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The Art of Power

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  2,035 ratings  ·  197 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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4.20  · 
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 ·  2,035 ratings  ·  197 reviews

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Sep 25, 2013 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
Jul 29, 2009 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!
Jun 19, 2008 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.
Dec 16, 2009 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
Mark Robison
Aug 29, 2015 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
Stephanie *Extremely Stable Genius*
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!
Amber Scaife
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thich Nhat Hanh here details how real power is found in loving kindness and not in wealth or fame or political gain. So mostly a reinforcement of moral common sense, to be honest, but it was a nice reminder on trying to walk and breath and pretty much do everything we do mindfully.
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This will be a short review. It would be easy for a cynic to dismiss this book. That would be a mistake, because basically Hanh is right about everything in here.
Brian Gee
Dec 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Its ok. If you have read one of THich Nhat Hanh's books you have read them all.
Harshit Vyas
Mar 30, 2018 rated it liked it
It seems as if a child has written the book because of its simplistic language. But teaches how to live in the present moment. Recommended to lessen your mind chatter.
Chip Hunter
Dec 29, 2016 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
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
Feb 13, 2011 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 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 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!
J. Maximilian Jarrett II
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Thich Nhat Hanh was the first modern Zen master I read whose writings spoke to me very deeply when I first entered "the Stream" . The clarity of us insights and teachings is laudable and most useful. This book is another gem. I particularly liked the appendix which tells the story of the Patagonia company in the words of its founder. Highly recommended!
Jan 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Timeless wisdom imparted in simple prose. Re-reading this helped me quiet my monkey mind and remember to be happy in the moment. A bit repetitive, but not a big deal because the whole thing is so short and so good overall.

[Originally read in January 2010.]
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.
Sam Singer
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More Westerners should read

For a novice learning this practice or someone wanting to gain understanding of their life, this book is simple and c!ear. It is a book I will reread over time for sure.
Aug 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Main theme: Mindfulness and compassion.
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.
Katrina Sark
Feb 06, 2016 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
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stuck between a 3 and 4, but I enjoy the positivity of this book. I'm a sucker for books that try to open new doors of optimism in the same way dogs are suckers for treats. The Art of Power is a dialogue. A lot of the message is targeted at an American audience. Americans are not the only ones who will benefit from this book. The book contains oriental spiritual charm and Thich offers real advice that I think is refreshing, rejuvenating and has the potential to do exactly what he preaches - Cha ...more
Ann Living It Up
What I personally enjoyed about this book was the steps/exercises Thich Nhat Hanh says we can take to be more "mindful" in our lives. Mindfulness leads to great insight and I for one have experienced this more so lately than ever due to my daily practice of it. I noticed that I am much more happier and at peace with myself and life around me, and I have slowed down my life in doing so. If I am not mindful, I notice stress and unhappiness result, so I am much better off being mindful about everyt ...more
Saeid Mohammadpour
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
What do you thing the power is? Thich Nhat Hanh, the author of "The Art of Power" defines the power in a unique way. I believe that it's the true meaning of power. However, most of us consider other things as power; money and fame are among them. However the more money and fame we gain, the more thirsty we become for gaining more. True happiness can be obtained as a result of having a different kind of power(true power). This book will define the real power and happiness for you. Thich Nhat Hanh ...more
JJ Litke
Jul 13, 2018 rated it liked it
From chapter 3: ““We all know that our bodies have the capacity of self-healing. When we cut our finger, we know that we don’t have to do anything besides clean it; our body will take care of the rest. We panic when we forget that our bodies have the power of self-healing. If we simply allow our bodies to rest, our bodies can heal themselves without a lot of medicine.”

Okay, except what about when the body can’t self-heal? What about chronic illness? What about terminal illness?

The above quote is
Jason Almeida
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
The chapter on Mindfulness which has been an ever popular topic in many of the common sense type self examining chaos which can be our lives today. Apparently when we actually take the time to sit still or think before we speak there a major benefit, dah..?! I was one of those at the time who needed to focus on others things more than myself. Essentially this book, makes you take life and daily activities and how we see the world in a light which is a hard practice for anyone, or at least to sta ...more
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
From this book I've learned more about the power of inner calm and peace that mindfulness brings. The first lesson that caught my attention was the one about the politician who practiced mindful walking when he went from one place to another, because it was the only time at work that he had to truly relax and disconnect from problems. Mindful walking is walking without thinking about anything, you focus on the steps you take and the solid ground beneath your feet and dismiss any other thought or ...more
Ghia Arroyo
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read but I did find Thich to be repetitive in some concepts. Not just throughout this book but also one of his other books. I did like that it gave us the perspective of businessmen though. That there is a much needed balance between business and still being present. The route I plan to take involves business and I would like to keep the spiritual and work part of me balanced. He writes about nice examples of how these practices incorporated in everyday life. I’ve already started to imple ...more
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love Thay. So grateful for his wisdom, which can be applied with or without the spiritual aspect. It’s just good, wholesome teaching. That being said, this book is not much about power, but more about basic Buddhist principals that we should apply in all areas in our lives, especially with our co-workers, place of business, towards government officials, etc. A small portion of the book does discuss the ability to use our powers to help the suffering of others, again, a well known and basic Bud ...more
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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
“Many people think excitement is happiness.... But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.” 674 likes
“If you suffer and make your loved ones suffer, there is nothing that can justify your desire.” 220 likes
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