Dylan Tweney's Reviews > Old Path White Clouds: Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha

Old Path White Clouds by Thich Nhat Hanh
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it was amazing


A long, 570-page story of the Buddha’s life — a novel, really, with dialogue and scenes and lovely writing. But one that draws on an immense store of scholarship, both in the Pali canon as well as the Chinese Agamas, to assemble a year-by-year story of how Siddhartha was born, grew up, lived as an adult, went seeking, and achieved enlightenment. Naturally the plot, such as it is, gets less interesting in the post-enlightenment period, the 40 years of his teaching, when there is really not much conflict. But it can also be read in a semi-devotional way, a short chapter or two at a time, and it sinks in gently, over time, when you do that.

Unlike other writers or the sutras themselves, Nhat Hanh pretty much avoids mention of anything that might be seen as miraculous or magical, so the portrait that comes through is of a remarkable, gentle, powerfully wise man who actually walked on the earth and actually talked with and had friendships with many others. I found this book surprisingly moving.
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Reading Progress

March 22, 2020 – Shelved
March 22, 2020 – Shelved as: to-read
July 7, 2020 – Started Reading
July 23, 2020 – Finished Reading

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