At Home in the World
Stories and Essential Teachings from a Monk's Life
"Followers and newcomers to Nhat Hanh’s teaching alike will find this collection inspiring for everyday practice and for social engagement in the world."—Publishers Weekly
This collection of autobiographical and teaching stories from peace activist and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is thought provoking, inspiring, and enjoyable to read. Collected here for the first time, these stories span the author’s life. There are stories from Thich Nhat Hanh’s childhood and the traditions of rural Vietnam. There are stories from his years as a teenaged novice, as a young teacher and writer in war torn Vietnam, and of his travels around the world to teach mindfulness, make pilgrimages to sacred sites, and influence world leaders.
The tradition of teaching the Dharma through stories goes back at least to the time of the Buddha. Like the Buddha, Thich Nhat Hanh uses story–telling to engage people’s interest so he can share important teachings, insights, and life lessons.
In a collection of previously published works and unpublished talks, Nhat Hanh (The Miracle of Mindfulness) offers readers stories and teachings from his life. Nhat Hanh, known for his simple and tender style of Zen instruction, teaches through short vignettes drawn from multiple periods of his life: his youth in Vietnam, the Vietnam War and his eventual exile, the establishment of the Sweet Potato Community and Plum Village in France, and his teachings abroad. Through these stories, he provides an inspirational and moving example of understanding and compassion constantly at work in the everyday world. Some lessons can be gleaned from his stories: that one should slow down and pay mindful awareness to daily activities; that one should practice nonviolence and compassion in the face of hatred, violence, or intolerance; and that one should cultivate a true home by taking care of the self, caring for one's feelings, and generating compassionate understanding. For Nhat Hanh, happiness is not to be found by constant pursuit: "There is no way home; home is the way." Followers and newcomers to Nhat Hanh's teaching alike will find this collection inspiring for everyday practice and for social engagement in the world.