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No Death, No Fear: Comforting Wisdom for Life Paperback – August 5, 2003

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead; Reissue edition (August 5, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573223336
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573223331
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Thich Nhat Hanh always invites us to look deeply, and he does so once again in No Death, No Fear. Recognizing interconnections, Nhat Hanh brings us to beginnings, how they depend on endings, and how they are but temporary manifestations. Everything endures, he says, but in different forms. And this isn't just a palliative to make us feel better for a while--Nhat Hanh's philosophy of Interbeing takes the long view, challenging us to open our eyes to subtle transformations. He shows how extraordinary things happen when we are fully present with others and at peace with ourselves, both of which require openness and deep looking. In his bestselling style of easy prose, compelling anecdotes, and pragmatic advice, Nhat Hanh gradually drains the force out of grief and fear, transforming them into happiness and insightful living. Death doesn't have to be a roadblock, and in No Death, No Fear Thich Nhat Hanh shows us the way around. --Brian Bruya --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Zen master Nhat Hanh turns his hard-earned wisdom as a survivor of war, persecution, and exile to the age-old dilemma of what happens when one dies. If the greatest fear is, as he suggests, that one becomes nothing, then how is one to live with this threat of complete annihilation? Using Buddhist parables and anecdotes, Nhat Hanh offers an alternative perspective. Buddhists see birth and death as mere concepts, not manifestations of reality. When someone dies, they are still with us, just in a different form. In this view, a continuation, a connection between people and nature persists because time is understood as being circular: nothing begins; nothing ends; it just is. Nhat Hanh's beliefs are certainly not for everyone, especially those who definitely feel most comfortable within the set rules and established doctrines of the Western traditions. Others may find his perspective on the ultimate mystery of the human condition refreshing, especially when it is expressed as calmly and matter-of-factly as Nhat Hanh expresses it. June Sawyers
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

I recommend this book for anyone who has experienced the death of a close, loved one.
Joe Haase
I really liked Thich Nhat Hanh's clear, pure and simple writing style, providing a view of death that teaches us about impermanence and the interbeing of all things.
Jerome Ryan
This wonderful teacher talks to us in this book about emptiness, a wonderful concept we are all learning in our own time.
Adam Chen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

90 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Adam Chen on September 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
People have a hard time understanding why I love and respect a monk so much. But his writings are so clear, so pure and simple, uncluttered, that they make sense just to pick up and read like a regular book. The only difference between his books and a good story_book is that his books are about your Life and they require Practice. All of which requires joy too!
This wonderful teacher talks to us in this book about emptiness, a wonderful concept we are all learning in our own time. In it, he clearly states examples of emptiness or impermanence in ways that are directly the result of his own experience and observation. One gets the sense that he has shown us some truth about death and life, and how they interlink and come together in a ballet of pictures and words. He writes with true wisdom, and the only result is, indeed, comfort.
The spiritual life requires discipline. It requires a sense of purpose, and perhaps, motivation. But one thing I know is that it is not unbearable and uncomfortable as many would have you believe. Through his unique teachings, Thich Nhat Hanh shows us that there is no end and no beginning to things. If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, this book is as good as counseling.
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70 of 74 people found the following review helpful By I am on December 22, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think there are so few reviews on this book because how can you put into words that which touches you so deeply? How can you relay the beauty of a flower or the beauty of a moment made just for you: in a picture? in a description? How can you truly relay in words something that is so much bigger?

There were several moments while reading this book where I just quietly and peacefully put the book down and just sat and tried to absorb it. You know this is something special when you are in the moment of reading the book and you know it is a special moment going on. Suddenly, everything makes sense. The entire human existence makes sense. All fear goes away. All self-doubt and worry... it all goes away.

And what comes in its place is peace. Security. A deeper understanding of how we got here and where we are going.

When I finished the book, I just put it down and peacefully absorbed it. My husband looked at me and asked, "What's wrong?" And I just looked at him, paused for a moment, and said, "I think I just got it." He asked what that meant. And I told him I couldn't explain it.

I "got" it.
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Dustin Hill on April 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
I first thought the book was simple and repetitive. But when I experienced a loss and re-read the book, I finally realized how profound this book really is.
I had been dealing with the subject of death for quite a few years. (I started with the book HAGAKURE, by Tsunetomo Yamamoto. You may or may not like to check that out. It's a more stoic approach to similar subjects). Anyway, I wanted to conquer the idea of my own inevitable mortality, so that when the time comes, I will handle it with grace. So, my approach was to prepare beforehand.
As I said, I was working on my OWN mortality. It never occured to me that I might also apply it to someone else. Someone I love recently died. That was the 1st real loss that I've encountered, so I was devastated. All those years of preparing myself didn't really mean much (though at the time, I thought I was ready and that I knew it all). I had already owned a copy of this book and read it several years ago. Feeling in the pits, I decided to pull the book out and read it again, as this time it is much more applicable (since I'm experiencing loss).
The book seemed so simple beforehand. It was a quick read. Thich Nhat Hanh also seemed repetitive; I felt bored several times. This, as it turns out, was my fault, not his. He is such a good teacher that he makes everything seem so simple. However, after someone I loved very much died, I re-read this book, and I realized how profound it really is. The reason why Thich is so repetitive, is because you need to drill it into you head so that you really understand it. It's like learning how to count to ten. No one is born knowing how to count to ten. But you drill it until the day when you know it all by heart.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Swing King on February 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
For those of you who purchase this book with the bonus CD included along with the package, you are in luck. Thich Nhat Hanh takes us through meditation practice with the help of Sounds True, the Buddhist recording company. This CD is great to listen to when you want to set aside time for reflection, or just as a gentle reminder of the wonderful world we live in articulated through the voice of Thay. In this book Thich Nhat Hanh takes us all on the journey of discovery. We are provided with insightful commentary on this difficult subject of death from this much-loved Buddhist master; all in a language and format we can all connect ourselves to. What is to fear in death? We might become fearful that we will become "nothing." Whatever our deductions of what death is are, these are merely concepts. We fear the unknown perhaps. But the unknown is in every single moment, so breaking free from our misconceptions of death means stepping into fearlessness of life. Every moment is unknown. Death is unknown. Zero degrees is three hundred and sixty degrees. No beginning, no end. Only help all beings, it's the Great Bodhisattva Vow. Then there is no life or death, instead, only the Great Vow. Buy this book if you are troubled by death and life, it can calm the human heart. Letting you know all is well. Though everything may seem crazy and chaotic, all is well. Enjoy.
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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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