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For a Future to Be Possible: Commentaries on the Five Mindfulness Trainings

4.27  ·  Rating Details  ·  287 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
The Five Mindfulness Trainings -- protecting life, acting with generosity, behaving responsibly in sexual relationships, speaking and listening deeply and mindfully, and avoiding substance abuse -- are the basic statement of ethics and morality in Buddhism. In "For a Future to be Possible, Zen master and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh and fourteen prominent co-authors disc ...more
Paperback, 282 pages
Published October 1st 1993 by Parallax Press (first published 1993)
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Jan 20, 2013 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
The literature of Buddhism both attracts and repels. On one hand, it is concerned with a practical response to the suffering of this life. This is seen in what Thich Nhat Hanh calls the Two Promises:
I vow to develop understanding, in order to live peacefully with people, animals, plants, and minerals.

I vow to develop my compassion, in order to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals.
The bulk of the book is taken up with the Five Mindfulness Trainings, which form the core of Bu
Jun 08, 2013 Lon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thich Nhat Hanh has updated the 5 Precepts observed by Buddhists (monastic and lay)for 2500 years to reflect modern challenges and complexities. I appreciate the impulse to broaden the scope of the precepts and to address contemporary issues, but I find the new iterations to be more than a little verbose (and this coming from ME!).

* 2500 year old Precept (#1): "I vow not to kill"
* Hanh's version: "Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I am committed to cultivating the insig
Trey Nowell
Aug 28, 2014 Trey Nowell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another Thich Nhat Hanh book that touches the soul and makes you think. This book highlights The Five Mindfulness trainings, stressing the benefits of abstaining from things that can cause us to be reckless, voicing our concerns, controlling anger, respecting life, respecting our bodies, and respecting all of creation from the complex to microorganisms. This book has trainings that no known man, even the Buddha, could follow perfectly. The parallels to Christianity and teachings of Christ are so ...more
Sep 01, 2014 Rubina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A compact guidebook focusing on the Five Mindfulness Trainings which represent the Buddhist precepts on ethics and morality. As it often is with Buddhist practices, the Five Mindfulness Trainings are not only relevant to Buddhists but for anyone who wants to be calmer and have better insights and enlightenment. It provides a wonderful introduction to Buddhist philosophy and the practice of Mindfulness.
George Bremner
Mar 01, 2014 George Bremner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
His voice is clearly heard, like a fireside chat with a dharma teacher. Aphoristic style, but the content is clear. He expands the precepts into modern everyday living.
Dana Larose
Hoped this would be a detailed look at the Five Precepts but it was a bit too...mystical for me right now. I liked the presentation in Eight Mindful Steps much better (although I think I picked up For a Future before the former but happened to read EMS first).

At any rate, it was a small book and I always find TNH's writing very relaxing.
Anna Springer
Nov 11, 2011 Anna Springer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
friends - read this! activists - read this! artists - read this! parents - read this! Buddhists in other traditions - read this! It's so so so helpful about basic practices that allow one to feel a sense of ethical well-being - it's SO smart. Thich Nhat Hanh's teachings are deceptively simple. That's because he's a really good teacher, and really gets the heart of Buddha's main points.
May 18, 2010 Christopher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dharma
I hadn't realized I'd finished this, until I looked at my bookmark. As with all of Thich Nhat Hanh's writing, the focus is on changing ourselves to create a better, more just, more sustainable world. This is probably one of my favorite books of all time, and I am thankful to have it in ePub format so I can read it a few times, and almost always have it in my bag.
Aug 19, 2011 MariMel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this, but not as much as some of his other books. He gave a lot of examples that seemed really negative; it gave me the sense that there is so much suffering, and Buddhism can slightly buffer all this misery. I haven't had that sense from any of his other books, so I prefer some of his others, like Living Buddha, Living Christ.
Jun 05, 2007 John rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people interested in learning about Buddhis,
If you're interested in Buddhism, this is a good book to begin reading to learn about the Five Mindfulness trainings. It several commentaries by people from all walks of life describing their experiences with these trainings, which are central to Buddhism, but also permeate other religions as well.
Aug 26, 2009 Kayleigh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
This was a clear and concise explanation of the Five Mindfulness trainings. After working with TNH, it's refreshing to hear what he has to say about the trainings in print, since they correspond clearly to his dharmatalks.
Abbas Jaffer
Jan 09, 2015 Abbas Jaffer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an excellent introduction to the Five Mindfulness Trainings. And Jack Kornfield provides a great contextualization for non-Buddhists.
Jan 21, 2011 Mariana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a practical book on ethics which I wish my ecological-minded friends would read. It will be worth reading again.
Dan Robinson
Jan 16, 2008 Dan Robinson is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
So far, a very helpful book in terms of understanding ourselves and our mistaken cultural beliefs about relationships.
Jul 09, 2009 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a great short review of the main Buddhist concepts. It is definitely a good book to read over and over again.
Wagner Nobres
Oct 23, 2009 Wagner Nobres rated it really liked it
Lot of learnings regarding how to build peace in this world. Thich talks about his experiences during Vietnam War.
Timm DiStefano
Oct 18, 2008 Timm DiStefano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great way to ideally live.
Apr 16, 2014 Pennyjelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Life changing.
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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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“Just by breathing deeply on your anger, you will calm it. You are being mindful of your anger, not suppressing it...touching it with the energy of mindfulness. You are not denying it at all. When I speak about this to psychotherapists, I have some difficulty. When I say that anger makes us suffer, they take it to mean that anger is something negative to be removed. But I always say that anger is an organic thing, like love. Anger can become love. Our compost can become a rose. If we know how to take care of our compost...Anger is the same. It can be negative when we do not know how to handle it, but if we know how to handle our anger, it can be very positive. We do not need to throw anything away," (50).” 17 likes
“Sometimes we don't need to eat or drink as much as we do, but it has become a kind of addiction. We feel so lonely. Loneliness is one of the afflictions of modern life. It is similar to the Third and Fourth Precpets--we feel lonely, so we engage in conversation, or even in a sexual relationship, hoping that the feeling of loneliness will go away. Drinking and eating can also be the result of loneliness. You want to drink or overeat in order to forget your loneliness, but what you eat may bring toxins into your body. When you are lonely, you open the refrigerator, watch TV, read magazines or novels, or pick up the telephone to talk. But unmindful consumption always makes things worse (68).” 10 likes
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