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No Mud, No Lotus Paperback – 7 Dec 2014
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About the Author
Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the most revered Zen teachers in the world today. His best-selling books include Happiness and Peace Is Every Step. He lives in Plum Village in southwest France, where he gardens, writes, and teaches the art of mindful living.
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‘No Mud, No Lotus’ is a self-help book that helps the readers understand the essence of life. Just like how the Lotus survives in the austere conditions and rises from beneath the mud and transforms into the purest form, similarly, our body is a gift from God and to help it heal and reach close to heaven, is our primary obligation.
John Keats had said in one of his most famous poems ‘The Human Seasons’ that the human mind passes through four stages of development which are similar to the seasons. During our summer (youth), we are bound to ruminate or brainstorm on the past experiences and the urge to change what has already happened takes its toll on our mind. Only when we are able to channelize our thoughts, we are enlightened and are closer to heaven. ‘No Mud, No Lotus’ inspires and propels the mind to quell the thoughts that hinder its development.
With words that are not only potent but also true, the narrative doesn’t leave any stone unturned in guiding towards holistic healing. The master Zen Buddhist, Thich Nhat Hanh, explains how the perspective of the past experiences haunt us and we happen to destroy our present at the past’s beck and call. He explains how an experience can be moulded into a lesson and that, in turn, helps in dropping the baggage to where it belongs.
A short read, this book is a must-have.
Best Wishes to the author!
The author who is a renowned Zen Buddhist master says that the main affliction of our modern civilization is that we don't know how to handle the suffering inside us and we try to cover it up with all kinds of consumption. He states that we have the seeds, the potential in us for understanding, love, compassion, and insight as well as the seeds of anger, hate, and greed. While we can't avoid all the suffering in life, we can suffer much less by not watering the seeds of suffering inside us.
We are truly alive only when the mind is with the body. What a simple yet profound statement. The book is full of such gems. At another place the author says the Buddha said that nothing can survive without food. This is true, not just for the physical existence of living beings, but also for states of mind. Love needs to be nurtured and fed to survive and our suffering also survives because we enable and feed it. We ruminate on suffering, regret, and sorrow. We chew on them, swallow them, bring them back up, and eat them again and again. If we are feeding our suffering while we're walking, working, eating or talking, we are making ourselves victims of the ghosts of the past, of the future or our worries in the present. We are not living our lives.
Speaking of suffering he says part of the art of suffering well is learning not to magnify our pain by getting carried away in fear, anger and despair. We build and maintain our energy reserves to handle the big sufferings; the little sufferings we can let go.
The book offers eight meditation techniques for happiness. Indeed this book is to be treasured.
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