One of the most revered spiritual leaders in the world today teaches us how to find nirvana—how to live most deeply and peacefully every day.
Many people believe that nirvana is a state of nonbeing that can only be reached through death. In The Art of Living, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh dispels this dangerous misconception, and teaches us how to enjoy enlightenment in this life without losing ourselves. We need our bodies to touch nirvana—to experience it with our feet, our eyes, our hands. That is the reality of no birth and no death, no afflictions, no burning, the extinction of the flames. The Buddha himself has said, "my teaching is not about nonbeing. My teaching is to overcome the notion of being and nonbeing."
In The Art of Living, Thich Nhat Hanh explores two essential questions: What happens when we are still alive? What happens when we die? As he ultimately shows, if you can answer the first question, the answer to the second comes easily. Based on the last full talks he gave before his sudden hospitalization, this thought-provoking book is filled with simple meditations and practices that focus on recognizing our interconnectedness with those around us, as well as with nonliving beings and the entire cosmos.
Arranged in short sections around a few common themes, these teachings offer opportunities and inspiration for being fully alive in the present moment—consciousness that allows us to to face aging, dying, and the unknown with curiosity and joy and without fear. With powerful mindfulness, concentration, and insight, we can live deeply every moment of our daily lives and touch our enlightened nature. When we become aware of our cosmic body, of our God body, of our nirvana body, then we are no longer afraid of birth and death, being and nonbeing. That is nirvana, the pinnacle of the Buddha’s teaching and practice.