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Understanding Our Mind: 50 Verses on Buddhist Psychology
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Understanding Our Mind: 50 Verses on Buddhist Psychology

4.4 of 5 stars 4.40  ·  rating details  ·  208 ratings  ·  24 reviews
This profound look at Buddhist psychology offers important insights into how Buddhism's ancient teachings apply to the modern world. Basing his work on the writings of the great fifth-century Buddhist master Vasubandhu and the teachings of the Avatamsaka Sutra, Thich Nhat Hanh focuses on the direct experience of recognizing the true nature of consciousness. Presenting the ...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published February 15th 2006 by Parallax Press
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Oct 07, 2009 Eric is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddhism
Thich Nhat Hanh is THE master of mindfulness practice, in my limited opinion... This book holds one key to understanding Buddhism - the drive to understand the mind as it really is.
This profound look at Buddhist psychology offers important insights into how Buddhism's ancient teachings apply to the modern world. Basing his work on the writings of the great fifth-century Buddhist master Vasubandhu and the teachings of the Avatamsaka Sutra, Thich Nhat Hanh focuses on the direct experience of recognizing the true nature of consciousness. Presenting the basic teachings of Buddhist applied psychology, he shows how the mind is like a field, where every kind of seed is planted — ...more
The concepts in this book, if applied properly, can be very useful for individuals as well as for professionals working with clients suffering from mental afflictions. This book supports the ecological relationship between individuals and their social environments. Some of the ideas presented can also be useful in promoting culturally informed psychotherapeutic practices.
Andrea Hejtmanek
Difficult to read. One must really have their full attention and a quite space to contemplate the teachings. I need to read this again as I feel a lot of the material has escaped.
Prabhat Saraswat
Another gem. 50 verses amazingly put together. Takes on the labyrinth of a journey in our mind, thoughts and consciousness..

should read. a good read
In this book, Thich Nhat Hanh tackles 50 Buddhist verses that embody Buddhist psychology. These 50 verses, known as the Avatamsaka Sutra, are difficult to interpret in their original form. Thich Nhat Hanh does an excellent job of putting these verses into modern, accessible language. The heart of Buddhist psychology is mindfulness - what we allow to be "watered" in our mind, the good seeds or the bad. Anyone, regardless of their faith tradition, can learn and grown from an examination of these v ...more
Aaron Gibson
I am obsessed with this book. Religious people beware.

I had often wondered and hypothesized where "decision-making" comes from. At the moment of red or blue, right or laugh, say something or dont say anything-- what drives our actions?

Want to find out...?

Read it!!!
Walter Burton
This was not a book to be read quickly or taken lightly. It is a very in depth look at the foundation of Buddhist psychology and how our mind reacts or seeds of conscientious plant both from our past and current actions. It a wonderful guide to both the why and how we respond to life and more importantly stress we are in control of our Karma.

It is not a book to just read and think you can apply the concept. It should supplement a good Zen practice to help prepare the mind to become mindful vers
This was a book of value. Perhaps not because of an extraordinary plot, wise character development, or brilliant writing style, but because of the meaning behind the words. Thich Nhat Hanh writes about the mind with fifty verses from Buddhist master Vasubandhu as the core. Explaining the verses in depth in clear language that always gets to the heart of the matter, Thich Naht Hanh ties mind consciousness into one's daily life. I struggled to get through this book, but it has added meaning to my ...more
Tim Weakley
Exercise for the brain! I think a more thorough grounding in the more dogmatic aspects of Buddhism would be beneficial to anyone wanting to tackle this book. It is a collection of what were formerly talks, and lectures and because of that there is a lot of repetition of certain ideas and analogies. I appreciated about two thirds of the book, with the other third being fairly lost on me. Having said this I will say that I think that this is the fault of the reader and not the book.
Roxanne Richardson
I will never really be finished with a book like this. I always take something to heart from Thich Nhat Hanh's teaching, and there is so much.
Linda Walters
This is one of Thay's more "technical" books. It is a rather detailed introduction to the complex topic of Buddhist psychology. This will deserve a second reading in a few months that will include many side trips to referenced texts and cross-referencing with other works on Buddhist psychology. If the subject of Buddhist psychology interests you, but delving into it has seemed like a daunting undertaking, this is a perfect place to start.
Jul 26, 2007 Nathan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in the nuts and bolts of consciousness
this book is deep, very deep. it is an analysis of 4th century buddhist cat's poem, Vasubandhu's "50 Verses". It basically describes a useful framework for understanding consciousness -- but don't get attached to the concepts described! They are meant for absorbing and letting go.
A very broad perspective on a very complicated subject - the mind. Thich Nhat Hanh brings his gentle language to explaining what brings about mental turmoil and how to alleviate that suffering in a detailed and thorough manner.
Very helpful in parts. A bit hard to read as it is very technical. Easy to get lost in the 3 somethings, the 5 something elses, etc... But, read it as part of a book club, and truly enjoyed the conversations that arose.
I'd read this before, but forgot, in picking it up, that it's slow going - a much more intellectural Buddhist exercise than general book about spirituality, unlike many of his other books.
Sunny Johnson
Incredibly fundamental. This book is completely necessary for the understanding of mental patterns and psychological structures. Thich Nhat Hanh may not have made a better work than this.
This book was somewhat heavy on my mind. I read it over a period of time and will more than likely return to it, due to it's short verse style.
To date, the most dense book I've read by Thich Nhat Hanh-
dense in the sense of packed with facts about Buddhism-he is,
as always, clear as a bell.
Gary Gutierrez
Difficult read for one new to Buddhist practices. There are insights to be gained though.
Amazing book.......what one needs to know about the functioning of our mind.....
so interesting to think of thoughts as seeds that might be cultivated in your mind.
If you could read one book about how the mind works, this is it, read read read
Buddhist psychology. Very helpful.
Lola marked it as to-read
Nov 22, 2015
Middle Earth
Middle Earth is currently reading it
Nov 12, 2015
Ronak Patel
Ronak Patel marked it as to-read
Oct 30, 2015
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Thích Nhất Hạnh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist who now lives in southwest France where he was in exile for many years. Born Nguyễn Xuân Bảo, Thích Nhất Hạnh joined a Zen (Vietnamese: Thiền) monastery at the age of 16, and studied Buddhism as a novitiate. Upon his ordination as a monk in 1949, he assumed the Dharma name Thích Nhất Hạnh. Thích is an honorary ...more
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