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Teachings on Love


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Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the most revered Zen teachers in the world today. His best-selling books include Happiness and Peace Is Every Step. He lives in Plum Village in southwest France,his meditation and retreat center in France, where he teaches the art of mindful living.


A Buddhist monk, prolific author of 30 books, and candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts during the Paris peace talks, Hanh here continues his theme of peace‘this time through the tool of love. His topic, how to love well, will be of interest to many, and his simple prose style is easy and soothing to read. Hanh makes a point of trying to reach his modern audience, even those without Buddhist sensibility, with refences to E-mail and faxes in his chapter on deep listening. Elsewhere he speaks of four-star hotels as nothing compared to the "abode of Brahma...a four thousand star hotel." His message is clear: love yourself and others by listening deeply, using "right" speech, and building a strong sangha (community). To stay away from harming ourselves and others he advises mindfulness and practicing the four immeasurable minds‘love, compassion, joy, and equanimity. By using these disciplines, Hanh promises a sense of contentment and peace. There is honesty and beauty in Hanh's writing. Recommended for all libraries.‘Barbara O'Hara, Free Lib. of Philadelphia

In his latest book, the popular Vietnamese monk (Peace Is Every Step) undertakes a renovation of the Western understanding of the word "love." According to Nhat Hanh, "if we learn ways to practice love, compassion, joy, and equanimity, we will know how to heal the illnesses of anger, sorrow, sadness, hatred, loneliness, and unhealthy attachments." Toward this end, he offers many suggestions for practicing the "Mind of Love" meditation. One of these suggestions is a practice he calls "Hugging Meditation," a kind of meditation he invented when he first encountered the practice of hugging in the United States. "Hugging Meditation" involves being mindful of the act of hugging the loved one and using hugging to nurture that loved one. Hanh's book is a rich source for providing fresh ways to think about the practice of love. (July)

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