Astus wrote:He also has a commentary on the teachings of Linji Yixuan: "Nothing to Do, Nowhere to Go", if you want to look at his way of interpreting Zen.
pung S wrote:Astus, have you read this? Would you say that this is not only TNH's interpretation of Zen, but also a good look at Vietnamese Zen in general?
Astus wrote:I wouldn't call a single man a good source of looking at a whole country's Buddhism, not to mention that TNH is a very creative and innovative teacher (this is not criticism).
pung S wrote:Astus wrote:I wouldn't call a single man a good source of looking at a whole country's Buddhism, not to mention that TNH is a very creative and innovative teacher (this is not criticism).
Of course, I reflected on this later and thought about how silly the question may have been. I have always had the assumption that Thien could be considered a different school of Zen almost. When I saw your description of the book, I was thinking it would be along the lines of Shunryu Suzuki writing a commentary about the teachings of Lin Chi or something- a sort of cross-schools study. I suppose it may not be so. I will just have to pick it up for myself.
To get back on topic, I have read a lot of TNH's books. I would say that if you are already interested in his teachings, you probably won't go wrong with picking up almost any book. Obviously, you might not get what you are looking for if you get Chanting from the Heart, Touching the Earth, or any of the other books that are not really collections of teachings or explanations per se, are more oriented towards the actual "rituals" of practice. Those are still interesting, if you have time to explore.
Thich Nhat Hanh has a commentary on the Heart Sutra that is easy to read, so if you know anything about that particular Sutra, you can probably get a good idea concerning his teaching by comparison.
Like I said, I have read a lot of his books. However, the one I had trouble with was The Sun My Heart. It took me a little longer to get into it. There are a few chapters at least that talk about some rather tough (for me) physics theory. I loaned it to a friend who was a physics major in College and he never got around to reading it. Eventually I read it and liked it.
I hope this is clear.
Jikan wrote:The reason I'm making a study of TNH's books has to do with a research project I'm involved with on the history of "mindfulness" as a distinct, secularized practice in the English-speaking world. TNH is a bridge between the Buddhist world and the mindfulness therapeutic or management model: some of his books are recommended to participants in dialectical behavior therapy, for instance.
I'm interested in his work for its own sake, of course, but this is the reason I'm trying to be systematic about it. I want to understand how his writings are used outside a Buddhist context, and to do that, I need a better handle on his writings as a whole.
rory wrote:I read his "Living Buddha, Living Christ" ages ago & some of his other material. I have to say I rather loathed all of them, he's way to sugary for my taste. I just checked out his work on the Lotus Sutra arg...
omnifriend wrote:if you want to understand the depth of thich nhat hanhs education in buddhism, you have to read understanding our mind. its buddhist psychology. its not really meant to be read as a book as it is is incredibly in depth. its more of a sutta reading, where you absord it into your heart let it resonate with you, and read it very slowly. i have a lot of respect for him as a teacher after reading some of that book.