another one of my highly recommended books is being peace by thich nhat hanh, zen master & peace activist. it is special because my dad gave it to me. i was meeting my mom & sister in vietnam & had been living in melbourne for close to 2 years. my dad decided not to travel with us but sent a few books over for me.
i’ll never forget travelling to vietnam. it was incredible finally visiting a place that i’d heard of all my life + helped me understand my family history & our journey. at the time i was trying to write my thesis & had major writer’s block. everything is political, from ig captions to research, & i struggled to channel my rage into my writing.
being peace supported me through & i recently re-read it to help me frame my phd work. this book presents buddhism & meditation clearly & thich nhat hanh discusses how being peace on a personal level is connected to the state of the world around us. he introduces engaged buddhism: meditation is to be aware of what is going on in the world & engaged buddhism requires bringing practice into our daily lives in a meaningful way. in truly living mindfully & compassionately we develop peace by moving our society from one based on consumption & greed to one that values thoughtfulness, compassionate action, & reconciliation above all.
i’ll leave you with this thought: being peace was published in 1987 (over 30 years ago!) & what struck me was that we are still grappling with the same issues. on the one hand, it’s overwhelming & disheartening but on the other, i’m hopeful. in accepting that the road to peace & justice is not linear nor static, similar to our development as individuals, i can tread forward with love & courage.