[Reading] ➷ The Heart of the Buddhas Teaching By Thich Nhat Hanh – Dailytradenews.co.uk

The Heart of the Buddhas Teaching chapter 1 The Heart of the Buddhas Teaching , meaning The Heart of the Buddhas Teaching , genre The Heart of the Buddhas Teaching , book cover The Heart of the Buddhas Teaching , flies The Heart of the Buddhas Teaching , The Heart of the Buddhas Teaching cb6789ffe9c6d If There Is A Candidate For Living Buddha On Earth Today, It Is Thich Nhat Hanh Richard Baker Roshi In The Heart Of The Buddha S Teaching, Now With Added Material And New Insights, Thich Nhat Hanh Introduces Us To The Core Teachings Of Buddhism And Shows Us That The Buddha S Teachings Are Accessible And Applicable To Our Daily Lives With Poetry And Clarity, Nhat Hanh Imparts Comforting Wisdom About The Nature Of Suffering And Its Role In Creating Compassion, Love, And Joy All Qualities Of Enlightenment Covering Such Significant Teachings As The Four Noble Truths, The Noble Eightfold Path, The Three Doors Of Liberation, The Three Dharma Seals, And The Seven Factors Of Awakening, The Heart Of The Buddha S Teaching Is A Radiant Beacon On Buddhist Thought For The Initiated And Uninitiated Alike Thich Nhat Hanh Shows Us The Connection Between Personal, Inner Peace, And Peace On Earth His Holiness The Dalai Lama Thich Nhat Hanh Is A Real Poet Robert Lowell


10 thoughts on “The Heart of the Buddhas Teaching

  1. says:

    First, I want to make a distinction between what I d like to call cultural Buddhism and secular Buddhism Secular Buddhism, much like secular Christianity, is a distilled version of cultural Buddhism made to fit the vogues of our society Offensive elements are purged, unreasonable stories and precepts dismissed, and what you have left is a perfectly digestible form of the original that now can be taught as an elective for school credit Cultural Buddhism, as I ve deemed it, is Buddhism as religion, and it is chiefly concerned with the era and circumstances in which it arose You cannot separate this kind of Buddhism from its environment, from its birthplace Mythologist Joseph Campbell reminds us that to truly understand the meaning of a story or religion, we have to allow all symbols and elements of story to play out fully in all of their complex interrelations with other elements in the narrative Only then will the full flavor of the symbols be drawn out, and one can understand what the story teller was getting at.Freud was only stating the obvious when he affirmed that religious doctrines bear the imprint of the times in which they arose Buddhism awoke during a climate of ancient eastern suffering All of Buddhism is, at its heart, an answer to, and an attempt to rise above, human suffering The story of the origin of Buddhism might reveal .Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha the awakened one , was a prince in the northeastern Indian subcontinent sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE The story goes that after hearing a prophesy about his son s destiny to either become the next king OR renounce his inheritance and become an austere holy man, Siddhartha s father tried to keep his son within the palace walls so that Siddhartha wouldn t forsake him as the heir At age 29, Siddhartha finally left the palace and was confronted with the suffering of his world in what has become known as Four Sights an old man, a sick man, a corpse and, finally, an ascetic holy man who was content and at peace with the world This was enough to compel Siddhartha into a similar lifestyle to pursue peace and enlightenment After discovering that years of meditation and asceticism alone did not end suffering, he had an experience under a tree during which he is said to have attained enlightenment which was to become the mean between self indulgence and self mortification He then began to spread the word that through enlightenment one can end transform suffering I teach only suffering and the transformation of suffering Buddha This is exactly the reason why Thich Nhat Hanh said Buddhism is born out of our suffering, not from academic studies Cultural Buddhism isn t a western, rational attempt to reduce the universe to a set of definable laws that can be manipulated to build a better cosmos isn t that rationalism in a nutshell Rather, in its Eastern roots, it s existential, it s intuitive, and it s a practical technique of working with the universe we have It is the people s guide to find inherent beauty in this world, and live life without the metaphysical obsession of worrying about another s life Truth, love and happiness start with me That s really enough to keep us busy for a while Buddhism teaches a four stage cessation of suffering called The Four Noble Truths 1 Acknowledge suffering in our lives and around us, 2 Recognize the origin of suffering how it came to be , 3 Understand that you can stop suffering or be transformed by it to rise above it , and 4 Practice The Noble Eightfold Path which is essentially right thinking and right action in all its forms.There s nothing to be afraid of here Buddhism is first and foremost a pragmatic approach to ending suffering in our lives Enlightenment is emphasized because suffering is part how we view the world, and part how we interact in the world Instead of begging the world to become less hostile towards us, or blaming our problems on the evil actions of others, we must first realize that suffering begins with us It s a very personal approach that emphasizes each individual s responsibility to end suffering within themselves, and not wait on the world around them to change first In the words of Buddha Jackson, it s starting with the man in the mirror.I hear it coming Go ahead and say it, What about Nirvana Isn t that spiritual nihilism That s what you were going to say, wasn t it WAS NT IT Well, the answer is, yes and no Nirvana means extinction , but according to my pal Thich Nhat Hanh, nirvana means first and foremost the extinction of signs or concepts The Buddha taught that in all perception is some deception Sound familiar We see as if through a darkened glass In other words, as soon as we have observed something with our human senses, we have branded it with our finite bias Nirvana is the entrance of being into a realm where our concept of being is blown wide open, and of course the Buddhist believe this is positive What I can especially appreciate about Buddhism is the practice of mindfulness The Buddha said that if we could fully appreciate the beauty of a single flower, our lives would be changed forever Why Because we would enter into the secret of the universe Says our author, If we see the truth of one thing in the cosmos, we see the nature of the cosmos While reading this book I was surprised to stumble upon an idea that was identical to a sentence in a C.S Lewis book I recently finished, The Great Divorce This moment contains all moments The concept in Lewis book was applied to our living this life as if it was the beginning of our Heaven or Hell, for who would want to meet a God in Heaven that had not really meant earth and its sorrows Thich Nhat Hanh echoes this, The present moment contains all future moments , you don t have to die to enter nirvana or the Kingdom of God You only have to dwell deeply in the present moment, right now and Nirvana is not the absence of life Nirvana is in this very life Very close the words of Christ, The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand , though, to be fair, not everyone wanted to be implicitly included in Christ s Kingdom.Now, this is not to say that Buddhism extends itself no further than temporal common sense and mindfulness to eliminate suffering and experience joy in life In its extremities, it certainly catapults to metaphysical speculation and is religious in the plurality of its doctrinal lists But primarily, it is simple and does not conflict with the metaphysical practical teachings of other religions It might be criticized as being too general and non invasive intellectually It, in my opinion, celebrates mystery without attempting to resolve it, and is behavior based in its approach to a solution to the problem of soul lostness As far as its fundamentals are concerned, I can t think of hardly a single element in basic Buddhism which even a dogmatic Christian would have good ground to dispute its primary teaching.My summary of basic, cultural Buddhism healthy bodies, healthy mind, healthy life Stop your cycles of suffering, experience the wonder and joy of life every moment and every day It is through your experience of life that you will find doors opening to a larger experience of life, and ever expanding vista Not bad, not bad at all.


  2. says:

    If you re looking for an erudite, comprehensive overview of mainstream Buddhist thought, The Heart of the Buddha s Teaching is an adequate choice, but prepare for a long, hard slog Thich Nhat Hanh is at his best when he s telling stories from his own life his time in Vietnam during the war, or stories about the Buddhist community he started in France Unfortunately, most of the book isn t told from his personal point of view it s an academic rundown of major Buddhist ideas and endlessly listy sure, you ve heard of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, but maybe the reason you re not familiar with The Seven Factors of Awakening and Twelve Links of Inderdependent Co Arising is because all of the other people who heard about them died of boredom before they could pass on those truths If you re looking for approachable Dharma teachings, try Pema Chodron.


  3. says:

    I loved this book I think I love Buddhism, but please, please, please, don t make me take a test on it.When I decided I wanted to know about Buddhism, it was because of my developing interest in yoga I can t tell you how exactly Buddhism is related to yoga, but it surely is First of all, I find no need for faith in yoga or Buddhism It works I practice yoga, I feel better I practice Buddhist principles, I feel better No faith involved.Compare this with Judaism You believe in God Prove it Abraham, sacrifice your son Compare it with Christianity You believe in God He sacrificed his son A little stiff to my way of thinking.Or guilt I was raised a Presbyterian and converted to Catholicism in my thirties Either way, original sin You re a goner from day one Presby predestination Catholic although baptism receives you into the church, you get a few years, then you have to start confessing sins Sins in your thoughts thoughts , in your words, and what you have done, and what you haven t done Did I miss anything Is there any moment when I am not sinning Buddhism has a few guiding principles Actually than a few Maybe several thousand few principles But you can get by with a dozen or so Hanh starts off with the Four Noble Principles and the Eightfold Path But these dozen emphasize conduct Good conduct, not guilt Wrong action nothing about wrong thoughts Think about it, do better No shame, no guilt Different than Catholicism So why haven t I become a Buddhist No creator I first picked up a book by the Dalai Lama because he is the spiritual leader for many Buddhists Within the first three paragraphs, I became fully cognizant that there is no creator in his Buddhism I tried to wrap my mind around this, and I couldn t I thought about those three paragraphs for about a week and still couldn t fathom no creator I figured maybe reading the Dalai Lama was sort of like reading the Pope Dense, unrelenting, and no prospect of fun So I looked for something approachable.My local library had two dozen or so books on Buddhism, half of which were checked out an auspiciously high proportion I liked the title and Thich Nhat Hanh has written many books with similarly direct and interesting titles He starts with the basics and gets into and complex structures, but the structures are all inter related One loops back to and includes another, which is related to others, which include others.For example, impermanence One of the Three Dharma Seals That person you love Always changing, so love that person right now, for everything they are Not for what they were, or you hope they will become Appreciate that now, for tomorrow they will be different, and so will you The second of the three seals is nonself That you that existed when you started reading this screed Gone you breathed The oxygen atoms you inhaled became part of the new you and that houseplant has become you through the CO2 you exhaled Over the course of your life, every atom has been exchanged on a regular basis Third seal is nirvana, not to be confused with the dope enhanced nirvana experienced about in smokey rooms not that I would know anything about this Nirvana is the extinction of all notions Birth is a notion Death is a notion Being is a notion Nonbeing is a notion Do you see how all three are related One exists within the other two and those two are present in the other two, and all are one and one are all The fun thing is that this is explained fairly well, and if you are alert and patient, you understand everything up to the summation, where we are BEING HERE NOW If you are here instantly and totally now, nothing came before There was no creator You are part of the universe and the universe is part of you and there was no creator Sorry, because there is no leap of faith, I can t swallow this whole In Catholicism, too much faith In Buddhism too little faith.This much is clear Buddhists are peaceful than Jews, Christians and Muslims I sense none of the arrogance and non acceptance in Buddhism which mark the world s major religions I am becoming estranged from the Catholic church I joined because of the universality of the church and because I know that Christ taught by a very good example I am a cafeteria Catholic, and there is plenty that they are serving that I m not buying My new pope, my new archbishop, and my new priest are cooking up a stew that is significantly different than the stew I was served 25 years ago Homophobia Goulash, Bully Pelosi, Badger Kennedy It has come to the point where I am reluctant to vote for a Catholic because I am afraid they will react to the bullying of the Vatican mafia I am represented by three Jewish males, one pro choice Catholic woman who is divorced and therefore mostly out of the fold , one Protestant woman and my Pat Robertsonesque Governor Some of the new dishes weren t even on the menu back then So I m going to some new restaurants.So why don t I want to be tested Too many details There are Three Dharma Seals, Four Noble Truths, Four Dhyanas, Four Establishments of Mindfulness, Four Great Elements, Four Immeasurable Minds, Four Reliances, Four Standard Truths, Four Wisdoms, Fourfold Right Diligences, Five Aggregates, Five Faculties, Five Mindfulness Trainings, Five Powers and Five Remembrances This covers two digits There are dozens Reading about each of these details, they all make sense But as far as remembering them all, I remember about a dozen by name So don t test me But they are all one, so I could get at least 50% on an exam.If you want the quickest possible course in Buddhism, go to a bookstore and read the 28th Chapter, Touching the Buddha Within The rest of the book is this good But don t say I didn t warn you.


  4. says:

    Let us look at a wave on the surface of the ocean A wave is a wave It has a beginning and an end It might be high or low, or less beautiful than other waves But a wave is, at the same time, water Water is the ground of being of the wave It is important that a wave knows that she is water, and not just a wave We, too, live our life as an individual We believe that we have a beginning and an end, that we are separate from other living beings That is why the Buddha advised us to look deeply in order to touch the ground of our being which is nirvana Everything bears deeply the nature of nirvana Everything has been nirvanized That is the teaching of the LOTUS SUTRA We look deeply, and we touch the suchness of reality Looking deeply into a pebble, flower, or our own joy, peace, sorrow, or fear, we touch the ultimate dimension of our being, and that dimension will reveal to us that the ground of our being has the nature of no birth and no death We don t have to ATTAIN nirvana, because we ourselves are always dwelling in nirvana The wave does not have to look for water It already is water pg 211 The Buddha said that in the depth of our store consciousness, alayavijnana, there are all kinds of positive and negative seeds seeds of anger, delusion, and fear, and seeds of understanding, compassion, and forgiveness Many of these seeds have been transmitted to us by our ancestors We should learn to recognize every one of these seeds in us in order to practice diligence If it is a negative seed, the seed of an affliction like anger, fear, jealousy, or discrimination, we should refrain from allowing it to be watered in our daily life Every time such a seed is watered, it will manifest on the upper level of our consciousness, and we will suffer and make the people we love suffer at the same time The practice is to refrain from watering the negative seeds in us We also try to recognize the positive seeds that are in us and to live our daily life in a way that we can touch them and help them manifest on the upper level of our consciousness, manovijnana Every time they manifest and stay on the upper level of our consciousness for a while, they grow stronger If the positive seeds in us grow stronger day and night, we will be happy and we will make the people we love happy Recognize the positive seeds in the person you love, water those seeds, and he will become much happier Whenever you have time, please water the seeds that need to be watered It is a wonderful and very pleasant practice of diligence, and it brings immediate results Imagine a circle divided in two Below is the store consciousness and above is mind consciousness All mental formations lie deep down in our store consciousness Every seed in our store consciousness can be touched and manifests itself on the upper level, namely our mind consciousness Continued practice means trying our best not to allow the negative seeds in our store consciousness to be touched in our daily life, not to give them a chance to manifest themselves The seeds of anger, discrimination, despair, jealousy, and craving are all there We do what we can to prevent them from coming up We tell the people we live with, If you truly love me, don t water these seeds in me It is not good for my health or yours We have to recognized the kinds of seeds not to be watered If it happens that a negative seed, the seed of an affliction, is watered and manifests itself, we do everything in our power to embrace it with our mindfulness and help it return to where it came from The longer such seeds stay in our mind consciousness, the stronger they become pg 206 207Wheel of Becoming


  5. says:

    Lucid and helpful with great presentation of Noble Eightfold Path especially.Thoroughly enjoyed reading it and am incorporating parts of it in my meditation.


  6. says:

    One of the difficult books I have read, to the point where I am not sure I got out even a tenth of what Thich Nhat Hanh put into it I will want to revisit this in the future, once I have let it settle in.I was bothered by some of the symbolism and examples, such as this The Buddha offered this example A young couple and their two year old child were trying to cross the desert, and they ran out of food After deep reflection, the parents realized that in order to survive they had to kill their son and eat his flesh They calculated that if they ate such and such a proportion of their baby s flesh each day and carried the rest on their shoulders to dry, it would last the rest of the journey But with every morsel of their baby s flesh they ate, the young couple cried and cried I was pulled entirely out of the book by this I don t know whether this is an effective teaching technique or not did it secretly teach me to confront my own preconceived notions, formations , about eating one s own child Maybe Mostly I found the examples like this and there are many to be deeply weird.Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist, which is one of many traditions of Buddhism, and there are passages about the Vietnam War, and one of his students being killed Perhaps this is not the right view of Buddhism for me There were long passages that felt repetitive, as the same thoughts were suggested in a variety of different ways I m not sure if I failed to notice the subtle differences, or whether this was just different ways of teaching the same thing, or both There are references to gods, holiness, and past lives all of which I am having trouble reconciling with what I have learned of Buddhism elsewhere, and in this very book I m still not sure whether Thich Nhat Hahn means that we, as individuals, have experienced past lives and will experience future lives, or whether he means that we, as part of everything and being interdependent with everything, are a consequence of other people s past lives All very complicated, and difficult to wrap my head around 11 March 2018 I keep coming back to this book, and finding something new and relevant each time The repetitive parts still bother me, and the 12 thingies that might be 4, 5, or 10 just bores me 4 Noble Truths, an 8 fold Noble Path, an ungodly number of formations and up to a dozen links of interdependence it feels needlessly complicated But I keep coming back to it Maybe it s just for the metaphor of parents eating their kid.


  7. says:

    book by a prominent Buddhist monk outlining key teachings of Buddhism I started off rather liking it as an approach to mindfulness and how to process suffering and the good things about life But after he Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, I started to get a bit irritated with the constant discovery of new lists of important spiritual things, from the Two Truths up to the Twelve Links of Interdependent Co Arising it seems to me that over describing the undescribable is fundamentally a mistake I also started wondering to what extent Thich Nhat Hanh is presenting a mainstream account of Buddhism or his own particular take or his school s And I wonder also if there is much sense of the numinous in Buddhism there didn t seem a lot here Anyway, it is still the most interesting book by a Buddhist on Buddhism that I have read.


  8. says:

    I have been savoring this book for some time, and was lucky to have it with me while trapped on planes and in airports and on an overnight detour to Detroit Hanh s teachings didn t quite transform the ordeal into great spiritual practice, but they did vastly improve the experience Many of his other books can be read almost as a philosophy of Buddhism here he explains the basic religious tenets in depth and with clarity than I d previously encountered in introductory texts While not quite as poetic as some of his other works, this is a beautiful book, inclusive of all beliefs and faiths while celebrating the Buddha s teachings If you d like an accessible description of the Four Noble Truths, the Seven Factors of Awakening, and , you ve found your book My favorite passage of many marked describes Nirvana Nirvana is not the absence of life Drishtadharma nirvana means nirvana in this very life Nirvana means pacifying, silencing, or extinguishing the fire of suffering Nirvana teaches that we already are what we want to become We don t have to run after anything any We only need to return to ourselves and touch our true nature When we do, we have real peace and joy It becomes clear in Hanh s writing that he surely has found real peace and joy, and his life is a great embodiment of the teachings he presents so lovingly here.


  9. says:

    This book by Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh goes into a lot of the background from the later life teachings of the Buddha such as the Lotus Sutra, so in a way, it s about what the Zen school of Buddhism or Mahayana sects in general teach Concepts are well explained with copious footnotes, and it remembers the Indian roots of Buddhism throwing in Sanskrit Pali terms in addition to Japanese and Chinese terms.But while the book is easy to read, it often overwhelms the reader with a lot of overlapping concepts which often basically seem to be saying the same thing Being bombarded with so many terms can often be distracting What s good though is he doesn t just teach from one set of Buddhist teachings, but presents teachings from a wide body of books which makes it feel a lot inclusive.


  10. says:

    160813 this is a very useful book for me, helping to clarify exactly what is the difference between religious and philosophical texts, what I like about Buddhist thought, what I learn, what I generally do not note as far as difference ethical assertions within a metaphysical superstructure, ontological arguments, referring often to texts or authorities or stories, is religion conceptual exploration of said superstructure, of metaphysics, of arguments, referring often to other philosophical texts, is philosophythere are a lot of numbers here, lists of behaviours or concepts, which are perhaps useful for practitioners but confusing or boring to usual readers, do hold together, do seem to best reconcile various apparent disagreements through the distinction of relative truth and absolute truth, for example but I remember only the primary lists found in all Buddhist texts the four noble truths, the eightfold path, the three baskets, the three jewels the other lists, well described, would probably be something for extensive studylike his insistence on the inter dependence aspect of the world, his chosen metaphor of the individuality of each wave but the essential unity of the water which manifests each wave, his truthful recognition to which we must agree in how every flower is in fact the entire world, the sun, the rain, the soil, the gardener who tends it some beautiful poetic insights, some accessible metaphors, which you can extend according to your knowledgeso for a serious student of the religion, this book rates higher, but for me, whose interest is philosophical, it is perhaps interesting to read how Buddhism has developed, how a Buddhist monk explains it, but does not convince me to assume Buddhist thought on any practical level beyond recognizing the basic lists, the ideas of lust, hatred, delusion, the inescapable reality of transience and this sounds like a little, but as any wave is of an entire ocean, this is actually everything


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