Buddha, the awakened one; Dharma, the way of understanding and loving; and Sangha, the community that lives in harmony and awareness."Chapter 3: Feelings and Perceptions" discusses that our feelings are indeed ourselves. We must have our perceptions aligned so that we recognize that we are not separate from our anger, hatred, or greed. As it says, "I am angry. Anger is in me. I am anger." We cannot displace the anger onto someone or something else. We allow the anger to arise, grow, and overwhelm. This is true of all feelings. We must align our perceptions appropriately."Chapter 4: The Heart of Practice" discusses two primary topics that are interrelated. First, It says that meditation is not to escape from society but rather to prepare us for reentry into society. Meditation (the heart of buddhist practice) is used to train the mind in kindness and love for the whole of society. By training ourselves, we are helping society. After all, we are society and society is us. Second, it says that we must work towards quality in our meditative training, not quantity. We must bring breathing techniques and walking meditation into all parts of our day - not just during our sitting meditation."Chapter 5: Working for Peace" talks about conflict resolution and how it is done in a monestary. It is comprised of the following steps - (1) "Face to Face Sitting" and discussion with the entire community of monks. (2) "Rememberance" is a discussion by all parties of the history of the conflict so that all parties understand all sides of the story. (3) "Non-stubbornness" is the expectation that all parties will work to resolve the issue and not be stubborn. (4) "Covering Mud with Straw" is a practice of covering the conflict (the "mud") with loving kindness ("straw"). This is accomplished through having a senior monk represent each party to the dispute and discuss the situation in kind words. (5) "Voluntary Confession" is as it sounds. Each party to the dispute is expected to point out their own shortcomings without prompting from others. (6) "Decision by Consensus" and "Accepting the Verdict" are also self-explanatory, the whole assembly passes a verdict and the monks must accept that verdict or leave the community."Chapter 6: Interbeing" is Thich Nhat Hanh's proposed structure for American Buddhism. As he states, each new country has its own variation(s) of buddhism which fit with the culture. He suggests that the concept of "Interbeing" and its 14 precepts would work nicely with the American culture."Chapter 7: Meditation in Daily Life" reminds the reader that meditation is the key to buddhist practice. The chapter makes some suggestions as to how it can be more incorporated into family and personal time. He also makes some suggestions on technique, choosing a Buddha statue or painting, and time of practice.Overall, it's a lovely book. Thich Nhat Hanh definitely has an eloquent way of presenting his message. I had read several reviews of this book and Thich Nhat Hanh's other writings before purchasing this book. They were overwhelmingly positive. Now I see why.
Thich Nhat Hanh has written a lovely little book on some of the basic precepts of Zen Buddhism. He writes beautifully and uses vivid analogies to bring these ideas to life."Chapter 1: Suffering is Not Enough" is a reminder that we must recognize the beauty that is all around us at all times and not be blinded by the suffering that we face throughout the day. Simple things like a smile, the blue sky, your breathing, or your wellness are as important to recognize as the bad day that you're having."Chapter 2: The Three Gems" gives a high level overview of the three gems of buddhism -