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The Art of Power [Kindle Edition]

Thich Nhat Hanh
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"Power is good for one thing only: to increase our happiness and the happiness of others. Being peaceful and happy is the most important thing in our lives and yet most of the time we suffer, we run after our cravings, we look to the past or the future for our happiness."

Turning our conventional understanding of power on its head, world-renowned Zen master, spiritual leader, and national bestselling author Thich Nhat Hanh reveals how true power comes from within. What we seek, we already have. Whether we want it or not, power remains one of the central issues in all of our lives. Every day, each of us exercises power in many ways, and our every act subtly affects the world we live in. This struggle for control and authority permeates every aspect of our private and public lives, preventing us from attaining true happiness. The me-first mentality in our culture seeps unnoticed into our decisions and choices. Our bottom-line approach to getting ahead may be most visible in the business world, but the stress, fear, and anxiety it causes are being felt by people in all walks of life.

With colorful anecdotes, precise language, and concrete practices, Thich Nhat Hanh illustrates how the current understanding of power leads us on a never-ending search for external markers like job title or salary. The Art of Power boldly challenges our assumptions and teaches each of us how to access the true power that is within our grasp.

Editorial Reviews


“The Art of Power is a bold and visionary work that reframes power, ambition, success, happiness, love, and peace.”

About the Author

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist Zen master, poet, scholar, and peace activist who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He is the author of many bestselling books, including the classics Peace Is Every Step, Fear, and The Art of Power. Hanh lives in Plum Village, his meditation center in France, and leads retreats worldwide.

Product Details

  • File Size: 416 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; Reprint edition (October 13, 2009)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000UZNR0K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,994 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
94 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Art of Elevating Humanity August 26, 2007
As humanity evolves, so must power evolve. In The Art of Power, the eminent Thich Nhat Hanh presents us with a radically new vision of power for the coming age. True power, he declares, is spiritual. While the idea of spiritual power is profoundly simple, we live in an age where power is still understood as violent and dominating and spirituality is often conflated with religion and dogma. As human institutions - both institutional and interpersonal - disintegrate and decay all around us based on these outmoded and dysfunctional definitions, we are beginning to ask ourselves, "What next??" In simple, accessible, and sensitive language suitable for a wide range of readers, Thich Nhat Hanh answers this question.

Bringing his well-known "engaged Buddhism" to bear upon problems of contemporary society - from relationships, sex, and family, to business, politics, and the environment - he offers simple, straightforward practices for transforming the energy of power in real-life situations. In addition to explaining the Four Noble Truths in plain language, he presents the Five Spiritual Powers, the Five Mindfulness Teachings, and ten concrete practices to strengthen power and spiritual energy. In lively and unpretentious prose, he masterfully interweaves Zen philosophy and stories from the life of Buddha (as well as some of Buddha's lesser-known associates) with examples from his own life and the lives of others with whom he has worked in recent years. We observe how, paradoxically, impermanence, nonself, interbeing, and mindfulness form the foundation of the very peace, happiness, freedom, and prosperity we all seek on individual and collective levels.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Power....The Real Happiness August 20, 2007
Thich has done it again!!! This book truly shows how one should make the neccessary steps to harness REAL power and REAL happiness. The message he sends for us is that happiness stems from within. However, humans tend to turn to external factors such as wealth, fame, power and sex as a means to drive our happiness; we use these as goals and say "...when I acheive these things, I will be happy." Through this book, Thich shows us that these external factors mean absolutely nothing if one cannot find happiness within himself / herself. This book is an essential! The whole "Finding Happiness within yourself" may sound like a cliche, but the writing style and succinct experiences provided by Thich this one of the most interesting, motivating and inspiring reads of 2007!! Enjoy!
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Illuminates the heart and the mind August 25, 2007
Now in his early 80s, Hanh continues to write at a prodigious pace. We are blessed to have his latest. He does a riff on earlier ideas---interbeing(all is interconnected and we must be mindful of this central truth); the fundamental nature of karma(the harm you do to others comes back and harms you); impermenace(we are impermenant beings experiencing things that are impermanent). But he vears off in a new direction, applying these ideas to the workplace( the job title is just a form;don't lock onto the form which will change), to business(great chapter in an appendix by the founder of Patagonia) and to the development of a collective awakening from which the power to change the hearts of people and of goverments will come but only from patient listening and understanding why others believe as they do and changing their "wrong perceptions."(He includes a copy of his hand written letter to President Bush as an example). As always, the writing is simple and clear and harder to do than it looks. Although as persuasive as the writing is, I quite can't embrace the Fifth Mindfulness training about food and booze(that third martini at a steak dinner has too strong a pull).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Completely Different Approach to Power March 6, 2008
The striking design of this book's brick-red cover with the huge white word, "POWER," dominating all the other type -- is deceptively attractive. I know from talking with a group of teen-agers about books on spirituality that have caught their eye that this imagery is alluring.

But, of course, the Buddhist writer Thich Nhat Hanh defies our normal assumptions about power: that it is something we strive to attain so that we can control and perhaps even dominate people around us. That's the typical model of power in our culture -- power as "winning" in a competitive world.

Anyone who has read his previous works -- or heard his talks in person or on video -- knows that his traditional Buddhist approach to life is to set aside striving and competitiveness. Instead, compassion becomes the glue that should hold together our community.

So, what he really is writing about here is the social force that flows from the kind of authority we build through our exercise of compassion and a positive approach toward life. Some critics have observed that, over the years, Thich Nhat Hanh's books have tended to repeat themselves. And, yes, frequent readers will find the same heart of Buddhist teaching here that we know from other works.

But there are fascinating, fresh anecdotes and emphases in his teaching in this volume. For example, there's an intriguing story here about his return to Vietnam -- after many years of exile -- and the way he approached this extremely challenging journey. There are a couple of practical supplements in the back of the book, including some plain talk about Buddhist principles in the realm of business.

Yes, there is a deliberate twist in the title -- but it's a play on words in the service of wise and compelling teachings.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
quick service great book
Published 14 days ago by bojangleshiker
5.0 out of 5 stars A great Teacher shares insights into personal enlightenment.
This is a powerful book written by a great Spiritual Teacher . My daughter keeps it by her bed to re-read. I reccommend it to anyone interested in discovering true personal power.
Published 18 days ago by Sherryl Genone
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this and be happier
If you are into meditation, this is a good book to reinforce what you are doing. He writes beautifully and is a great guide to living. Read more
Published 1 month ago by William E. Rittenberg
5.0 out of 5 stars Power through Happiness!
My new favorite advice for living right. I read this book on the advice of a great teacher, and now turn to it daily.
Published 7 months ago by Hawaii Book Club
3.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Book, some good, some so-so
A book with some useful insights, but I prefer his earlier books, especially Peace is Every Step, etc. Read more
Published 7 months ago by bobsterOK
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 9 months ago by Renee C Schafer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love all Thich Nhat Hanh's books!
Published 9 months ago by Thuong N.
5.0 out of 5 stars empowering
If you need the ground rules of running a business, being apart of a business, or head of school/government organizations, etc... Read more
Published 11 months ago by JJW
5.0 out of 5 stars fundamentals of mindfulness and a small peak into the thoughpool...
Right from the first few pages the book pits you at ease. Casks you down and makes you forget Amit your worries. Read more
Published 13 months ago by samrat
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful
This book by a writer monk is a fine vision of how easy it would be to change the world for the better. It is all about changing perspectives, goal-thinking an so on. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Jon Albert
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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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