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Being Peace
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Being Peace [Paperback]

by Thich Nhat Hanh, Arnold Kotler, Mayumi Oda
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 1988
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.

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This collection of teachings by noted Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh will be eagerly read by those concerned about world peace. Rev. Thich claims that world peace starts with the individual's acquiring inner peace. He challenges the reader in warm and anecdotal dialogues:"Have we wasted our hours and days? Are we wasting our lives? . . . Practicing Buddhism is to be alive to each moment." Meditation, says the author, is not an escape from the difficult present but an active form of service to society, directing us to understanding and compassion toward all suffering humanity. The author terms this "engaged Buddhism." Free of jargon and eminently practical, this wise and joyous book celebrates the spirituality inherent in daily life. For academic and public libraries. Alphonse Vinh, Yale Univ. Lib.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.


At sixty-two poet, author, and Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh is the perfect embodiment of his teachings of sociallyengaged Buddhism. For the past two decades, exemplifying the Buddhist principles of compassion and reconciliation, he has lived and taught primarily in France and America. two wealthy, powerful countries that did their best to destroy his homeland, Vietnam. Being Peace is a jewel of love and wisdom, a mirror reflecting our own happy Buddhahood, as Hanh always points out, and it is a recognition that will inspire everyone, regardless of previous religious persuasion, with the unexpected joy of smiling. Hanh reminds us of the fundamental importance for the world of just one person smiling, breathing, and being peaceand this is empowering. Yet with that distinct Buddhist love for paradox, in the next breath Hanh dissolves our sense of privileged separateness. Engaged Buddhism means we recognize the inextricable interconnectedness of everyone, or in Buddhist parlance, the endless chain of codependent origination. Clouds, water, sunlight, trees, the logger's labor, his breakfast bread"everything is in this sheet of paper." This is the context for meditation, says Hanh, such that when an individual enters the meditation hall, she brings all of society. We meditate the world and we breathe, smile, and be peace for the enlightenment of everyone, for the clarity of everybody's thoughts, feelings, and attitudes. The apparent membrane separating us is very permeable, and the responsibility significant because the Buddha takes refuge in us. Without us, the Buddha isn't real at all, says Hank and Buddhanature goes disembodied. The embodied Buddha is the quintessence of the practice, and we can all be Buddhas because in mundane acts we engage the Buddha in daily life and, from this simple rooting of clarity and mindfulness in the quotidian, we begin to transform the world. With this synoptic, almost holographic, frarnework~ says Hanh, we next understand the Dharma, or basic teaching, is ubiquitous, spoken in manifold tongues. For more than twenty years Hanh has engaged his Buddha nature in the world for our edificaion. He breathed and smiled during wartime Vietnam, when he was chairman of the Vietnamese Buddhist Peace Delegation., when he founded the Tiep Hien (Interbeing) Order of Buddhism and when he wrote his sixty-six books in Vietnamese, French, and English. His gentle, profound and persuasively true example is flawlessly transmitted in this indefatigably optimistic book, enhanced by the line drawings of Mayumi Oda. -- From Independent Publisher

Product Details

  • Paperback: 115 pages
  • Publisher: Parallax Press (March 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0938077007
  • ISBN-13: 978-0938077008
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #670,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A force of calm envelops October 15, 2003
A collection of essays, based in some part (perhaps completely) on speeches made in the United States, Thich Nhat Hahn's *Being Peace* serves as a guide to meditation; a glimpse into how Buddhism can help attain world peace; a collection of poems and allegories on Buddhism that are easily understood by Westerners, yet not overly-simplified; and a portrait of a man whose sense of calm is so powerful it has the inevitable effect of bringing peace to the reader. *Being Peace* is neither a practical guide to meditation - with precise explainations on how to sit, koans to recite during sitting, etc. - nor a theoretical justification of Buddhism, a la Alan Watts; instead, it is a book that gives real-life, meaningful reasons to meditate: both to bring peace to yourself, and to the world (which are, in fact, one and the same).
The concepts are not new - in fact they are thousands of years old. What is new is the sense of attainability that *Being Peace* brings to the art of meditation, particularly for those of us who live in not-so-meditative environments.
The volume is slim and easily read in one sitting, but it might serve you better to take time with each concept.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and very touching October 29, 1998
By A Customer
This is a book to live by. T.N.Hanh expresses his ideas simply and directly. Even as a buddhist of some experience and knowledge in buddhism philosophy, I found this book refreshing and a joy to read. Sometimes, I find myself reading a few lines, and sighed, and then read the same lines again. Other times, I read and nod in agreement. This is definitely a book for both experienced Buddhism and those who are totally new to Buddhism. The Little Enlightenment that you will gain from this book, will change the way you live your life, and the way you view relationships with others. BEING PEACE, begins with you!
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On my bedside table March 6, 2001
I will always be grateful to Thich Nhat Hanh for _Being Peace_. It is kept on my bedside table so that I can pick it up and read it whenever I need some perspective. The beautiful simplicity of his writing makes the author's message so strong. There are many wonderful books on Buddhist thought that provide more detail, but I find this one the best at reminding me that happiness is not a matter of luck, but a matter of practice.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great reading for beginners in Buddhism July 3, 2004
I was looking for Buddhist writings that were down to earth and relevant to modern Western lifestyle. Being Peace and Touching Peace are just that. They are simple, approachable, and meaningful. I was instantly able to apply what I learned and my practice is better for it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential early TNH. April 30, 2006
Let me start by saying I have deep respect for Thich Nhat Hanh and don't begrudge him the profits from any of his vast number of books. That said some of his later work is pretty watered down and comes of as hippy-dippy.

This book is just the opposite. Having read Anger and Teachings On Love I was really looking for something that got to the core of the man's teachings and this book does without wasting ink or time.

If you're interested in mindfulness this is the volume for you.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best ever March 10, 2004
By jani
Being Peace is a beautiful book that will open your eyes and your heart. Nhat Hanh was an important leader for the Peace movement, and through this collection of essays it is easy to see why. He takes the reader through basic concepts of mindfulness practice, and then relates practice to the way one lives in the world. His concept of InterBeing helped me to see the connectedness in the the world, in a way that applies to my own life and way of living. The book also shares very concrete suggestions for using meditation and awareness to improve life in the modern world. Mindfulness is portrayed as not just a way to relieve stress or feel better, but also to affect change in the crazy world we now live in. If we could all read this book and try to live its lessons, what an amazing world this could be!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thich Nhat Hanh's "Being Peace" Is Peaceful Indeed July 23, 2002
This book is indeed a legend in the Buddhist community. This was the 3rd book I read of Thich Nhat Hanh and I was very moved. The book is wonderful, you learn how to breathe away anger and develop mindfulness. You learn how kindness changes your heart and your mind at the same time. I recommend this book to anyone and I suggest reading it many times. You WILL be transformed from this book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of Wisdoms November 9, 2006
By David C
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A wonderful little book, cram-packed with wisdom about how to live more happily, put in such a simple and refreshing way. Note that 'Peace is Every Step' is almost the same book, but I think is modernised a bit further, so I prefer the latter. This is a book that you can read over and over again - every reading you pick up something new.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous
The great etching of peacefully carefully explain in the most beautiful words, and so relaxing to read, good book to introduce to a busy life.
Published 29 days ago by I Made Budiartha
5.0 out of 5 stars Lasting impact
This book was one of the first "self-help" - type books I ever purchased. It is both informative and instructional, giving information on calmness interspersed with... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Eleventh Hour
2.0 out of 5 stars Sounded muffled
The recording probably wasn't the best - it was muffled and I had some difficulty catching what was said. Read more
Published 2 months ago by C. Neo
5.0 out of 5 stars Embracing peaceful living
On my list of "life changing" books! Easy to read over and over. Not just a book explaining theory, but a how to book about expanding awareness and embracing the experience... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Susan Haugh
4.0 out of 5 stars Working For, Sharing, and Being Peace
Opening a book by Thich Nhat Hanh, one expects to find wisdom and guidance regarding practices like breathing, meditation, and mindfulness; and they are in this book. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jim in NC
5.0 out of 5 stars Bringing peace into your life
For a book about meditation this is one of the best books I have read. It is used in combination with a meditation program that is great
Published 4 months ago by gma@19
5.0 out of 5 stars One of his best books!
This book really helped me live a more peaceful life. His other books are good too but this one really stood out for me. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jason Linder
4.0 out of 5 stars Being Peace
I bought this book for my daughter. She enjoys it very much and refers to it on a regular basis. I think it is a good read.
Published 6 months ago by Johnnyloans
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I bought this for a friend who is seeking a deeper spiritual foundation for her life. I've had a personal copy for years and found great wisdom for humanity expressed by the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by D.M.
5.0 out of 5 stars You become peaceful after reading it!
I love almost all the books written by Thich Nhat Hanh and I guess this is one of the best. I would like to recommend this book for those who are working towards peace in conflict... Read more
Published 6 months ago by YKF
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