Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Good Citizens: Creating Enlightened Society by Thich Nhat Hanh, Parallax Press

Hanh, a widely admired Buddhist monk from Vietnam who now lives in France, draws on the teachings of Buddhism as well as his experience as an activist during the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement to suggest societal change needs to begin within the individual through an understanding of the human condition and the development of mindfulness, concentration, and insight. If not, one risks an activism that creates less-than-ideal outcomes. Without advocating Buddhism over other religions, Hanh walks the reader through the Four Noble Truths and the Eight-Fold Path while using examples from traditional teachings and anecdotes from his many years as a practitioner and teacher of engaged Buddhism. By the end, Hanh convincingly contends that real change can begin with something as simple as being mindful of one’s breath; the rest will follow.

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