No Death, No Fear
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No Death, No Fear

4.3 of 5 stars 4.30  ·  rating details  ·  1,430 ratings  ·  107 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 Trade (first published January 1st 1900)
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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 Thích Nhất Hạnh
A Buddhist Reading List
81st out of 512 books — 658 voters
Stiff by Mary RoachHamlet by William ShakespeareThe Lovely Bones by Alice SeboldThe Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch AlbomThe Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Thanatopsis: Death, Dying, and Mortality
55th out of 217 books — 105 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...more
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...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)...more
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.
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...more
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
Táňa
Apr 06, 2014 Táňa added it
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.
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!
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
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
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
Robert
A short but insightful read. As with most books that deal with concepts and ideals, this book can appear at first glance to be deceptively simple. Yet I think that if you take the time to digest the message then it can prove quite provocative.

Not a book for the casual read, more something that you want to site down and read extensively while having the time to ponder more deeply what is between the lines. It is also a book that you will be able to return to any number of times, read again and st...more
Valerie
If you’re familiar with Thich Nhat Hanh’s work, there isn’t much in here that will be new to you. A quick summary: Hanh explains that our ideas of birth and death, being and non-being are just that, ideas. Constructs. For example, before each of us was “born,” we existed in our ancestors, and when conditions became sufficient, we were “manifest” in our current form. “That moment of childbirth is only a moment of continuation,” he writes. “…Instead of birth and death, there is only continuing tra...more
Danny
This is an amazing mind-opening book on death and dying. It happens to everyone but no one likes talking about it and there is terrible fear of dying in each of us. I've been mediating for over 20 years now and have been trying to grow spiritually for just as long, and in one single book, I have learned more from reading this one book than I have in trying to understand life and death in 20 years. I also wish someone had given me this book before my mother and brother died. It's like having a Bu...more
Scott
I listened to this as an audiobook. It was recommended to me by a psychic. OK, I get the concept and it is well-described and gives good examples. We are all ONE, just waves in the sea of humanity. Nothing is born and nothing dies, it all just changes shape and dimension. Nothing is permanent. Got it. But. Is it not OK then to grieve the passing of someone we love from one shape and dimension to the next? And what about love itself. Is it not OK to cherish and be nostalgic for that feeling of lo...more
Lisa
Well...it was a gift to me when my dearly beloved Papi passed on, from Paul T., who gave it to me and said he hoped it would give me solace.

I couldn't read much of it right then, but as the days and weeks passed, I felt the peace of wisdom from this "simple monk", and the realization that we are not born and we do not die indeed still brings me peace to this day, when I remember.

Thich Nhat Hanh teaches with simple stories and Buddhist philosophy ideas of profundity without a hint of "know it al...more
Shawn
Thich Nhat Hanh heavily employs one to investigate the interconnections of coming, non-coming, non-being and being, Thay introduces the ideas that we are neither coming or going, but manifestations of many other forms and how we are simply a continuation after exiting the visible body.

He teaches how a surge of happiness can be attained, even upon ones last breathe if we begin to understand that we are interconnected with everything, after which our fear of death begins to wither. Death is not a...more
Margaret Lawson-lanahan
This is the kind of book I want to read over and over, and study. Very straightforward advice on dealing with fear.
Mckinley
A good book connecting Buddhist practices and philosophy to concrete experiences and events in our lives.
Maggie
I borrowed this book, because I needed one for a ride home on Bart and I like Thich Nhat Hanh's way of looking at life. While I personally don't fear death I know this may come up with my clients. But this book is more than that. While the first chapter was a little too repetitive for my taste, though I reminded myself it will stick in my mind better that way, the rest of the book flowed well. It reminded me to be mindful and take each chapter in our lives as manifestation of where we are suppos...more
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Kein werden, kein vergehen. 1 6 Sep 21, 2008 09:23AM  
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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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“When you love someone, the best thing you can offer is your presence. How can you love if you are not there?” 28 likes
“You would not cry if you knew that by looking deeply into the rain you would still see the cloud.” 14 likes
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