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The Sun My Heart Paperback – May 11, 1988
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Text: English, Vietnamese (translation)
About the Author
Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist Zen Master, poet, scholar and peace activist. During the Vietnam War his work for peace and reconciliation moved Martin Luther King to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967. He founded the Van Hanh Buddhist University in Saigon and the School of Youth for Social Service. He was exiled as a result of his work for peace but continued his activism, rescuing boat people and helping to resettle Vietnamese refugees. He has written more than 100 books, which have sold millions of copies around the world. He now lives in France where he founded a Buddhist community and meditation centre. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Could make an excellent gift for someone you know who may be going through a difficult time.
This book shows a highly intellectual, philosophical side of the author. He teaches us that mind and object are one, that "one is all, all is one". He thus discusses the interdependence of all phenomena, leading us to understand, for instance, that the fate of the underdeveloped countries cannot be separated from that of the wealthy countries. Each war involves all countries.
He refers to the Avatamsaka Sutra, which states that a speck of dust contains in itself infinite space and endless time. Time and space contain each other and are interdependent. This is backed by Einstein's theory of relativity, which he also analyzes.
He discusses form and emptiness and concludes that "reality is beyond these two concepts". He also introduces a concept called "the miraculousness of existence", to be aware that the universe is contained in each thing and could not exist otherwise. We thus cannot say that something exists, or does not exist, thus the term "miraculous existence".
He refers back and forth to various Sutras and modern science, demonstrating that the authors of the Sutras and scientists, such as Oppemheimer and Einstein, are saying the same thing. Thus, Oppenheimer indicated that electrons were beyond the concepts of being and non-being.
The final chapter reverts to the discussion of meditation, mindfulness and happiness, as discoursed upon in his other books, and proved to be more easily comprehensible. Hanh refers to the "Four Immeasurables" . lovingkindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and non-attachment. In so far as you are developing these virtues in yourself, you are proceeding in the right direction.
He provides us with a valuable topic of meditation - "If you want peace, peace is with you immediately". He tells us that our strength is in the peace within us. This peace empowers us to go out into the world and do what we want to do to help the downtrodden.
This ia a valuable book, but a bit too intellectully challenging to my taste. Read it if you want to delve deeply into the nature of reality, both intellectually and via meditation.