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Cultivating the Mind of Love

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  185 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
When Thich Nhat Hanh was a 24-year-old monk, he fell desperately in love with a nun of 20. He couldn’t sleep, and stayed up all night writing poetry. This book taps that experience in an ambitious double narrative that interweaves his memories of that first love with how it was transmuted into boddhichitta with a thoughtful study of the Mahayana Buddhist sutras. Through th ...more
Paperback, 120 pages
Published February 28th 2008 by Parallax Press (first published 1996)
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Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very useful little book indeed.Anyone who is interested in Buddhism, and Mahayana in particular,must go through this.The author TNH is a world-renowned Teacher as well as a very compassionate writer.He writes about deepest thoughts of the Buddha in today's language in such a beautiful manner.
I was particularly delighted to find very clear summeries of three very important sutras of Mahayana Buddhism,the Diamond,The Lotus and The Avatamsaka in this little book.
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very beautiful and practical book. I recommend it to everyone. Its not just about love. Thich comments on many Buddhist Sutras that might otherwise be impenetrable. He has a gift for making Buddhism accessible to all.
Jonathan Hastings
Jan 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The effect of the book (especially part one) was (for me) transforming. It begins with a sweet story of Nhat's early experience with love and subsequently guides the reader in looking into his own experience. Ultimately revealing that if one sees properly there is no separation between ones first love and second love ... or even between one and another's love. There is a stream that runs before, inside, through, and beyond us, and there is great benefit to meditating on this stream, as it has br ...more
Nov 03, 2009 rated it liked it
I've considered reading something by Thich Nhat Hanh on more than one occassion so when I encountered this book in the Unity Temple shop while visiting my brother in Kansas City, the occassion became now. In many ways this was a very simple yet profound read. Beautifully poetic and endlessly hopeful, the authors own love was offered as a means to examine where a human life and the Buddha's teachings, the one and the many, the now and the eternal connect. A similar message from another vantage po ...more
Feb 05, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sabrina by: Phil
Shelves: philosophy
I found this book stimulating, but I have to admit it was a bit much for me. The concepts were thought provoking, but I was unable to get behind the style it was written in and the many directions it took. Since it is such a positive book, I'll keep my review that way. I enjoyed the way it made you think about and cherish your first love, in order to better understand yourself and the world around you. My favorite part, was the discussion in the last chapter, about being mindful of the moment. F ...more
Aug 05, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a while to get through this book - this seems more designed as a help for studying particular Buddhist sutra texts, not something I'm interested in doing. The tone is always gentle with Thich Nhat Hanh, but I could barely remember what he spoke of from one reading to the next. This would be helpful if you wanted in-depth study, but not so much for someone looking for reminders and maybe a few mantras to focus on during meditation.
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure that I'm far along enough down the path of enlightenment to understand half of what is going on here, but the parts I understood were sweet, insightful, thought-provoking, enriching or just plain amusing (like the summaries of certain sutras which are trippy and fun to read aloud). I look forward to getting to a point in my life where I can figure out what the hell is going on in the rest of the book.
Erik Dabel
Sep 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like Thich Nhat Hanh's way of explaining Buddhist ideas. Not so over our heads that only the most learned can understand, but also in depth enough to get a good understanding of exactly what is going on.

I really like the concepts discussed in this short book. If only more people on this planet felt the same way, the world would be a better place!
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reflecting and meditating on "The Beauty of Spring", I know it will be one of those passages that I will take with me for the rest of my life, for what it revealed. Anyone seeking a deeper understanding of love, I would recommend this book. Note, though,if you are unfamiliar with the foundations of Buddhism might want to give themselves plenty of time to get through the chapters.
May 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book was a graduation gift, and it was very timely. I read it over the course of just two or three days, it was difficult to put down. It was written very simply, so it was easy to grasp, but the message was very profound.
Oct 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One the most poetic and affecting works I've read by Thich Nhat Hanh. Short. Bears re-reading. About love - particular and universal, and therefore also about life, change, beginnings, and ends. One does not need to be a Buddhist at all to appreciate it.
Jul 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Liked this book as it was unusual for a monk to embrace the topic of romantic love.
Joe Murphy
Jan 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
George Araman
Apr 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual
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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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