Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh is a peace activist, a spiritual teacher, and a prolific bestselling author. Of his many books, You Are Here is unique in that it deals not with specific emotional problems but focuses instead on Buddhist practices and precepts that help us transcend the hectic crises of everyday living. As always, Hanh's gentle message is presented in evocative, even poetic images and personal anecdotes.
Acclaimed Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh continues his exploration of what he has called engaged Buddhism, now considering the experience of everyday living. The author has been an active advocate for peace since the Vietnam War and is perhaps best known to readers for his book Peace Is Every Step. Now, he tells us that living is a joy and emphasizes how the awareness that Buddhist meditation and practice can promote contributes to that sensation of joy in living. VERDICT Recommended as a thought-provoking contribution to the literature of modern Buddhism.
From the Publisher
“Among Buddhist leaders influential in the West, Thich Nhat Hanh ranks second only to the Dalai Lama.”—New York Times
“Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the greatest thinkers currently living. If more people followed his teachings on mindfulness and compassion, I think many of the problems facing us would improve. The choice of [Lloyd] James as the reader is excellent. His calm and soothing tone perfectly complements the text.”—San Francisco Book Review
“Thich Nhat Hanh writes with the voice of the Buddha.”—Sogyal Rinpoche, author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
“Based on a retreat for Westerners, this book is an excellent introduction to the teachings of Buddhism and meditation, and their practical application to everyday life. [Reader] Lloyd James calmly and steadily presents the concepts of mindfulness, peace, and other basic precepts of Buddhism. Through simple illustrations, Thich Nhat Hahn presents his message in easy-to-understand terms. Each chapter is self-contained and could be used as the basis for meditation or study.”—AudioFileMagazine.com
Read an Excerpt
The heart of Buddhist practice is to generate our own presence in such a way that we can touch deeply the life that is here and available in every moment. We have to be here for ourselves, we have to be here for the people we love, we have to be here for life with all its wonders. The message of our Buddhist practice is simple and clear: “I am here for you.”
In our daily life, we are often lost in thoughts. We get lost in regrets about the past and fears about the future. We get lost in our plans, our anger, and our anxiety. At such moments, we cannot really be here for ourselves. We are not really here for life.
Practice makes it possible for us to be free—to rid ourselves of these obstacles and establish ourselves firmly in the present moment. Practice gives us methods we can use to help us be here in the present moment. Practice makes it possible for us to say “I am here for you.”
The Buddha said, “The past no longer exists, and the future is not here yet.” There is only a single moment in which we can truly be alive, and that is the present moment. Being present in the here and now is our practice.