“When you touch someone who authentically represents a tradition, you not only touch his or her tradition, you also touch your own. This quality is essential for dialogue. When participants are willing to learn from each other, dialogue takes place just by their being together. When those who represent a spiritual tradition embody the essence of their tradition, just the way they walk, sit, and smile speaks volumes about the tradition.” Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh, page 7
Okay, I love Thich Nhat Hanh. I’m a Christian and not interested in becoming a Buddhist (although he claims that if you are an enlightened Christian you are also and Enlightened Buddhist and vice versa) but I feel his views on the world and the practical ways that we can become more in tune with the universe and God are worth practicing. I completely marked up my book with notes. I might have even been drinking a glass of wine when I read how disrespectful that was to pretty much everyone now and in the future. Oops.
What’s it about – Hanh, a well respected monk who has been involved in promoted peace around the world, talks about his Buddhist faith and its similarities to Christianity.
What did I learn – Oh, I don’t even have enough time to type it all or even for that much introspection. I will say that this one was the most difficult of his books I’ve read. I learned much more about the specifics of Buddhism in this one and I’m confused on some points. Hanh studied Christianity and Jesus’s life and he equates much in the two religions. Some of these points I saw to be true and some I thought were a stretch, but I find it rare that people experience Jesus in the same way even as Christians so I can’t fault him in his thoughtful insights.
Who would love it – If you are familiar with Thich Nhat Hanh then I think you will like it. His chapter on the peaceful heart made my own jump around in happiness! If you would like a beginner’s course on Buddhism then I think you will learn something here. I also think Christians will recognize the truth in much of what he says although I might start with one of his other books on mindfulness first.
I’ll have to write a more complete review on my book blog in a few days. Still trying to take it all in.