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Product Details

  • Series: Modern Spiritual Masters
  • Paperback: 163 pages
  • Publisher: Orbis Books (June 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570753709
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570753701
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Considering the huge number of books that beloved Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh has put out, we really need a "best of" collection. Here we have it, in Thich Nhat Hanh: Essential Writings, which brings together snippets from Nhat Hanh's poetry, his Christian-Buddhist dialogues, his introductions to Buddhist sutras, and of course, his own well-spoken takes on core Buddhist ideas. If there is one word that sums up Nhat Hahn's Buddhism, it is "interbeing," the name he gave to his own monastic order. Being fully present in the moment is mindfulness, and interdependence tells how all things are intimately connected, the understanding of which encourages us to engage the world at every moment. Sister Annabel Laity, a master in her own right who has received transmission from Nhat Hanh, provides a brief but illuminating biography of Nhat Hanh for this collection, along with insightful introductions to each of the chapters. Themes that order the chapters are those that run through all of Nhat Hahn's teachings: mindfulness, compassion, delicate attention to detail, patience, and forgiveness. For those interested in this Zen monk's life and works, Essential Writings is essential reading. --Brian Bruya

From Publishers Weekly

"Life exists only in the present moment. To lose the present is to lose life." This is the simple, potent message of Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, an immeasurably gifted mindfulness teacher. Exiled from his homeland for his work for peace during the Vietnam War, Thay (teacher), as he is known to his friends, has spread his practice of "present moment, wonderful moment" and "socially engaged Buddhism" around the world via his books that have been translated into 22 languages. A gentle introduction here fills in some of the biographical details of his life shaped by his homeland, a country long full of strife. This slender anthology that draws from 22 sources is a natural addition to Orbis's Modern Spiritual Masters series featuring Bonhoeffer, Weil, Chardin and Merton. Hanh belongs in this company because he is perhaps unsurpassed in quietly and easily teaching life's deeper lasting realities: available peace and inner truth. To read him is never again to eat a tangerine, nor view roses and garbage, in the same old way. The essence of his vital message, so accessible for non-Buddhists and Buddhists alike, is in virtually every paragraph of this skillfully edited collection. It is the consummate newcomer's primer, as well as a satisfying capstone for those familiar with Hanh's voice. (Apr.)Forecast: As Thich Nhat Hanh gains popularity in the United States, bookstore shelves are increasingly filled with titles by and about the exiled Vietnamese Buddhist monk. Still, there is room for this title, which is a brief, accessible distillation of his teachings. Orbis will sell the book through Buddhist retreat centers and nontraditional outlets as well as bookstores.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 26 customer reviews
I could read this book over and over and continually learn something new each time.
jkh
This is a good book if you are new to Buddhism, as Thich Nhat Hanh's writings are simple to understand, yet poetic and eloquent.
Philippe Paravicini
All the stress and tension of life melts away as he brings me back to what really matters.
Book Lioness

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Alan Peto on December 26, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I ordered this book, I really expected a disorganized mix of Thich Nhat Hanh's writings and quotes...was I wrong.
The book has quickly become one of my favorites...it has helped me understand many buddhist concepts I had a hard time understanding in only a few short pages.
You'll read about situations, concepts, the Buddha and more all in this great book...words really cannot do it justice. This is a collection of some of the best of Nhat Hanh's writings in his many books (he has a ton!)
Bottom line: If you're an avid reader of Thich Nhat Hanh's books, you'll love this one to remind you of the many things he has written. if you're new to Thich Nhat Hanh or want to learn about Buddhism, you'll really enjoy this book!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
This dude really has it. really. I have a pile of books on philosophy, zen, taoism, happiness, etc. and this is the one that I carry with me, that I read before I go to bed, that I recommend to people, because this is beautiful. As important to me as "the prophet" by Kahlil Gibran, which is important to me.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By B. Rothermel on February 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you want to own one concise volume of Thich Nhat Hanh, this is it. It pulls together lessons from many of his earlier writings, and like the title says, his most essential writings are within these pages.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By mahi88 on October 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book. It really is a good collection from a range of his teachings. It is easy and delightful to read and covers all the topics. It is my favorite book so far.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Wayne on April 2, 2007
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Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the best writers in Buddhist litature. I prefer him over any one else. This is a great introduction to his work. Thich Nhat Hanh breaks down the most basic and difficult teaching of Buddhism in simple terms that can be applied easly to everday life. I recomend this book to any one and everyone.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Philippe Paravicini on October 1, 2009
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This is a good book if you are new to Buddhism, as Thich Nhat Hanh's writings are simple to understand, yet poetic and eloquent. Thich Nhat Hanh's approach to Buddhism is naturalistic and down to earth, and stays clear of metaphysical Buddhist discussions which are difficult to understand for readers who are new to meditation or Buddhism.

This book does not proselytize, nor does in require that one 'believe' in any metaphysical entity. Instead it provides suggestions on how to live our daily life with fuller awareness.

For those who are familiar with Thuy's writing, this book does a great job at compiling select excerpts from his various other books, and organizing them in short chapters which can be read independently from each other before meditation, or whenever you can make 5 to 15 minutes for contemplation in your day.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. Hanna on February 10, 2007
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This is a wonderful little book that makes everyday spirituality very simple to pursue and achieve. Through awareness and joy we can learn to treasure each moment of our lives and Thay gently points us in the direction to go so we may find those seemingly elusive treasures. This is a sweet, simple message for very mean and complicated times and comes through like a ray of sunlight after a terrible storm. It reminds us that life is good, there is love and beauty in the world, and we have it within us to find them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. D. Eggers on March 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
"Essential Writings" are essential readings. Simple and straight forward teachings that again show us mindfulness training useful in everyday life. His teachings promote self awareness and happiness. Read, breathe, practice. Peace.
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