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Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers
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Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  948 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Exiled from Vietnam over thirty years ago, Thich Nhat Hanh has become known as a healer of the heart, a monk who shows us how the everyday world can both enrich and endanger our spiritual lives. In Going Home he shows us the relationship between Buddha and Jesus by presenting a conversation between the two. In this unique way we learn how such concepts as resurrection and...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 1st 2000 by Riverhead Trade (first published January 1st 1999)
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Normally I hate people who scribble in books, but while I was reading this I found myself picking up a pen and underlining parts of the text, because they struck me so deeply.
Here's some of what I underlined:
"If you cannot love man, animals, and plants, I doubt that you can love God. The capacity for loving God depends on your capacity for loving humankind and other species."
"All the adjectives and nouns that we use to describe waves cannot be used to describe God. We can say that this wave is...more
Jonathan Noe
"You love the apple; yes, you are authorized to love the apple, but no one prevents you from also loving the mango."

This is a metaphor. The 'apple' represents your religion or the religion you were born into. For me the apple is Christianity. This shouldn't prevent me from trying new fruits like 'mango' or Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, or Taoism. We should only eat fruit that is healthy for us, and that will increase our compassion, meaning, and joy in this life. It will be different for...more
Jeff Herman
I am not a very religous person but if I were to back one particular religion it would be Buddism. Thich Nhat Hanh looks at all religions and describes well how they all essential blend together. The bottom line is that religion comes down to faith and without faith one has little to guide and push them to do well for themselves and others.
Nov 01, 2007 Rick rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: freaking EVERYONE
Shelves: spirituality
Most of the books I read more than 2-3 years ago I have only vague memories of. I feel like I just read this one yesterday. It was essentially the sole catalyst for reinvigorating my own faith practice. I cannot explain what a powerful message this is, and the skill with which the author presents it: return to what you know, but most importantly find some sort of practice. In this day and age, growth (spiritual, emotional, or otherwise) is almost impossible without practice. Everything from the...more
Shea Mastison
Coming from a vastly different philosophical system, I approached this book with little but a slightly academic understanding of Buddhism. I've studied the basic "scriptures," if one could call them that: namely the Dhammapada and a few of the sutras attributed to the Shakyamuni Buddha and his closest disciples. By no means am I an expert, but I have a familiarity, if you will, with the various schools and practices found within Mahayana and Theravada.

This book seems to be compiled from speeche...more
This is an interesting book on comparative religion. While it does not directly compare Buddhism with Christianity, it delves into where the two unite. Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist, whose contemplative nature, gives analysis of the spiritual and what it means to be human. A good read for anyone interested in Religion and Spirituality.
John W
His simple explanations and presentations of buddhist ideas are extremely well done; however, his comparisons with jesus and christian beliefs are somewhat lacking. I feel like there are a lot of comparisons he misses, and some that he makes are off the mark.

Still, an excellent book if solely from a buddhist perspective.
Jesse Markus
I dunno man, this book is cute, I guess. I read it when I was going through a Buddhist phase and was hoping that by reading it I would somehow find some spiritual common ground that I could share with my born-again Christian father. This is a fluffy, feel-good sort of book, but it didn't do a lot for me.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I read Thich Nhat Hanh's(TNH) other books on Christianity & Buddhism and had found them at first to be a bit simplistic. I now realize that it is a very specific audience that TNH is addressing. He is addressing Western Buddhists who grew up Christian or those who are trying to understand Christianity & Buddhism in terms of practice. He emphasizes that people who grew up Christian and became Buddhists, or attracted to Buddhism, should give Christi...more
A companion book to Living Buddha, Living Christ. If Jesus and Buddha were walking and met along the road, what might there discussion be?
The most intelligent and comprehensive outline of the similarities and differences between the two religions I've ever read.
I am very fond of everything I have read by Thich Nhat Hahn, and this work is certainly no exception.

His powerful commentary about the existence of suffering as it pertains to the human condition has really stuck with me.
I gave all my Thich Nhat Hanh books 5 star ratings, but this is my favorite of Nhat Hanh's books. Beautifully written in a way that glorifies both traditions and denigrates neither.
Grace Kane
I adore all that Thich Nhat Hanh writes...I have also listened to this book (mp3 version)while outside tending my garden for hours...a favorite meditative activity for me:)
A surprisingly humorous read. It's good for stretching your philosophical perspectives.
Did you know that Jesus meditated? In Living Buddha, Living Christ, Thich Nhat Hanh delivered a powerhouse bestseller about the affinities of Buddhist and Christian ideals. In Going Home, he focuses on fundamental concepts that still drive a wedge between the two religions--such as rebirth vs. eternal life, God vs. nirvana, and so on. After praising the differences between Christianity and Buddhism, Nhat Hanh proceeds to dissolve them in virtuosic style. Not only did Jesus meditate, he says, but...more
Sep 14, 2014 Anne added it
My only problem with this book is that the author assumes the reader knows what the jargon means. He refers to the Dharma, Sangha, etc and if the reader doesn't know what they mean then it will slow down if not discourage the reader.
Basically Dharma means the Buddhist teachings and Sangha means a community/congregation/group.
A wonderful and inspiring book encouraging and inclusive. I appreciate Thay's openness and ability to embrace Jesus as a teacher and spiritual pillar of the Christian faith.

I will re-read this book and probably gain fresh insights the next time through.
Oct 01, 2014 Lora rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone; the lost, the lonely, the wanderer, the Buddhist, the Christian,... everyone and anyone
This book is pretty amazing! It is practical, but more than that it blends two seemingly dispirit faiths and religious figures. It is something everyone should read and think about, and maybe wars and violence would be greatly reduced.
Spoiler: We are all like waves in the ocean. There. Now you don't have to waste your time reading the book.

Here's a quote from the book: "Scientists agree that there is no birth and no death of anything." That conclusion is based on this quote from the French "scientist" Lavoisier: "Nothing is created and nothing dies." In reality, he was a chemist who lived in the 1700s. How does he earn speaking for all of science.

Lin Chi once said, "If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him." So if you d...more
Mark Stevens, ThD
Even though I am a Christian I love Thich Nhat Hanh's books and his insight into the life of Jesus Christ.
Insightful comparisons of two ways of viewing reality
This book is amazing. As usual Thich Nhat Hanh manages to express spiritual insights in such a simple, gentle way that has an overall message of unity and love. His words on mindfulness are inspirational, and I believe every Christian should read this text to understand the great similarities he reveals between its faith and Buddhism, as Jesus and Buddha surely would have walked as brothers.
I appreciated that Thich Nhat Hanh made his book approachable, easily readable. He keeps his language and sentence structure simple and takes things slowly, for the benefit of those new to Buddhism. My only criticism is that he got off-topic sometimes, like in the end when he talked for a page or two about vegetarianism and plant suffering.
Enlightening, really. I think I learned more about Christianity in this book than I did in any specifically Christian book. Very straight-forward, but in a zen sort of way. I encourage everyone to read it, and get a sense for how we can fit together in this world, rather than be divided! (June 2006)
Matthew Flowers
As a series of lectures/homilies/sermons this is an average read. I respect the author immensely as an advocate of peace and communication. I was hoping for a thought experiment about Christ and Buddha as brothers as opposed to this. The title built me up and left me wanting more.
This was written by a Buddhist monk exiled from Vietnam who also considers himself a Christian. It's crazy how similar the two religions are. In general, I think they believe in a lot of the same things. They just tend to phrase the beliefs a little differently.
David Jones
This book is as warm as a fireplace in winter. It was one of the beginning inspirations for me to write The Enlightenment of Jesus.
David W. Jones
Mar 17, 2012 Don rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: faith
Finally! Made it through this book. My first deep look at Buddhism. Maybe that's why it was difficult. It's proof that theology in any religion can be a challenge when explained only in terms of the theologian.
Simple thoughts that delve so deep. Each page I turned I would think "You're right! Of course!"
I felt good as I read, and even better as I thought for a bit after. I need to read this on a regular basis.
Sil InCorea
This is a very interesting pulling-together of the teachings of Jesus and the Buddha. They came to many of the same conclusions. Thich Nhat Hanh emphasizes the common threads in Christianity and Buddhism.
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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
More about Thích Nhất Hạnh...
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“It is said that God has created man in his own image. But it may be that humankind has created God in the image of humankind.” 151 likes
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