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Pause, find connection, and choose peace rather than harm when you feel overwhelmed in the crashing ocean of life.
You are the calm of the ocean, not the pounding wave. The tumultuous, confusing, and unbearable feelings that arise in life will never overtake your true essence and the peace you can find below the surface.
Written as a love letter to those in pain, Wait encourages us to seek out a path to peace and freedom from suffering. Cuong Lu, a long-time disciple of Thich Nhat Hanh, personally witnessed a shooting while fleeing Vietnam in 1975. The memory of this trauma prompted him to dedicate his life to sharing the wisdom of deep listening, finding understanding, and in his words, "defusing the bombs in our hearts." We have waited long enough for the violence to stop. Now is the time to help turn the tide, interrupt the cycle of violence, and create a world where love and understanding thrive.
Cuong (The Buddha in Jail), a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and former prison chaplain, urges readers to not give in to anger in this eloquent work. Suffering, he asserts, cannot be avoided, and he begs those in despair to "please choose to live" and recognize that self-harm or suicide are acts of violence against everyone because individuality is an illusion. Cuong convincingly locates the roots of suffering in the failure to appreciate constant flux, particularly when people attempt to judge new moments against similar previous events. He also enjoins readers to not feed anger by patiently listening when a loved one lashes out. He closes with a consideration of false versions of happiness (money, sex, power, food, and being asleep) and the suggestion that happiness is "a by-product of living honestly" rather than something to be sought on its own. Though most of Cuong's encouragements attempt to only reframe thinking, he does provide two meditation and breathing exercises. Cuong's clear explanations offer hard-won hope for anyone struggling to see the bright side. \n