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No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  4,008 ratings  ·  305 reviews
The secret to happiness is to acknowledge and transform suffering, not to run away from it. In No Mud, No Lotus, Thich Nhat Hanh offers practices and inspiration for transforming suffering and finding true joy. Thich Nhat Hanh acknowledges that because suffering can feel so bad, we try to run away from it or cover it up by consuming. We find something to eat or turn on the ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published December 30th 2014 by Parallax Press (first published December 8th 2014)
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Justin
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Here's the thing, if you have read any of Hanh's books, you have pretty much read them all. He teaches the same few lessons in different and new ways. This book focuses on suffering and the need to move through suffering, rather than avoiding it. How mindfulness, letting go, simplicity, etc. Basic Hanh teachings in each of his books. This doesn't make it a bad book, in fact it is a very good book because it is important to keep coming back to his teachings as one is reminded to come back to one' ...more
Lorilin
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, wellness
Such a short book, but it took me forever to read because there is so much to think about. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around everything I learned. I don't feel like writing a huge review for this one, but it was a life-changing read for me. There is a lot of insight in these pages--and a lot of genuine, practical advice for calming yourself down and finding general peace with life. I really enjoyed it.
Robin
Jun 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Thich Nhat Hanh has a very simple writing style, so it makes one feel as though the concepts he conveys are simple too. In some ways, they are. To paraphrase: Be present, now, with your in breath and your out breath. Bring your attention to this moment, and acknowledge what you feel. If you suffer, recognize it. Listen to your own suffering as deeply as you can. Whatever the nature of your suffering it, by knowing it and embracing it, you can transform it into greater compassion. Is someone you ...more
♥ Ibrahim ♥
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
His books pretty much say the same thing, same message but in different contexts, and I love to hear it repeated over and over again. Some people you like to hear for the spirit with which they communicate, regardless of getting something new every time or not, that is besides the point. And I love hearing this guy talk and I can hear him say the same thing over and over and always feel refreshed and adapt this message into my own life in practical, concrete terms.
Robin
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This slim little book is huge with wisdom and and insight just what my heart needed.
Kirtida Gautam
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chakra-6
This is the 2nd book of Thich Nhat Hanh I have read. Every time I read him, it's like someone is applying balm on my emotional pain. His writing is so soothing.
David
Oct 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering is a book written by the Vietnamese monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh, which focuses on various aspects surrounding the concept of transforming suffering. The meaning behind the title is that without mud, the beautiful lotus flower could not grow. This is an analogy to life—without suffering, there cannot be happiness. The key is to develop a keen ability to transform one's own suffering, for which Hanh lays out a detailed plan with vario ...more
Mark Robison
Sep 13, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a distillation of teachings into very direct statements and recommendations. As such, it's not all that great for reading but is fine as a reference book. Excerpt: "The most effective way to show compassion to another is to listen, rather than talk. You have an opportunity to practice deep, compassionate listening. If you can listen to the other person with compassion, your listening is like a salve for her wound. In the practice of compassionate listening, you listen with only one purpo ...more
Elaine
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Great title. Shame the content didn't live up to the promise. Perhaps I'm being a little harsh here but not everything can be fixed with breathing and mindfulness. Or maybe I'm just not doing it right.
Gregory
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Brought me back to my center. Extremely helpful.
Jim
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion, asian-lit
To live is to suffer. We all yearn for happiness, but have unreasonable expectations that happiness can take root and stay forever, whereas it is only the flip side of suffering. Thich Nhat Hanh has written a number of books to each us that mindfulness is the key to overcoming suffering and enjoying happiness. Nothing he teaches relates solely to any particular religion: rather, it is a technique for helping us live in the moment, which is the only time and place we will encounter happiness.
Halle
Nov 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
No Mud, No lotus is a great read that offers practical ways to deal with suffering in the world, no matter how big or small. Thich Nhat Hanh, through simple exercises and thoughtful metaphors, teaches "the art of suffering" and how one can suffer mindfully and experience happiness in suffering. This book is helpful and will bless all who read its pages!
Naomi
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Accessible, clear teachings on suffering and happiness and ways to cultivate greater happiness in the world through greater mindfulness. Good for individuals, small and large group study and practice.
Archer Atkins
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much that I bought a physical copy for my book shelf. I try not to buy paper books because I'm working towards a minimalist lifestyle. However, this book is worth having a copy in the house. So many gems of wisdom.
Alyssa
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual
Small and unassuming...I picked up this thin volume with no previous exposure to the author and was transported to a place of spiritual awakening.

Every word is gold. If I'd owned the copy I read most of it would be highlighted. Softly spoken but such a clear voice of truth that it resonates on a very deep level.

We have all suffered...perhaps currently. How do we respond to it? How is it shaping us?
Bonnie
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Let's be completely honest. We are living during a global pandemic, people are out of work, some people are dying from the virus, basically anything fun is canceled, there lots of fear out there, and it's just a shitty time. Pre-shit show, my mind felt awesome. Sure there were some ups and downs but overall, it was good. During this shit show, my mind has spiraled a couple of times. Where are we going to all land after this is over? What is going to happen to our economy? What is going to happen ...more
кай жук
"Waking up this morning I smile. I have twenty-four hours to live. I vow to live them deeply and learn to look at the beings around me with the eyes of compassion."

Honestly disapointed in this. Very challenging to read, it's like reading a high schoolers essay where they're just trying to meet a minimum word requirement. Some sections are certainly worse than others, but overall I found the writing style hard to keep me engaged. Maybe I am jaded, but I didn't gain any pearly new insights into my
...more
J. Alfred
Jul 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Pretty clearly a teenage-aimed adaptation of a theory and lifestyle that has helped many people across the world to live happier, more intent lives. The teenage aspect of it will make you roll your eyes, but some of the exercises in the back might be useful. (Think about what you're doing when you're walking. When you're breathing. Etc.)
Alice
Jul 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddhism
Quite a simplistic read, like an extended lecture, but so full of joy it was a pleasure to read.
Chloecharder
Nov 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Thich Nhat Hanh's "No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering" inspires me to practice self-mindedness and accept suffering. Hanh illustrates the importance to face our suffering instead of run away from it in order to turn it into happiness. He shares the practices one must take so that we can live prosperously and joyfully.

Throughout the novel, the author focuses on the importance of stopping, taking mindful breathes, and deep concentration so that we can find joy. Hanh emphasizes th
...more
Urenna Sander
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
In September, a family member gave me a gift of Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, No Mud, No Lotus. He suggested our reading the book be a joint effort between us. We would read a chapter and discuss our viewpoint. It didn’t happen as planned. So I decided to read the book as one of my book challenges for 2016.

At first, I hesitated on reading this book. Who wants to embrace their suffering? When we are in intense struggles or great change, whether it’s a marriage, relationship, death of a loved one or los
...more
Bill Pritchard
Feb 11, 2015 rated it liked it
It was wonderful to have a full weekend to ingest No Mud, No Lotus by Thich Nhat Hanh. I have always enjoyed his works - for it reminds me of how important it is to slow down and look around. The first 30+ pages were enjoyable - for it was some new material from the author. The rest of the work is a reminder of earlier works, which of course is important and essential. It is also likely good who pick up this work as their first exposure to Thich Nhat Hanh. But for me, this was ground already tro ...more
Mona
Aug 26, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is what I call "airplane read" - short, painfully simply worded, with pleasent message and calming potential. This is directed to average Westerner who has no idea about Buddhism and is not particularly interested in anything deeper on the topic. 

Author is a well known Zen monk who wrote numerous books and tries to make Buddhist teachings quick, easy and popular among average Joes. This book is no different. 

I think it's good so many people liked it. Buddhist teachings have lots of wis
...more
Becca
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This small book was packed with so many interesting ideas and concepts. It's one that I will ruminate on for quite awhile. I can't say that I grasped every concept, but I'm okay with that. I don't have much prior knowledge of Buddhism and I'm only slightly familiar with the practice of mindfulness. But don't be intimidated at all. The author's writing and presentation was simple and enjoyable. I'd recommend it, and I will be reading more by this author.
Vahini
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
Accepting and embracing suffering is truly an art. When we look at some people, they keep up their smile and charm all 365 days of the year, as if they don’t have good and bad days. That’s a practice and Thay gives many such practices all throughout the book to get through the everyday sufferings small and big. After reading a bunch of Thay’s books by now I am so in love with his simple teachings and practices. Definitely recommend this book to everyone.
Christine
Jan 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Like all of Thich Nhat Hanh's books, this one is written with his simple and straight forward style and filled with tools for creating mindfulness and gratitude in everyday life. I especially like the charts with breathing techniques and mantras. Very practical ideas for making change in your life.
Sher
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
Treasure trove of practices and commentary on breathing, walking meditation, mantra, happiness is not an individual matter, seeds, cultivating compassion, joy, equanimity ... Each one of Thich Nhat Hanh's books is a lifetime treasure. This is my favorite, most often read author.
Vanessa
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This slim book is a good starting point. Have already read his book the Miracle of Mindfulness and No Mud, No Lotus seems like a (too) condensed version of many of the Buddhist concepts and techniques in tMoM.
Jardin Telling
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely beautiful. Very helpful and insightful to help me with my mindfulness techniques, and has helped set me up to focus more on living in the present vs worrying about the past and the future. Looking forward to reading more of his works.
IAO131
Jun 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: buddhism
An incredibly simple, clear, and practical introduction to mindfulness. Therefore recommended only to those who are just beginning to learn & practice. ...more
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Self Care: No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering 1 5 Jul 12, 2015 09:36AM  
Reading Peace : What does "no mud no lotus" actually mean? 8 109 Apr 05, 2015 03:43PM  

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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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Contemporary young adult literature has often led the way in depicting the real-life issues facing teens from all backgrounds. To delve into ho...
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“When you love someone, you have to offer that person the best you have. The best thing we can offer another person is our true presence.” 47 likes
“The main affliction of our modern civilization is that we don’t know how to handle the suffering inside us and we try to cover it up with all kinds of consumption.” 39 likes
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