Maria's Reviews > The Art of Power

The Art of Power by Thích Nhất Hạnh
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Feb 19, 11

Read from February 13 to 19, 2011

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 power is (money, corporate or political domination, etc). After this premise laid out, a great deal of the book is spent teaching about mindfulness and mindfulness practice. Nhat Hanh believes that only by being completely mindful of and invested in what we are doing right now, can we find happiness and love (i.e., power). I got a lot out of this book. The mindfulness and meditation practice is explained in a very accessible way. Although this practice is based in Buddhist philosophy, something else Nhat Hanh explains in an engaging and fascinating-- but never dogmatic-- way, the practice is accessible to anyone of any religious/spiritual creed.

The only thing I liked less about this book was the section about how he has translated his own mindfulness practice into political action. While I agree with much of what he believes in, it felt overly pedantic and lectury.
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