This is a "can't stop reading" book. I have read Thich Nhat Hanh books before but this book is my favorite until now.Every page is filled with compelling teachings of buddhism and beauttiful thoughts. The book is a love story in which, Hanh basically combines the teachings of Buddah with the story of his first love. While reading this book you feel the love in the air and become totally happy. Don't believe me, find out for yourself.
I was deeply touched by this beautiful book. I have read many of Thich Nhat Hanh's books and have come to revere him as a wise and understanding spiritual teacher. In Cultivating the Mind of Love, he also shares his personal side, which really made him come to life for me. I admired his courage in talking about his own experience of falling in love, (which he readily admits monks are not supposed to do) to offer us a message about love. With his usual eloquence, Thay uses his own love story to explain how personal love can be transformed to service a greater love for all beings, or the true essence of the term bodhichitta, in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition. For those on the spiritual path, this book also offers great insights into the value of dharma, sangha and other Buddhist concepts. Romantics also will not be disappointed!
I am very taken with Thich Nhat Hanh, and will read anything he has written at least once. Some of his earlier works are a bit too academic for me, but the rest of his work talks directly to me, and has been very helpful in changing course in my life.
In this book Thay uses the experience of his first love to connect the broader concept of love to Buddhist practice through commentaries on the major sutras. It is a unique glimpse of the life of this kind and learned man, through the lens that matters most to him. As always, his language is clear, his teaching personal but universal. I usually read his books a paragraph, few pages, or chapter a day and let the commentaries baste; there is always something I can take and add to my own practice.
The chapters are drawn from a retreat at which Thay interspersed his own story of falling in love with a nun when he was a young monk with discussions of the Diamond, Lotus, Avatamsaka, Ugradatta, Vimalakirti, and other sutras. The love story was very poignant but it was the sutra discussions that really excited me. Thay delves into the historical background as well as the meaning of these wonderful source Buddhist texts. Reading this has inspired me to read the Avatamsaka (Flower Ornament) Sutra myself.