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Our Appointment with Life: Discourse on Living Happily in the Present Moment
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Our Appointment with Life: Discourse on Living Happily in the Present Moment

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  288 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Our Appointment with Life is a translation and commentary on the Sutra on Knowing the Better Way to Live Alone, the earliest teaching of the Buddha on how to live fully in the present moment.
Paperback, 56 pages
Published October 1st 1990 by Parallax Press
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Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
An exorcism of sorts. Better living alone refers to living without your ghosts, the ghosts of regrets or better times past and future rewards or calamities. Not that the past or future are not considered but that they are considered with mindful observation rooted in the present moment. Identify less with the past and future and observe the internal formations that arise when triggered. Take care of the present and the future takes care of itself. Learn from the past to grow in wisdom in the pre ...more
Jan 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: buddhisty-stuff
This short book is simply translations of several variations on the brief sutas and gathas which refer to what Thich Nhat Hanh translates as “living alone.” That is living in the present moment. The Theranamo Sutta, th Bhaddekaratta Sutta, and a couple from the Chinese cannon.

The best part of the book is the translation in to English of the fragment which forms the basis for commentary.

Do not pursue the past,
Do not lose yourself in the future.
The past no long is.
The future has not yet come.
Serena Long ﺕ
To live alone doesn't mean to isolate oneself from society. It means to live in mindfulness. One who knows the better way to live alone can see clearly, even in a crowd of people. The Sutra on Knowing the Better Way to Live Alone is the earliest teaching of the Buddha on living fully in the present moment; it is the basis for the enlightened life, and that can lead to awakened understanding and nirvana. According to the teaching of interbeing, the past makes the present, and the present makes th ...more
Mar 09, 2017 marked it as to-read
recommended by dcc
Jul 03, 2010 added it
Living alone right in society: My mother raised me. She worked diligently at a job that paid her less than a living-wage. Yet we lived. Mother worked hard and she worked a second-shift as mom: performing domestic work and trying to keep me from becoming a criminal and/or a substance abuser. Being raised as an only child by a single mother afforded me a great deal of alone time. I, like Thera (Elder) did many things alone growing up (some activities wholesome, others curious, and yet others downr ...more
Feb 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent little book that manages to sum up the core of Buddhist philosophy with one sutra. Thich Nhat Hanh is always clear cut and easy to understand. This is the first discourse that I've read of his and, though it differs in style from Peace is Every Step and Living Buddha Living Christ, it in some ways spoke to me more than those two books did. When he writes "Our appointment with life is in the present moment. The place of our appointment is right here, in this very place", I ha ...more
Weekend Reader_
Jan 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: spirituality
The first book of 2017 was ALL about self-awareness. This quick read focused on traditional Buddhist teaching of being present. In full disclosure I'm Christian, so reading teachings about monks was different. The practice of meditation and being alone in some ways was in conflict of communal prayer and support. Even though at times I felt uncomfortable, I pushed forward and didn’t let that stop me from appreciating the message. This book highlighted the power of the mind and the need for alone ...more
Jan 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Our Appointment with Life
Thich Nhat Hanh

If a person cannot live mindfully in the present moment, then even if he or she is all alone in the forest, it is not truly living alone.

even a bad movie or book can teach us.

according to Buddhism, hope can be an obstacle . . . making plans for the future does not mean to be swept away by daydreams.

The best way of preparing for the future is to take care of the present, because we know that if the present is made up of the past, then
Frank Jude
Aug 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Beginners and Experienced practitioners.
Shelves: buddhism
I've read this commentary and translation of these two suttas, Theranamo Sutta and Bhaddekaratta Sutta several times over the years, and this time I taught it to a group of students, both beginners and experienced, and went deeper than I'd ever done before. Simple, short, succinct as they are, they contain great wisdom, the core teachings of the Buddha, and very practical and pragmatic explication on what it means to "live in the present moment."

I am grateful to Thay Nhat Hanh for this simple bo
Jan 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Book #5: Our Appointment with Life by Thich Nhat Hanh

The best way for me to describe this short book is to quote a few lines from page 42:

The best way of preparing for the future is to take good care of the present, because we know that if the present is made up of the past, then the future will be made up of the present. All we need to be responsible for is the present moment. Only the present is within our reach. To care for the present is to care for the future.
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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 Thich Nhat Hanh...
“The commentaries usually mention nine kinds of internal formations: desire, hatred, pride, ignorance, stubborn views, attachment, doubt, jealousy, and selfishness. Among these, the fundamental internal formation is ignorance, the lack of clear seeing. Ignorance is the raw material out of which the other internal formations are made. Although there are nine internal formations, because “desire” is always listed first, it is often used to represent all the internal formations.” 1 likes
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