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Master Tang Hoi: First Zen Teacher in Vietnam and China Hardcover – February 1, 2002

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About the Author

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, poet, scholar, and human rights activist. He has been a professor at Columbia and the Sorbonne; founder of Saigon's Van Hanh Buddhist University; nominated by Martin Luther King, Jr. for 1967 Nobel Peace Prize; author of 100+ books, 40 in English, including Present Momen,t Wonderful Moment and Being Peace. He lives at Plum Village in France.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

"Tang Hôi says that when our aspiration to be awakened is strong, we do not need to force ourselves to concentrate or look deeply, we will quite naturally move in that direction. When we have a very deep desire, a great aspiration, we are like a scientist who wants to discover something very important. Our body and mind, as well as our daily life, all go in that direction."- Thich Nhat Hanh, from Master Tang Hôi
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Parallax Press (February 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1888375132
  • ISBN-13: 978-1888375138
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,281,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese monk, a renowned Zen master, a poet, and a peace activist. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize by Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1967, and is the author of many books, including the best-selling The Miracle of Mindfulness.

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By varmint on May 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I've read a lot of Thich Nhat Hanh's books and this is one of his weaker ones. It is of some historical interest, because it talks about the introduction of Buddhism to Vietnam. As a practitioner in TNH's tradition, I felt like it would be good to know some of this history. Based on the life of Master Tang Hoi, TNH argues that Buddhism was not introduced to China from India and then China to Vietnam, as is generally supposed. Rather, Buddhism was introduced to Vietnam from India and then from Vietnam to China--though at the time, Vietnam was a province in the Chinese Empire. Master Tang Hoi was a pivotal figure in this transmission, though he is now largely forgotten.

This book tries to be two things at once--a history of the introduction of Buddhism to Vietnam and China; and a lesson in the dharma, specifically meditation practice. It doesn't really succeed as either. TNH tells us what is known of Master Tang Hoi's biography, provides us with some of Master Tang Hoi's writings on meditation, and then his own commentary on Master Tang Hoi's writings. This history is too brief to be really satisfying and doesn't tie the development of Buddhism into the larger social and historical context around it; and most of what TNH says about meditation practice he has said more clearly elsewhere. I'd say TNH feels a strong affinity with Master Tang Hoi, since Tang Hoi was an early Mahayana teacher, but one who also emphasized the importance of the sutras on meditation practice from the Pali canon--just as TNH blends the traditions of Mahayana (specifically Zen) and Theravada (which is based on the Pali canon).

In the end, this book is mainly interest to those who want to learn a little more about the history of Buddhism in Vietnam--and it left me feeling like I hadn't learned as much as I might like.
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Format: Hardcover
In this book, Thich Nhat Hanh puts forward a new argument that the Chinese Buddhism was brought actually first by half-viet monk Tang Hoi. I give the book a 5-star because this finding is something new, and his reasoning to support the new finding is well supported. In addition to the history perspective, TNH offers a teaching on the teaching of Master Tang Hoi. This book is not solely a history book, but for practitioners. And I think in this sense, TNH strikes a good balance. I am thus satisfied.
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By barb on May 29, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
GREAT !!!
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