My favourite line in this book is – ‘Decartes said “I think, therefore I am”; but most of the time, the truth is more like, “I think, therefore I am not really here.”’ It’s a lesson I’ve been learning over the past two years and this book served as a timely refresher.
Sometimes reading similar ideas in different forms helps to remind us of the foundations that we’re trying to adopt and the universality of the wisdom that true spiritual leaders impart. This one felt like Eckhart Tolle’s Power of Now in a different form.
It explains concepts simply, in clear language and also has mantras and exercises to practice accepting and dissipating fear and other emotions; for instance, how to accept that we are of a body that will age, we are of the nature that will get ill and suffer. Since we’re all scrambling to live lives void of pain and suffering, both physical and emotional, it feels like a release the read that once we accept that it’s part of the course, the resistance fades and things get easier to manage.
He offers mantras for being more present in all our relationships – to listen in presence and to ask for help when we are suffering, which most of us would acknowledge is the hardest part. He puts it so simply that suddenly it seems like an easy thing to do.
Thich Nhat Hanh has a whole range of books addressing different topics so you could pick the one that feels most relevant to you. If you have not done any readings on mindfulness, this could be a start, and if you’re on the path of mindfulness and need a refresher, this is a quick and pleasant one. Those who do not consider themselves to be readers could easily get through this book.