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No Death, No Fear

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4.3 of 5 stars 4.30  ·  rating details  ·  1,647 ratings  ·  126 reviews
With hard-won wisdom and refreshing insight, Thich Nhat Hanh confronts a subject that has been contemplated by Buddhist monks and nuns for twenty-five-hundred years—and a question that has been pondered by almost anyone who has ever lived: What is death? In No Death, No Fear, the acclaimed teacher and poet examines our concepts of death, fear, and the very nature of existe ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published August 5th 2003 by Riverhead Books (first published August 5th 2002)
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Siddhartha by Hermann HesseThe Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama XIVZen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu SuzukiWhen Things Fall Apart by Pema ChödrönThe Heart of the Buddha's Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh
A Buddhist Reading List
77th out of 557 books — 729 voters
Stiff by Mary RoachHamlet by William ShakespeareThe Bell Jar by Sylvia PlathThe Lovely Bones by Alice SeboldThe Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
Thanatopsis: Death, Dying, and Mortality
60th out of 236 books — 135 voters


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Community Reviews

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Lori
Well, it has happened. I have reached the point in my life where death lurks closer and reaches out more frequently. This is not a happy topic; not many of us are calm in the face of it. But I am nearing 50 as my parents approach 80. "Guess who died?" has become a conversational staple with a huge cast of players. I think back to the neighbors I grew up with...and most of the adults of my childhood are gone. I have lost friends and classmates and colleagues. And then there are the celebrity deat ...more
Niki Bivona
I lost my Mom just over 2 years ago, and have been thinking about death quite often ever since. I think that's a normal reaction to the loss of a loved one, especially someone as close to me as she was, but the thoughts of death were beginning to turn into an unhealthily obsession. Dark, frightening, sad and lonely. I decided to do a Google search on books about death, and was very fortunate to have found this one.

This book is simple and beautiful. The analogies are incredible. It changed my vie
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Donna Quesada
I use the charming stories in this book for my own classes. Of all the books on my bookshelf about Buddhism and emptiness, this is the one I turn to when I need to come back home. Simply told, clearly described, and gently narrated, the charming stories that enhance the main body of the book convey the beauty of this changing universe that we are all a part of. By "looking deeply," we see the miracle that is right before us. We see that although it is ever-changing and forever unfolding into som ...more
Danna
Beautiful! I found that if I read a whole lot of chapters in one sitting as I usually do when I read, it seemed repetitive and could be viewed as not much different than dime-store self-help fodder as some Goodreads reviewers have noted. Instead, I discovered it's best to approach this as a book of meditations. Read one chapter, slowly, and let it resonate with you for a while before moving on. A chapter a day would be a good method. When taken in that context, the repetitive nature of his metap ...more
Patience Thomas
This book was recommended by a teacher who responded to my interest in gaining more acceptance of death. This book was reassuring that death is not the end but a continuation much like birth. For us to be fully present and be at peace with ourselves life is more dooable. There is no need to worry or regret by just living where we are in the here and now. Thich Khat Hahn writes that everything continues but in different forms thus there is no ending. Are we the same person that we were when we we ...more
Melissa
This book was amazing. Although I am familiar with Thich Nhat Hanh's work, I have never read a complete piece of his.

Given to me about 10 years ago after my father passed away suddenly, I am only completing it now. Funny how books come into your life, or you are able to sit down with them, at precisely the right moment.

Wow. It had a very natural flow to it and in the last chapter brings it full circle beautifully. There is no death, and therefore no fear. I am a practicing meditator and read qui
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Stef
My grandmother was recently diagnosed with cancer. Learning of her illness brought up many feelings of worry, fear & anxiety concerning death & impermanence. I would recommend this book to anyone struggling with those same fears, or to anyone who is suffering the loss of a loved one. The insight is calming & deep.
Dylan
My first real dip into the Buddhist philosophies and I feel like I picked a good place to start. I found throughout that the book challenged the often ignored expectation that intellectual knowledge is somehow magically internalized. It offers practices for meditating on the ideas given to you so that you may learn the lessons on a real level beyond just intellectual pondering. The book isn't a self help, "read this and be free", cop out. This is wisdom, take it or leave it, but don't expect the ...more
Huy Nguyen
"Có tám ý niệm nuôi dưỡng sự sợ hãi. Đó là ý niệm về sinh - diệt, đến - đi, khác nhau - giống nhau, có và không. Những ý niệm đó làm cho ta không hạnh phúc. Giáo pháp của Bụt dạy ta tám ý niệm đối nghịch gọi là tám không: không sinh - không diệt; không đến - không đi; không giống - không khác; không có cũng không không."

tác giả giải thích rằng cái chết thật ra là một sự bắt đầu mới, dưới một sắc thái hay hình dạng khác. Vì chúng ta không được sinh ra cho nên chúng ta sẽ không bị hoại diệt (chết)
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dunianyawira
meskipun buku ini bahasanya agak berat tapi sungguh memberi siraman semangat agar kita terus meningkatkan kesadaran kita hingga akhirnya kita bisa melihat arti hidup dengan lebih jernih...

menurut saya, sebaiknya buku ini tidak hanya dibaca sekali dua kali tapi mesti berkali kali dan terlebih lagi buku ini tidak akan memberi arti apa pun jika kita hanya berhenti pada membaca tanpa praktek langsung karena seperti disampaikan oleh sang penulis bahwa buku ini hanya berisi kumpulan konsep jadi kuncin
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Amy
This book changed everything I thought about life and death.

Before I began it, I'd been through a very trying personal time, and was really struggling to find some new way of thinking that would provide me some comfort regarding my own mortality. This book did JUST that!

I'd already encountered Ticht Naht Hann's reading through my own exploration of the Eastern Religions, and really enjoyed it. He's like a best friend or a brother, absolutely kind, understanding, and clear.

He tals about complex i
...more
Mengran Xu
Fear, in its essence, is future-oriented. We fear something terrible is going to happen, we fear we are going to lose something or someone, and we fear that when bad things happen, we won’t be able to resist and bear. There are two inherent characteristics of our fears—uncertainty and negativity, none of which is inevitable about future.

Future is never purely uncertain. It is uncertain if we will gain success or fame, even happiness and peace are not predictable. However, it is totally certain
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Jared Shearer
I first learned of Thich Nhat Hanh from a friend who suggested I read Be Free Where You Are when I was going through some stuff and when I saw this one at the bookstore I decided to pick it up as well. This particular book didn't help me as much as the other but I feel that I got some good stuff out of it.

It mainly deals with the concept of no self or the death of the ego. It is a hard idea to wrap one's head around especially for people with a more western or even materialistic look on life. H
...more
Dale
Despite the fact that parts of this book were incredibly repetitive - even by TNH standards - there are some very good meditations here on death, life and everything in between. In particular, the Touching the Earth meditations were very thought provoking. TNH's writings generally lend themselves to fitting in with other faith traditions and this one is no exception.
Loretta
This book, together with a few of Pema Chodron's books, were profoundly helpful and meaningful to me after the sudden death of my sister. I am fairly convinced they helped me stay sane, while respecting and living with my grief. I'd recommend it to anyone going through that kind of loss.
Brigette
I started reading this after Mom died trying to find a way to help cope with the grief. I read it slowly at first because it does talk a lot about death. But it goes beyond that and talks about impermanence, no self, and nirvana, basic Buddhist concepts. My favorite analogies were about the wave and the water, the candle, and the clouds.
Amy
Mar 12, 2014 Amy marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
The sentence that made me stop reading this book:

If you look deeply into a piece of carrot that you eat at lunch, you will see that the whole cosmos has come together in order to manifest that piece of carrot.

I'm sorry, I'm just not the kind of person who can see the cosmos in a carrot stick.
Louise
Feb 19, 2009 Louise added it
Well, I'm a fool for this precious monk's books. They're often, like this one, so simple as to appear simplistic. But anyone who speaks to the world around him with such love ("dear little piece of paper") and who is, in turn, addressed by flowers and flames, is tops in my book!
Bworm
So many people praise this wise man, and I have heard some pretty good quotes of him, so maybe I started with the wrong book. I do like the main idea (even if it is repeated ad nauseam) that there is no beginning, no end, hence no birth, no death, and nirvana and true freedom come when we have embraced impermanence and let go of the concept of things to just be with them. That's profound and very wise, but the message drowns in the rambling, platitudes, narrow-minded ideas (such as the determini ...more
Katische Haberfield
A brilliant book. Very readable conceptually but the trick with Thich Nhat Hanh is to understand that you can intellectually understand what he is teaching you, however, you need to do more than that. You have to live his teachings- which is the tricky bit. I recommend reading this a little bit at a time. There are many concepts that are repeated throughout the book, but the idea is that you need to be continually presented with the idea of continual manifestation to understand how we exist and ...more
Táňa
Úžasná kniha, která změnila můj pohled na smrt. I když jsem jí dočetla už před nějakou chvílí, pořád nevím, jaké bych jí dala hodnocení... protože si zaslouží mnohem vyšší, než jaké jí můžu dát.
Rich Baker
If I had read this book a year ago I probably would have stopped reading after the first little bit. To my brain it would have sounded like a bunch of nonsense language attempting to sound smart. But I've read a lot about meditation and philosophy and what not in the last year and this book really hit me hard. I still don't think I understood it as well as I would have liked, but the parts I did understand were awesome. We are infinite. We are merely manifestations. It's really cool. Highly reco ...more
Dana Larose
This one went a bit over my head. It's very, uh, Mahayana compared to the more down-to-earth Buddhist stuff I've been reading (such as Bhante Gunaratana's stuff). TNH presents Zen insights and admonishes us to "look deeply" at them, but this is where I fall down a bit because I don't know what looking deeply means, in a contemplative context. More meditation practice and instruction needed, I guess. This will be a good one to reread in a year.

At any rate, it's always a pleasure reading TNH's stu
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Sarah
A bit repetitive, but certainly drives the point home. If you are looking for research or evidence on the afterlife, this is not the book to read. But if you want an example of what a good, peaceful death can be, and some hope of life after death, this book is helpful.

The audiobook is read by a man with a noticeable Irish accent. This is a bit confusing sometimes, as the tone of the book is very concentrated on Asian religious beliefs, and the reader's intonation gives it a sort of Catholic prie
...more
Jessica
May 19, 2015 Jessica marked it as to-read
I'm pretty disappointed in this one so far. I love Thich Nhat Hanh but there is so much repetition with his analogies that really leave me wanting to give up on this book. He uses the analogies of a flame neither being born nor dying, simply transforming from one state to another at one point. That from nothing, you can't become something and that from something, you can't become nothing because you can neither be created nor destroyed. But the constant comparison to trees, flames, water etc.. I ...more
Greg
Meditating at new buds on a bush that had previously died, “As I walked in my garden I saw new buds on the japonica manifesting another generation of flowers. I asked the japonica flowers: ‘Are you the same as the flowers that died in the frost or are you different flowers?’ The flowers replied to me: ‘Thay, we are not the same and we are not different. When conditions are sufficient we manifest and when conditions are not sufficient we go into hiding. It’s as simple as that.” (1) In this way, T ...more
Dina
Thich Nhat Hanh is a Zen monk, teacher, poet, and peace activist; author many books and a very special person. His book "No Death, No Fear" is the latest in many.
When I first picked up this book I was expecting a bit of a “downer” due to the title but to the contrary the book is anything but depressing.
I found the concept of circumstances being right for the “manifestation” of things always there, fascinating. He defines “Manifestation” as “showing a presence” -- when conditions are sufficient
...more
Natalie
I was looking for Buddhist books on death, so I ended up picking this one. I'm not so sure that "No Death, No Fear" is quite the correct title, but TNH provides a useful perspective for thinking about death (or rather, the lack thereof) for sure. I can recognize this truth quite intellectually and really always have, but actually feeling it is something I am too early in my development to relate with. Words are grand, but there's a core of feeling that must be observed first.
Pam Herrmann
I honestly thought this book was a huge waste of my time. I am not this "type" of person and I think alot of the Buddha talk was repeated craziness.
My favorite part: "If positive seeds are watered in a person's life, it is partly because of luck and partly because of effort. The circumstances of our lives can help us water the seeds of patience, generosity, compassion and love. The people around us can help us water these seeds, and so can the practice of mindfulness."
Chanita.Shannon
Thich Nhat Hanh always invites us to look deeply, and he does so once again in No Death, No Fear. Recognizing interconnections, Nhat Hanh brings us to beginnings, how they depend on endings, and how they are but temporary manifestations. Everything endures, he says, but in different forms. And this isn't just a palliative to make us feel better for a while--Nhat Hanh's philosophy of Interbeing takes the long view, challenging us to open our eyes to subtle transformations. He shows how extraordin ...more
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Kein werden, kein vergehen. 1 6 Sep 21, 2008 09:23AM  
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9074
Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist, revered throughout the world for his powerful teachings and bestselling writings on mindfulness and peace.

His key teaching is that, through mindfulness, we can learn to live happily in the present moment—the only way to truly develop peace, both in one’s self and in the world.

Thich Nhat Hanh has published over 100 ti
...more
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“When you love someone, the best thing you can offer is your presence. How can you love if you are not there?” 33 likes
“You would not cry if you knew that by looking deeply into the rain you would still see the cloud.” 15 likes
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