Book Review: No Mud, No Lotus - The Art of Transforming Suffering by Thich Nhat Hanh
Publishers: Aleph Book Company
Price: Rs. 299/- (I got the book for review from the publisher)
Behind the Book
In this extraordinary book, one of the world’s most renowned Zen Buddhist masters teaches us how to find happiness by getting past suffering. He shows us how the only way to do this is by acknowledging and transforming suffering, not running away from it. He shares with us the practices of stopping, mindful breathing and deep concentration that will enable us to generate the energy of mindfulness within our daily lives; using that energy, we can embrace pain and suffering, calm them down, instantly bringing us a measure of freedom and a clearer mind. Serene and wise, No Mud, No Lotus is an immensely practical guide to overcoming life’s big and little problems.
THICH NHAT HANH is one of the best known Zen Buddhist teachers in the world today. He is the author of numerous bestselling books. He lives in Plum Village, in southwest France, where he gardens, writes and teaches on the art of mindful living.
“According to the creation story in the biblical book of Genesis, God said, “Let there be light.” I like to imagine that light replied, saying, “God, I have to wait for my twin brother, darkness, to be with me. I can’t be there without the darkness.” God asked, “Why do you need to wait? Darkness is there.” Light answered, “In that case, then I am also already there.”
Reading this line again and again I am still reeling in the magic of this book.
We all suffer. We all want to rise above that suffering and yet stumble when we reach the question "How". This book provides us an answer to that how. It doesn't hold something that you wouldn't have heard before. But it surely holds something you need to hear at this moment. Sometimes in life, all we need is reminders. Oft heard lessons are lost in the noise of the real world around us.
“When you love someone, you have to offer that person the best you have. The best thing we can offer another person is our true presence.”This book doesn't talk only about suffering that comes from our past guilt or deeds. It also talks about suffering that comes when we love someone, when we expect something from someone and when we tend to associate expected outputs to everything around us, from work to relationships. Written in an extremely soothing fashion this book feels like a balm to all your aches. I have always wondered why do we need to suffer to understand a lesson well enough to remember it forever and have found answers to my doubts in these pages. I have always loved this line "Every time someone tells me Life is difficult, I am always tempted to ask..."Compared to what?" I smile thinking of these lines whenever my mind tends to over process the activities around me. But as always in life we need reminders of lessons we had learnt but long forgotten during the passage of time. This book is one such reminder.
“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.”
I think the beauty of this book lies in the fact that it is a very short read, one that you can carry across along with you wherever you go just in case you need a feel good reminder and one that can be a quick read, leading to calmness around you.
Strongly recommended to all lost souls, like mine. This book promises to be your compass.