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The Art of Power

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  1,383 Ratings  ·  126 Reviews
"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, we look to the past or the future for our happiness."
Turning our conventional understanding of power on its head, world-renowned Zen master, spiritual leade
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published August 14th 2007 by HarperOne
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Sep 25, 2013 Ryan rated it really liked it
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
Jun 19, 2008 Erin rated it really liked it
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.
Jul 29, 2009 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
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!
Jul 07, 2009 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
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!
Mark Robison
Aug 29, 2015 Mark Robison rated it really liked it
This book is aimed at CEOs, politicians and other powerful people about how real power is not dominating others with your wealth or power, but the power to be happy in the present moment and free from addiction, despair and anger. As sometimes happens when I read his books, the advice seems almost too simplistic to work in the real word in hard situations: breathe to get in sync with your body, the present moment is a wonderful moment, realize there is no self and that others are really you too, ...more
Dec 16, 2009 Mary rated it it was ok
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
Vỹ Hồng
Feb 12, 2017 Vỹ Hồng rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Một quyển sách hay, có nhiều khái niệm hữu ích và những bài học thực tế. Bản thân mình không phải là người am hiểu về Phật giáo. Thế nên có thể nhiều kiến thức mình cảm thấy mới lạ và thú vị lại là những điều rất phổ thông đối với các Phật tử.

Về nội dung, quyển sách nhan đề “Quyền Lực Đích Thực” nhưng trớ trêu thay những phần bàn về quyền lực lại là những phần kém ấn tượng nhất. Tuy nhiên, đấy có thể lại chính là nền tảng cho những bàn luận thú vụ hơn sau này.

Mình thích các khái niệm về niệm (sự
Feb 13, 2011 Maria rated it really liked it
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
Jan 09, 2009 Mikelkpoet rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 12, 2011 Kim rated it it was amazing
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!
Loved the ideas presented in this book! What a great first book for the CSL book club! Definitely touches on all the big themes of the Center: mindfulness, belovedness, love, compassion, money, community. It was a bit slow at times, and the writing a bit simple, which is why this is 3 stars.
Katrina Sark
Feb 06, 2016 Katrina Sark rated it really liked it
p.3 – To bring happiness to others, we must be happiness. And this is why we always train ourselves to first take care of our own bodies and minds. Only when we are solid can we be our best and take good care of our loved ones.
When we suffer in our personal lives, our professional lives suffer too. When we suffer in our professional lives, our personal lives also suffer.

p.4-5 – Without compassion, you can’t be happy, no matter how rich you are. You become isolated and trapped within your own wo
Feb 19, 2017 Benoit rated it it was amazing
Great book about power as we perceive it. Lots of very useful insight for people with power. How to not misuse it and how to help others.

We all have the power to live in the present moment and Thick That Hanh gives a lot of mindfulness practice to make sure our power is not lost to some negative emotion like anger, stress, jealousy.

The Yvon Chouinard (Patagonia CEO) example and values is also great for managers and, active shareholders and C-level executive.

You should definitely read this book i
Chip Hunter
Dec 29, 2016 Chip Hunter rated it really liked it
Let me start by saying that I have VERY little knowledge or understanding of Buddhism. I was given this book by a friend of mine (from Vietnam) whom apparently thought I could benefit from some of Mr. Hanh's teachings. Intrigued, I dove into this thin book expecting a discourse on how Buddhism will make your life better, ect. What I found instead, was a heart-felt, insightful, and valuable introduction to a practical way to view life that can help you achieve happiness despite your circumstances ...more
Nov 12, 2016 Calista rated it really liked it
After this election, this book helped to calm me and give me some peace. Walking meditation, it works and it's a good thing. He brought me back to mindfulness. Thank you.
Ian Vollbracht
Dec 30, 2016 Ian Vollbracht rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book of calm.
Jen Serdetchnaia
Jul 13, 2015 Jen Serdetchnaia rated it it was amazing
The Art of Power is Buddhism for the modern-day busybody.

Thich Nhat Hanh’s central lesson is that happiness is not excitement but peace, and that the battle for this peace is waged by powers on cravings. He defines the five powers as faith, diligence, mindfulness, concentration and insight; and the four objects of craving as sex, power, fame, and wealth.

Like many Buddhist texts, Thich Nhat Hanh talks of dedicating ourselves to the present, and of being instead of thinking.

He argues that too man
Hillary roberts
Aug 21, 2014 Hillary roberts rated it it was amazing
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 authentic selves.

Everyone wants power. We assign respect and power based on jobs among other things. Thích Nhất Hạnh says that true power comes from within and that we all can meet. Even the
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
Sep 04, 2013 Jacquelin is currently reading it
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
DoCong Nguyen
Có thể hiểu đây là câu trả lời của cụ Hạnh cho câu hỏi của triết học Hy Lạp xưa về việc sống thế nào cho hạnh phúc: lý luận và thực hành. Nếu mình không nhầm, cụ dựa khá nhiều vào đạo Phật, và không biết là vì cụ hay vì đạo Phật, cơ mà có một vài điểm trong cuốn sách giao cắt với triết học và tâm lý học phương Tây. Cuốn sách có một vài điểm mình cho là thú vị, và bản thân mình trước khi đọc cuốn này cũng nghĩ sẽ có lúc cần tập thiền, tuy nhiên, có khá nhiều điểm mình không đồng tình với cuốn sác ...more
Sarah Allen
Dec 22, 2016 Sarah Allen rated it really liked it
I need to re-read the book which I read over the course of a year.
Jun 17, 2012 Marzieh rated it liked it
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
Aug 22, 2013 Suzanne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: buddhism
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
Dec 16, 2016 Tsering rated it really liked it
After reading multiple of books by His Holiness The Dalai Lama and my somewhat inherited/acquired/practised knowledge on Buddhism, this could be just one in the many. However, at this point in my life, in this moment, it came off as a sweet reminder and much needed too. Otherwise, a 3 starer book.

My major learning - 1. Looking at impermanence in the positive ways. Suffering too will end.
2. Enough love to share with everyone near you.
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
May 01, 2012 Jason rated it really liked it
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
Apr 14, 2014 May rated it it was ok
Shelves: spiritual
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
Joshua Stein
Oct 28, 2008 Joshua Stein rated it really liked it
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 (
Kate Schwarz
Jan 20, 2013 Kate Schwarz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: other
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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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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“Many people think excitement is happiness.... But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.” 599 likes
“If you suffer and make your loved ones suffer, there is nothing that can justify your desire.” 201 likes
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