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The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation
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Core Group Books > The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation

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John I finished reading this book, put it down, and a few days later picked it up to read again, this time to take notes in an attempt to keep the information stored in my brain.

Very influential to me.


message 3: by MJD (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJD | 210 comments I think that this is a good book for those new to the subject and those that are more advanced in their study of the subject. For beginners, I think that it serves as a good introduction as it crams in a lot of information and cites where people can study the summarized conceptions in the book in a more in-depth manner. For advanced students, I think that he does a good job pointing out areas of disagreement among Buddhist scholars, does a decent job describing positions that he opposes, and does a good job describing his positions (For example, he claims that there are three seals of dharma ["seals" being the very basic concepts that need to be included into a set of concepts for that set to be able to be called "Buddhist"] whereas others think that there is a different number of seals).


John In the chapter on the 3rd Noble Truth, Hanh asks three questions: what nourishes joy in you? what nourishes joy in others? what do you do to nourish that joy? (I'm paraphrasing a little on the 3rd question - I'll correct later when I have my book with me).

Those questions knocked me on my backside.

I like how his examples/explanations, for the most part, are completely straight forward and simple.


message 5: by MJD (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJD | 210 comments While I am a strong advocate for evaluating people's claims on the merits of the claims themselves, and not on the basis of an evaluation of the person saying the claims, I do think that the message in this book is helped out by the messenger.

That is, he serves as a good example of the human ability to live by the precepts that he is advocating. I think that this really stands out in parts where he talks about his war experiences. The idea that he can practice what he preaches lends itself to the idea that it is indeed possible for people to do the same (i.e. he displays empirical evidence for his claims with his own life story).


Amanda (PandaCat) (pandacat) | 8 comments This book was so beautiful. I love how Thich Nhat Hanh compares us to cookie batter given we are essentially made up of the same genetic components. We are different components of the universe recycled.

I also like that he's says "even when we have pain in our heart we can still enjoy the many wonders of life." What a beautiful thought. It's best not to just stop living because something painful is happening. It is possible to block it out of your mind for a while when enjoying other life content.


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