From the Publisher
“For years I have known that spiritual teacher Thich Nhat Hanh is doing marvelous things for children in his Plum Village in France and wherever he travels. But until I found this book, I didn’t know how wonderful his beautiful messages are for young people. I sure wish I had had this book when my daughter was asking hard questions. Thay (as everyone calls the author) has such simple, profound answers to questions all our children ask. There are both spiritual questions and really nitty gritty daily life questions, from ‘Why does the world exist?’ and ‘Why is my brother always so nasty to me?’ to ‘What is meditation and why do people do it?’ and ‘Why do I feel sometimes that everyone is against me’ What a gift Thay’s answers are! I want to give this book to every child I know so they can bask in his warmth, kindness, and wisdom. The back of the book includes questions about Thay’s life in Plum Village, how he lives, and why he teaches what he does. So much in one little book! I can’t recommend this enough.”Chinaberry
"Is Nothing Something? is a delightful book filled with answers to questions, some more philosophical than others, that every child wonders. The answers are concise, compassionate, and wise and are practical for application in daily life."The Children's Book Review
Read an Excerpt
How does it feel when you are dead?
I don’t believe that we die. I believe that each of us just change form, the way a cloud becomes rain, then becomes a puddle. We don’t say the cloud is “dead.” It just transforms. So I think if you have a feeling when you are a cloud, and there will be feeling when you become the rain. There is feeling when we have this body, and there will be feelings after we take up other bodies, but we don’t know what they are yet.
If there's no such thing as death, then why is it wrong to kill?
Killing is wrong because the desire to kill comes ignorance, anger, and wrong perceptions. The willingness to kill does not have intelligence or compassion in it. it does not have intelligence, wisdom; it has a lot of violence and suffering. Killing is also wrong because it brings about a lot of suffering, not only to the person who died, their loved ones, but to the one who commits the violence as well. Suppose you want to kill a cloud. A cloud can’t be killed, it can only become rain or snow. That desire to hurt someone or something else only takes away your time and your own happiness. Your attempt to hurt someone else will only lead to your suffering.
Why do people have wars?
People fight each other because they haven’t taken the time to transform their anger, violence, and misunderstanding in themselves. They want or need more money and resources and they have the wrong idea that they can get more of what they need or want by hurting others.