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The Art of Power

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  930 ratings  ·  99 reviews
In The Art of Power, world-renowned Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh offers a surprising and radical new understanding of how we attain true power.

Power is one of the central issues in our lives. From work to personal relationships, the struggle for power plays a pivotal role and, more often than not, prevents us from attaining freedom and happiness. The bottom-line mentalit
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Audio CD, 0 pages
Published September 24th 2007 by Tantor Media (first published August 14th 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,093)
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Erin
I am listening to this book on CD every day on my way to work. I listen to each CD several times. There is so much to learn from this guy.... He is the real deal - you know, a super-enlightened Buddhist monk and all that.
Ryan
I rarely take Buddhist spiritual writers seriously because their anecdotes are laughably irrelevant. Sorry, guys. Stories about "a king who had the finest clothes" have no effect on me, and that's not just because I'm a crank, but because little stories often tell little truths. Anecdotal instruction is too roundabout a way of introducing mindfulness, which can be a straightforward technique. There's no need for so much mystery and metaphor. These are techniques that can help people, so why play ...more
Stephanie
The title is deceptive -- it's really a book about mindfulness, boundless love, and how to achieve greater understanding between individuals, nations and in the world. A really powerful book about spirituality and simple ways to incorporate very profound spiritual practices into everyday life, and every moment!
Stephanie
excellent...there is alot to be learned frome this guy. I am sure I will listen to this one over and over again. I learned alot of this from the Ekart Tolle books, this just added a little more!
Maria
In 'The Art of Power,' Thich Nhat Hanh writes, "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, and we look to the past or the future for our happiness."

Nhat Hanh lays out for us in this book his thoughts on true power, as defined in this way, and how we can prioritize true sources of power over the cravings for what we think p
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Mikelkpoet
I can borrow books for two weeks from the bookstore where I am a barista at, and I borrowed this one, two weeks, ago. When I returned it, I was on p. 48, but I had read the Chapter titled, I think, "Getting what you want," which I found way more interesting than the first 48 pages, where Thich Nhat Hanh kept telling me that the only way to live my life was the way that he was telling me to live my life.

I am going to buy a used hardcover copy of this book, and finish, because I think that I can l
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Mary
Sadly, not Thich's best book. The principles of Buddhism don't change much, and as he's written so many books on Buddhism, each book is tailored towards certain niches. This one seems targeted towards Christian America, with the 5 mindfulness trainings that read like commandments -- not really in the vein of his other books. This book might be appropriate to those not familiar with Buddhism and looking for a relatable introduction, but for anyone else with prior knowledge and practice of Buddhis ...more
May
This book could be a good entry way if you're completely unaware of the concepts of being in the moment, meditation, etc. However, as a book club book it fell flat on our group. We found it overly repetitive and a bit preachy. One in the group pointed out if you're sitting in the south of France waxing philosophy about how happiness is a state of mind, well, that is just not a convincing place to make that argument. It's super hard not to be happy in the South of France. Then again, huge props f ...more
Jimmy
Although this book is geared towards showing leaders in business, politics, their communities, and organizations generally how the application of Zen mindfulness techniques can actually enhance the quality of their own lives (as well as their employees and constituencies), the techniques are applicable to anyone who wants to live in a "mindful" way.

Thich Nhat Hanh uses the example of how the founder of Patagonia (the climbing clothing seller) uses such techniques to run a sustainable business pr
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Kim
This is an amazing book and would recommend it to anybody who wants a more joyful and mindful way of living. Thich Nhat Hanh speaks eloquently on ways to cultivate insight through faith, diligence, mindfulness, and concentration. My life has already changed so much since reading this book, and could see myself referencing it often. I am grateful to the person who recommend this book to me!
Hillary roberts
My Review:
I have to admit when I first picked up this book, I thought it would be in the same vein as the 40 Laws of Power, or something. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is actually a Buddhist book and that the power that is talked about in this book is the power that we get by living our true authenticselves.

Everyone wants power. We assign respect and power based on jobs among other things.Thích Nhất Hạnhsays that true power comes from within and that we all can meet. Even the po
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Marzieh
To me, this book was about the power of inner peace and mindfulness. As the writer was a Buddhist monk, you were bound to find influences of Buddhism throughout the book, but the writer had tried not to sell the religion itself, but just the basic philosophy. I found reading this book meditative. Every time I finished reading a passage, I found myself breathing more deeply and calmly, which shows how peaceful the writer must have felt. Although I find meditation very calming and have generally e ...more
Suzanne
This is the first of his books that I have read, so I cannot compare it with his others. Having read some of the lower-rated reviews, I stand by my 5 stars, but suggest that this is not, perhaps, intended for those who are already familiar with his works and Buddhism itself. It is an excellent introduction to his thinking and to some of the central precepts of Buddhism. I admit that I did find it rather simple, but it is the simplicity of profundity, and so will reach a variety of readers. Yes, ...more
Jacquelin
Oct 02, 2013 Jacquelin is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Review on the book
The book The Art Of Poweri by Thich Nhat Hanh is an opening mind type of book. Concluding the whole book its an inspiring book that everyone should read. Reasons why is that it is very easy to understand and comprehend the purpose and meaning of the book. The structure of the book is set up to repeat itself in a matter that it goes back to the five spiritual powers. Everything in the book is created to bring out the best out of everyone. Explains the five spiritual powers in a
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Myridian
In the world of current Buddhist though, Thich Nhat Hanh is a giant. Though my exposure to him is limited to only reading his books, I'm of the opinion that Hanh is a bodhisattva. That said, this is not one of his better books. The art of power puts itself forward as a guide to managing cravings for money, influence, whatever we associate with power. In that it also attempts to discuss how to bring mindfulness to our working lives. However, I found the book to be too diffuse in it's focus. I und ...more
Ted Rheingold
Best book about build true power from calmness and consideration that I've ever read or heard of. I'd guess about 50% of the book is general advice on mindfulness so it's a bit of a primer, which may be repetitive for students of intentional being, but the other half is pure gold for anyone struggling with manifesting their best and being highly respected for it within the confines of professional, academic and civic systems.
Jason
The title is deceptive only because our perception of power is deceptive. In The Art of Power, Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hahn is describing real power, the power that comes from compassion and mindfulness.

Even the most jaded must recognize that the loyalty of a friend who authentically likes being with you and sees value in your thoughts and words is far stronger than the loyalty of a crony motivated out of fear or greed. There's no real comparison between the two. The true fr
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Chiara
One of James Altucher's favorite self-help books. This book is to power as Choose Yourself! is to success. Power is useless if it causes suffering and doesn't bring you happiness. Just reading the book made me pause a lot, breathe, and be mindful. Beautiful writing. "I touch the ground as if I am kissing the earth with my feet, with a lot of love."
Joshua Stein
Hahn's form and his ideas are, as always, wonderful. I will say that he's one of the people I want to hear speak solely to hear if his words sound as beautiful as his written prose.

In case you are wondering why this book, despite my infatuation with Hahn, only got four stars, it is simply because I do not find that his answers are original, and while perhaps it is true that there is nothing new under the sun, Being Peace and even some of his work on the connections between the Buddha and Jesus (
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Katie Dubik Schwarz
Five stars despite the very random last chapter (just skip it).

so much to learn from Buddhist philosophy and way of life. The five powers are faith, diligence, mindfulness, concentration, and insight, but the biggest one for me right now I think is mindfulness. Being fully present. I'm fantastic at being fully present with my kids--how could I not drop everything and forget all my worries with a beaming cute smile in my face? But doing other things with mindfulness (um, driving?) should be on my
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Elliott
I do research on power/leadership and I really loved Thich Nhat Hanh's commentary on the Heart Sutra, so I was very interested to read this book. Ultimately, it was underwhelming - I ended up skimming most of it. Like other reviewers have commented, it was only vaguely about the dynamics of power. For the most part, it was just an intro to buddhist philosophy book. I think that's a very interesting/important topic, but I think there are probably far far better books for that.

This book is probabl
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Alonzo
This is an excellent book. Hanh covers much of what he writes about in his other books, but this time in the context of power. He compares and contrasts the "usual" ideas of power with the ideas of power as taught by the Buddha. He offers new perspectives and new ways of developing what he calls true power and gives reasons why this kind of power is what is lacking and what is desperately needed in our world of chaos, war, terror and violence: i.e. a world caught in the grip of suffering: both e ...more
April
I love Thich Nhat Hanh and have read some other things he has written. Despite the fact that the message of this book is important and helpful, I felt the title is misleading as it relays a basic concept present in all his messages, power over yourself. I think most people would be expecting a more 'How to Win Friends and Influence Others' type of book. A friend gave me this because he said it wasnt his cup of tea. I'm afraid the misunderstood meaning could've lost a few readers who would've oth ...more
Loren
Based on the title alone, you would probably be very surprised by this book. If you are familiar at all with its author, you probably won't be.

It does speak in business terms at times, but like most of his work (maybe all) it is really about living your life in harmony with others and the natural world.

And in essence, that truly is what business is about. Or at least should be. If you aren't adding value to others lives, and at least not damaging the planet, are you really succeeding? I don't th
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Tim Miller
Thich Nhat Hanh writes the easiest and most inspiring books about liberating our minds from the conventional attachments, to which we all subject ourselves. I've benefited from his insights and walking and breathing meditation techniques many times. At a tumultuous time in my life, this book has helped me remember the benefits of non-attachment and letting go. I can't say I'm dogmatically or institutionally religious, but Hanh, the Dalai Llama, and Lao Tzu continually provide me with ways to att ...more
Rubina
Another good book by Zen master and spiritual leader, Thich Nhat Hanh. While i much prefer his other book, Peace Is Every Step, Thich still does a wonderful job here. In our ever increasing fast-paced society, where power is once measured by our job, money, status, material trimmings, Thich teaches instead of Five True Powers (or five kinds of energy) : Faith, Diligence, Mindfulness, Concentration and Insight. These five powers are the foundation of real happiness. Thich explains how we can harn ...more
Sarah
What this book taught me - "If you miss the present moment, you miss your appointment with life." The power hungry need to read this book. Thich Nhat Hanh has a way of making it all see so obvious, but not in a condescending way, in a patient and gentle way. There is so much that you know innately but it takes someone like Thich Nhat Hanh to stitch the words together for it to all make sense. "People think that the true, the beautiful, and the good exist somewhere else, in someone else. They don ...more
Sera
Simple, yet PROFOUND. I wasn't sure what kind of 'power' Hanh was going to be talking about and that is what drew me in. While he talks about superficial powers of wealth, fame, sex, etc., the book is truly about the power we find within ourselves through mindfulness, boundless love and other principles Hanh is so well known for speaking about. Yet another reminder of how to live a mindful, guilt free life while tapping into the true essence of your self and nonself found in the world abound.
Colleen Wainwright
Good, simple writing that effectively explains where real power comes from (hint: not one's self) and how to take the contrary actions necessary to begin accessing the real deal. Two useful appendices at the end of the book outline a variety of simple, easily-implemented mindfulness practices (spoiler: sitting cross-legged and straight-backed on a small cushion is not one of them), and the story of Patagonia's unusual business practices as told by its unusual founder, Yvon Chouinard.
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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
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More about Thích Nhất Hạnh...
Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation Living Buddha, Living Christ Being Peace The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation

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“Many people think excitement is happiness.... But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.” 464 likes
“If you suffer and make your loved ones suffer, there is nothing that can justify your desire.” 169 likes
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