Friday, June 23, 2017

Book Review: The Heart of Buddha's Teaching (Dec. 2002 entry)

Title: The Heart of the Buddah's Teaching
Author: Thich Nhat Hanh
Publisher: Broadway Books Date: 1999

The easy demeanor of the author makes this very plesant to read. The introduction is quite... different from what I expected. Thich Nhat Hanh presents the basic beliefs of Budhisim as a more life affirming view then many other authors. Very interesting... also, this is an easy read with the structure and choices of font.

The first truth of Buddhism is that al life is suffering. Thich Nhat Hanh expresses this bleak concept differently from the general expression I've encountered. he states that suffering is an inheirant part of life and should be welcomed as such. He also speaks strongly of being aware of the absence of suffering. The practice of Right Mindfulness, as the author describes it, could be beneficial to me. Simply, the author asvises the reader to be aware of the present. I beleive that he makes a very good point in stating that wea are all too frequently inattentive to what we are doing due to our thoughts being elsewhere.

I believe if I apply the practice of Right Mindfulness and I practice it with diligance that it can be of some psychological good to me. Many of the meditative practices that are used in the world's religions have multiple benefits. Some are physical and others are psychological. It is true, those who are in clergy must act as healers in all area of the parishioner's lives.

There are other practices that I just think are being over simplified, but the practices of Right action dosen't appear to be one. Looking honestly at what the author has been presenting, I'd have to argue that there are three major themes. Compassion, responciblitie, and benevolance are what comes to mind as the major themes. At the same time, I am beginning to have a sense of the nihilisim crisis in the text.

I'm just going to have to see if more appears in this. If this proves to be turning into the sterotypical "Life is an illusion, we must trancend this illusion to the reality of non-being," I'm not going to read more.

My concern seems to be justified. The author is becoming icnreasingly focused on the concept that reality is as we percieve it and our perceptions are flawed because they are perceptions. I can't accept that. There is a base concept of reality that we all operate in. This is not a perception or something of an illusion. It is fact.

[Note: I realize now that concept, in the last sentance isn't the best word to use. But I suspect that you get the idea I'm trying to present.]

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This is the first of a list of posts that are going to be transferred over from my LiveJournal. I am going to be shutting down that blog when I complete transferring stuff. Please forgive massive typos and grammatical errors. I'm debating starting another blog where I can put this. I'm not decided on it yet. While the typos make me twitch, I am going to leave them there, as it is part of the original text. The post here was uploaded to my LiveJournal March of 2006. It was written in my paper reading journal in 2002.)

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