compilation of passages from thich nhat hanh’s other books. this scan through his thoughts makes it apparent that is all comes from a place of deep, embodied wisdom. this wisdom is the well-developed fruit of years of practice and it is delicious fruit, indeed.
reminder: book review structure
words / writing / post-processing
304w / 11min / 3min