“The Buddha has a very different understanding of our existence. It is the understanding that birth and death are notions. They are not real. The fact that we think they are true makes a powerful illusion that causes our suffering. The Buddha taught that there is no birth; there is no death; there is no coming; there is no going; there is no same; there is no different; there is no permanent self; there is no annihilation. We only think there is. When we understand that we cannot be destroyed, we are liberated from fear. It is a great relief. We can enjoy life and appreciate it in a new way.”
Saddened to hear about Thich Nhat Hanh’s passing on January 22nd as his books and teachings have had a big impact on my life! I’ve built up quite the stack and have enjoyed all of them; he was a prolific teacher and writer and brought many of the Buddhist teachings into the West making them accessible for everyone.
Have you had a chance to read anything by him? I'd be curious to hear from you what your favourite book was of his.
From this stack, I’d probably start with Peace is Every Step or The Miracle of Mindfulness. He has a lot of books on specific topics too which are great.
Peace is Every Step looks at many of the situations we face in our lives and shows us how we can take those events and turn them into positives by how we react. Being aware of how our mind reacts and accepting the thoughts for what they are; just thoughts. It's a lifelong process but this book is a great first step.
The Miracle of Mindfulness is Thich Nhat Hanh's introduction to meditation and how powerful mindfulness can be in our lives. Practical advice and exercises as well as lessons that he has learnt over his life fill this book. It's a great practical compendium to Peace is Every Step and all of the other books that he has written.
If you are interested in additional books on spirituality, Buddhism, or mindfulness, I'd encourage you to check out this earlier post from 2020 on a few books you may want to check out. You can also check out this post to see some additional suggestions on mindfulness books that I've recommended in the post.