At Home in the World: Stories and Essential Teachings from a Monk’s Life


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"Followers and newcomers to Nhat Hanh’s teaching alike will find this collection inspiring for everyday practice and for social engagement in the world."—Publishers Weekly

This collection of autobiographical and teaching stories from peace activist and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is thought-provoking, inspiring, and enjoyable to read. Collected here for the first time, these stories span the author’s life. There are stories from Thich Nhat Hanh’s childhood and the traditions of rural Vietnam. There are stories from his years as a teenaged novice, as a young teacher and writer in war-torn Vietnam, and of his travels around the world to teach mindfulness, make pilgrimages to sacred sites, and influence world leaders.

The tradition of teaching the Dharma through stories goes back at least to the time of the Buddha. Like the Buddha, Thich Nhat Hanh uses storytelling to engage people’s interest so he can share important teachings, insights, and life lessons.

About the Author

Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the most revered Zen teachers in the world today. His best–selling books include Be Free Where You Are and Peace of Mind. He lives in Plum Village in southwest France. Nhat Hanh has been teaching the art of mindful living for more than 70 years.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

The Leaf
One day when I was a child, I looked into the water container in the front yard and I saw a very beautiful leaf at the bottom. It had so many colors. I wanted to take the leaf out and play with it. But my arm was too short to reach the bottom of the water container. So I used a stick to try to take it out. It was difficult and I became impatient. I stirred and stirred twenty or thirty times, and yet the leaf didn’t come to the surface. So I gave up and I threw away the stick. When I came back a few minutes later the leaf had come to the surface of the water, and I picked it up easily. In the few moments I had been away, the water had continued to swirl and had brought the leaf up to the surface.
  • Publisher : Parallax Press; Reprint edition (September 3, 2019)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 192 pages