by Radio Paca
This is a wonderful book by Thich Nhat Hanh. His perception of Buddhism and Christianity is right on point. I really like his philosophy regarding, religion, recognition of faiths, and integration of faiths. Living Buddha, Living Christ, comes alive while reading these excellent words on its pages. One is able to feel the “spirit” or in other words the “breath” flowing in a natural manner while being mindful over the words being read.
This awesome book has ten chapters and a wonderful glossary of term at the end. However, one would miss a whole lot of vital information if the Introduction is not read. Listen to these words found in the introduction regarding knowing oneself:
“So while you accompany me, although you do not yet understand it, you have already come to know, and you will be called ‘the one who knows himself.’ For whoever has not known himself knows nothing, but he who has known himself has already understood the depth of all things.”
This is such an awesome beginning for a book of this nature and for one to read and understand the concepts and principles being presented.
Chapter One addresses the lessons regarding to Be Still And Know. The section on “Interbeing” states:
“In the Psalms, it says, ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ ‘Be still’ means to become peaceful and concentrated. The Buddhist term is samatha (stopping, calming, concentrating). ‘Know’ means to acquire wisdom, insight, or understanding. The Buddhist term is vipasyana (insight, or looking deeply). ‘Looking deeply’ means observing something or someone with so much concentration that the distinction between observer and observed disappears.”
Naturally, one is able to see that this text not only spells things out progressively. It is also based on teaching the basic foundation for understanding.
Chapter Three covers The First Supper. While we eat we must realize that our food is a gift from God and we must be thankful for every meal. Hanh states, “To eat a piece of bread or a bowl of rice mindfully and see that every morsel is a gift of the whole universe is to live deeply.” This is really a religious experience for many and is like unto the priest giving the body of Christ to communicants.
This awesome book is full of wonderful words for the mind, body and soul. Chapter Ten regarding Faith And Practice will move the mind to another level of realization. Meditate on these words for a while from Hahn:
“The living the Dharma is the way embedded by Buddha, bodhisattvas, and all who practice it…’The Sangha is comprised of the four pairs and the eight types who are worthy of offering, hospitality, gifts, and salutations, unsurpassable fields of merit in the world.’ All Buddhists practice taking refuge in the Three Jewels: Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. Doing so brings the feeling of calm, solidarity, and comfort, and nourishes faith.”
These are just wonderful word of upliftment that enlightens the soul and allows for greater understanding and realization 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 true experience brings forth intolerance and a lack of understanding” is right on point. One is truly unaware of the greatness that exists in another person where there is a lack of dialogue and understanding. When the ego comes into the picture, a delusionary state of consciousness take place and all sense of reality in a positive state of mind are lost. One is then blinded by the dust he or she has created.
One has to read this book to get the full picture and to become rooted in the faiths articulated by Hanh. It’s an awesome boom to read and meditate on for a lifetime. The knowledge to be gained from this text is invaluable.
One may obtain more information about Thich Nhat Hanh the author at the following website: http://www.plumvillage.org/
Submitted by “Epulaeryu Master.”Â
Joseph S. Spence, Sr., is the co-author of two poetry books, A Trilogy of Poetry, Prose and Thoughts for the Mind, Body and Soul, and Trilogy Moments for the Mind, Body and Soul. He invented the Epulaeryu poetry form, which focuses on succulent cuisines and drinks. He is published in various forums, including the World Haiku Association; Milwaukee Area Technical College, Phoenix Magazine; and Taj Mahal Review. Joseph is a Goodwill Ambassador for the state of Arkansas, USA, and is an adjunct faculty at Milwaukee Area Technical College. He has completed over twenty years of service with the U.S. Army.
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