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True Love: A Practice for Awakening the Heartby Thich Nhat Hanh
Synopses & Reviews
In this little treasure, Thich Nhat Hanh offers a Buddhist view of love along with techniques for manifesting it in our daily lives. In his characteristically direct, simple, and compassionate style, he explores the four key aspects of love as described in the Buddhist tradition: lovingkindness, compassion, joy, and freedom.
In order to love in a real way, Thich Nhat Hanh explains, we need to learn how to be fully present in our lives. In True Love he offers readers the technique of conscious breathing as a method for synchronizing the mind and body to establish the conditions of love. He goes on to offer a mantra practice for generating love that consists of expressing four key statements or intentions in our relationships. These include: "Dear one, I am really there for you"; "Dear one, I know that you are there, and I am really happy about it"; "Dear one, I know that you are suffering, and that is why I am here for you"; and "Dear one, I am suffering, please help me."
In the concluding section of the book, Thich Nhat Hanh explains how love can help us to heal our own pain, fear, and negativity. He explains that we must not regard negative emotions as bad and repress them. We must recognize them as part of us and allow them into our consciousness, where they can be cared for by the "loving mother of mindfulness."
"This umpteenth volume from the highly regarded Vietnamese Zen monk really has nothing new, but that is precisely the author's point: just do a few simple things, and keep doing them. True love — the real thing — is actually hard to practice, and so Nhat Hanh begins with a short Buddhist explanation on the components of love — loving kindness, compassion, joy and freedom — and then offers a series of practices, including mantras, deep listening and a variety of meditations. Throughout, he skillfully weaves in Buddhist teachings about consciousness and nonduality whose complexity belies the simplicity of the author's words. Nhat Hanh is always good, and poetic, at seeing the deep in the ordinary: how the ring of a telephone can be a call to awareness, how the waste material of human fear and pain can be composted — transformed — into flowers of understanding and hope. These teachings will all be familiar to the many students and admirers of the popular monk, but the compassionate call to awareness and to everyday practice does not grow old. The book's gift format makes it an especially good choice as a present to anyone who might need an accessible door to the author's vast body of work and teachings. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In his characteristically direct, simple, and compassionate style, Hanh explores the four key aspects of love as described in the Buddhist tradition: loving kindness, compassion, joy, and freedom.
About the Author
A Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh is an internationally known author, poet, scholar, and peace activist, and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King Jr. He is the author of numerous books, including the best-selling Living Buddha, Living Christ; Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames; Peace Is Every Step; and The Miracle of Mindfulness. He has founded monastic communities in France, Vermont, and California and teaches actively around the world.
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