Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames
Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames

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Anger can be one of the most frustrating emotions, carrying us headlong away from ourselves and depositing us into separation and dismay. Vietnamese monk and world teacher Thich Nhat Hanh tackles this most difficult of emotions in Anger. A master at putting complex ideas into simple, colorful packages, Nhat Hanh tells us that, fundamentally, to be angry is to suffer, and that it is our responsibility to alleviate our own suffering. The way to do this is not to fight our emotions or to "let it all out" but to transform ourselves through mindfulness. Emphasizing our basic interdependence, he teaches us how to help others through deep listening and how to water the positive seeds in those around us while starving the negative seeds. Serious though lighthearted, Anger is a handbook not only for transforming anger but for living each moment beautifully. --Brian Bruya

The Nobel Peace Prize nominee and internationally bestselling author shares the tools and power for overcoming anger.
It was under the bodhi tree in India twenty-five centuries ago that Buddha achieved the insight that three states of mind were the source of all our unhappiness: ignorance, obsessive desire, and anger. All are equally difficult, but in one instant of anger, lives can be ruined, and our spiritual development can be destroyed. Twenty-five hundred years after the Buddha's enlightenment, medical science tells us that the Buddha was right: anger can also ruin our health. It is one of the most powerful emotions and one of the most difficult to change.
Thich Nhat Hanh offers a fresh perspective on taking care of our anger as we would take care of a crying baby-picking it up, talking quietly to it, probing for what is making the baby cry. Laced with stories and techniques, Anger offers a wise and loving look at transforming anger into peace and for bringing harmony and healing to all the areas and relationships in our lives that have been affected by anger.

Customer Reviews:

  • One of the best!
    Anger is perhaps Thich Nhat Hahn's best book for people dealing with their own, their family's or other's anger. In clear, simple terms, Thai teaches us how to care for our anger, to examine the roots of it, and to create new, healthy responses to its presence in our life. A philosophy and psychology major who loves to read in the "self-help" genre, I rate this book above all others. Word to the wise, one must be open to looking at life from another, non-western viewpoint, one that considers all over life's experiences, in order to create a new practice....more info
  • Anger and Wisdom
    Anger, Wisdom for Cooling the Flame. In the West we are not taught the details for living...the inseparateness of body and spirit. The wisdom of the ages is the wisdom of love and nurturing. If we were to learn this from childhood the lessons would be simple. We do not. Therefore Western living is complicated. Perhaps for some so is Eastern living. What we want to learn is the simplicity of life. To do this we must learn that everything is One. I am that I am. Life and its details engage us if/when we become aware of the separation that has taken place. We yearn for the joining and the completness of body and spirit. We yearn for peace because that is the word for completeness. Giving up anger is but one step in the process. But to do that "giving up" aye, that is the challenge. To do that we must have the "intent" for oneness. To do that we must be willing to give up all to gain all that is....more info
  • The Miracle of Mindfulness applied to Anger
    This book is well written, and it is sometimes necessarily repetitive (Yes I wrote necessarily) in order to stress the point that to be able to deal with the habit energy released by anger, the energy of mindfulness has to be generated by the practitioner which will lovingly take care of anger.
    I can see why some people have written mixed reviews on this book. However, Zen is not meant to be idealized or understood intellectually, it is direct experience which provides the true understanding of Zen. When a Zen master is asked what it is that Zen practitioners do differently from others he is likely to say "well..when we are hungry we eat, when we are tired we sleep, when we are thirsty we drink water." Mindfulness is doing whatever ordinary task we have at hand with all of our hearts. That's the practice taugth in this book.

    This is a book for those who already practice the art of mindful living and wish to strenghthen their mindfulness in a way that will bring home the Pure Land for him/herself and therefore his/her loved ones....more info
  • Simple Yet Profound
    Probably the most destructive emotion to people is anger. Its insidious effects can not only destroy previously important relationships but it can literally kill a person via stroke or whatever. So many times we realize intellectually the harmful effects of anger but are unable to prevent ourselves from lashing out. Thich Nhat Hanh's advice is to practice mindful living. This means in our day-to-day actions like washing dishes, gardening, etc. we are completely in the moment. In other words, we aren't concerned about our bills, problems, fears, worries and so forth. What we are concerned about is being aware and present for the current moment so we don't miss it. Being in the moment like this allows us to be fully present for whatever may be happening. Being in the present moment when anger arises is comparable to a mother taking care of her baby. If the baby is agitated the mother doesn't tell the baby to get lost. The mother cuddles and consoles the baby till she calms down. This is the way we should handle our anger according to Thich Nhat Hanh.

    If the reader is at all familiar with Thich Nhat Hanh's teachings this book will come as no surprise. Routinely he admonishes people to be mindful, compassionate, and insightful. I found this to be a little of a disappointment in this book. Many analogies were used repeatedly throughout the chapters. An example would be when Nhat Hanh talks about practicing mindful breathing for 15 mins or so to let the anger cool off. His analogy was that while cooking potatoes we have to wait 15 mins or so for them to finish even though they are immersed in hot water. This is the same with our anger. Being aware of it is not enough. We must be aware of it and then allow mindful breathing or walking time enough to work. I don't argue with his wisdom but I didn't feel like I needed to read it over and over for the message to sink in either.

    In the rest of the book Thay gives advice for reconciliation. He urges us to realize that within all of us we contain our mother and father. When you were a baby your Mother thought of you as part of herself. Therefore, she took care to not smoke and drink but to treat you with mindfulness. It is only by your mother and father that you exist. You cannot escape the fact that they are contained in you like rain is contained in a cloud and so forth. By understanding interdependence in this way we realize that when we cause others to suffer we suffer and vice versa. Only by this understanding can real compassion develop. When real compassion develops we can do things to reconcile with our loved ones. We can write true "love letters" with a calm state of mind that tell the other person how much we care about them. This can start the healing process to even the most damaged relationships.

    Thich Nhat Hanh also offers sound advice that seems regular common sense but that has an uncanny ability to work. For instance, he urges us in conflicts with loved ones to perhaps set a meeting for Friday evening. At this meeting we can let the other person know our perceptions and what has caused us to feel so angry. By talking with a sound state of mind we may find out that our perceptions were wrong and this can also help alleviate our suffering.

    One thing Thay advises against is the idea of venting. We've often heard that if we are angry we should do things like punch a pillow. According to Thay this is just rehearsing our anger and I tend to agree with him. If you act in this manner you aren't letting the anger rise and then letting it go. You are merely allowing the seed of it to become more powerful and then to really let it explode at a later time.

    It's important to realize that everyone can benefit from constructive ways to handle anger. Therefore, despite some flaws in this book I'd still recommend it to almost everyone....more info
  • A must read
    I just happened to come across the book soft cover in the airport and it was just what I needed to read...I have been needing to deal with anger in myself and this has helped me see things in a new light. He totally makes sense at pointing out where anger is ingested from...not only the food we put in our bodies but the things we watch..etc...and to take care of our anger like a baby instead of denying it...And esp. the part about writing a heart sutra...writing a love letter or a letter of gratitude and pulling it out when we are in anger and remembering that we can come back to ourselves...Anger is something not to be pushed aside but to be taken care of as we would take care of a sick baby...mindful breathing and walking are practices I am working on...This book is a keeper....more info
  • A Wonderful Book
    I can read this book over and over. Each time I read it I learn something new. I think everyone should have this book, and try to read it every now and then. I am a person who is quick to get angry, but now that I have this book on hand I read it when I am feeling frustrated. It has helped me so much, I recomend it to all of my friends....more info
  • A different prospective
    As a social worker, this book presented a different prospective of how to "deal with" anger. In Western society we seek to expel anger from ourselves. Yet, in Eastern thought anger is embraced and nourished as being a part of the whole of a person, and kept in check so as not to be unleashed to harm one's self or another. I highly recommend it. Even if you are unfamiliar with Buddhism, as I am also unfamiliar, it was still easy reading and enlightening....more info
  • this book is from god's hand
    The money spend by buying this book will save you 100 or 1000 times of the value of the book. Because due to anger, we go to court, we take revenge, we get sick, we try to escape from reality and spend lot of money....more info
  • Wonderfully simple
    Thich Nhat Hanh's language, ideas and thoughts are based on simplicity and honesty. Anyone who realizes that anger is being detrimental to their personal growth should take a look at this. More importantly, rather than making the reader feel miserable about his/her own shortcomings, Nhat Hanh has made it clear that the root of the problem is owning anger. He only instructs to disown it. And reading him and his words which flow as naturally as I've ever read I increasingly got the feeling that is indeed possible to give up anger.

    For others who heard about Nhat Hanh and his wisdom, "Anger" would be a great starting point simply because it relates to most of us.

    If not anything else, we can read Nhat Hanh and feel his boundless love shine through in his writings....more info

  • Words to Live By!
    Thay's writings often seem so simple as to be simplistic or childish, but spend a little quality time with this book (or any of his huge output) and you'll realize that, like other great spiritual teachers, his words have a profoundly life-changing quality. The operative word in Thay's teaching is PRACTICE, and he really does mean "practice" as if you were learning to play the piano or to play tennis. If absorbed and worked at every day, preferrably in the context of daily meditation as well as the normal interactions of daily life, these teachings have the power to create peace and joy for you and those with whom you live and work. This is the beauty of Buddhist teaching in general and the teachings of TNH in particular: they are not complex theological constructs but simple, practical steps designed to make you happy!...more info
  • East does not meet west...
    Thich Nhat Hanh's simplistic approaches work well...initially. Then, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get to work.
    I have found his techniques dangerously simplistic at times, feeling drawn to a sense of failure for not wiping my anger away after reading his book.
    I take it all with a grain of salt.
    Thich Nhat Hanh once wrote: "I know if a person does not make people around him happy, he cannot be happy himself. And this applies not only to monks. If you are unable to make the people around you happy, how can you be happy?" (from a talk given to children on July 23, 1997 in Plum Village)
    That's dangerous codependent teaching, in my view.
    I take from his writings what works, and drop the rest without reservation...but with careful discrimination....more info
  • Not a bad start
    Nhat doe's a decent job of going over this topic, but I must say the steps involved are much easier said then done. I found his work difficult to apply to daily life, but it is the kind of book that realy challenges you to think a different way. Not a miracle book, but worth the time if you have the dicipline to monitor your thoughts....more info
  • Life Changing for Me
    I bought this book after realizing that I don't handle anger well. I had read some of Thich Nhat Hanh's other works a few years back, and had really enjoyed him...but unfortunately I had forgotten what I had learned. The message is the same simple message... but it's a simple message that works. I noticed that on days that I listened to the book (bought the book on tape as the store was out of the hard cover) on the way to work, I was much calmer. For me, it's help me to realize that a little wisdom each morning helps--so I draw on Thich Nhat Hanh's works, The Big Book of Jewish Values, and the Qur'an. Buy this book. It may be life changing....more info
  • Some value, but a little disappointing
    I wish I could give this book a higher rating, but it does have problems - I admit that I expected a lot, and was somewhat disappointed. There certainly IS some worthwhile material in this book, but there is a LOT of repetition. (If you've read it, how many times does he use the baby or the potatoes analogies?)This book could easily be half the length it is without leaving anything out. While I have a great deal of respect for the author, some of his ideas and example dialogs don't seem very realistic. The real core of his message is that Anger will subside when accepted and treated with Mindfulness - this, I think, is true....more info
  • Life changing
    I am not a Buddhist and knew nothing about it when I picked up this book at the airport. I am glad that it does not require you to be any certain religion to enjoy it - the book has so many great ideas for everyone.

    He uses simple and powerful examples that I found helpful and easy to remember to improve your outlook and life....more info

  • speaking to the heart
    Simple...breath, walk, do something else, other than be angry...stop & listen to your body, to others while holding your anger, not avoiding it or stuffing it up. Thich Nhat Hanh is a great teacher & some words of wisdom need repeating over & over again to remind us, to be mindful....more info
  • An excellent book on anger and how to deal with it
    This book is great for many reasons:

    For one, it gives the Buddhist philosophy with hardly any dogma or dry, hard to understand Buddhist teachings. He keeps it simple and in plain English he explains the concepts of how to approach life - and anger - in a Buddhist manner, which is much simpler and user friendly than you would imagine. One need not "be a Buddhist" to read this book or benefit from it. In fact, it is more of a self-help book, that just happens to be written from the perspective of a Buddhist monk.

    He gives you practical and easy to practice advice about how to deal with your wife or husband when you are boiling with anger. And at the same time he explains how just sitting quietly with your breath, or being mindful in your daily actions, can help you to overcome your anger. And when the anger arises anyway, he tells us not to get mad about getting mad, but rather to accept it, lovingly, and treat your anger as a crying baby, that you must accept it and soothe it. One does not cut one's stomach out when it has indigestion. By the same token, one should not cut one's anger out, but rather learn to quiet and calm it. I'm just paraphrasing, but that's more or less the lesson as I understood it.

    But there are many more lessons here, and the book is written in such a simple, easy to understand way. I'm used to reading books that are written in a more complicated style, for example some of the Buddha's teachings translated from the original Pali, which require a little more work to understand. Or even some of Hanh's other books, such as The Heart of the Buddha's Teachings, which, though not difficult to understand, are a little more complex.

    But this book is so easy to read and so easy to understand, I am giving it to my wife as an introduction to Buddhism, (she is Catholic), so that she can see in a very clear and easy way what Buddhism is all about. Also I am asking her to read it, as a way of showing her that I am working on my anger, and enlisting her help by showing her the approach I am taking, via this book, and asking her to help keep me mindful of my anger and mindful in general, and skillful in dealing with my emotions.

    I have looked at dozens of Hanh's books, and while they are all worthwhile, this one is perhaps the most clear and easy to understand, basically distilling Buddhism down to its essence of mindfulness, and compassion, and watching the breath.

    This book, I think, is especially helpful for anyone who has anger issues and who wants to reduce the suffering in his or her life, not only for his or herself, but also for his or her loved ones, whether it be one's daughter, son, wife, husband, mother, father, or etc......more info
  • Walking and breathing away the anger even if you're not.
    Read this book 5 times, each time it is like a retreat. Peace, relaxation, feeling warm love. Could not part with it had to buy copies to give to friends. It really made me feel good. This writer is a good man who has helped a lot of people, very practical, will broaden your life experience. Take what you want and leave the rest. The walking and breathing show you the way.
    ...more info
  • Essential reading
    In a society where anger is "normal" this should be required reading. The author is one of the great spiritual teachers of our time and is very naturally a profound and compassionate psychologist. This is not about "getting it out". You learn to let those hot feelings cool so that you become less and less habituated to angry responses and discover more and more about self-control and, with that, essential self-respect. Strongly recommended even for people without obvious "anger problems". We all live in an angry world. We all need to understand these absolutely debilitating issues....more info
  • Good book
    The author does a good job of reviewing the topic of anger, but the steps proposed in cooling anger are much easier said than done. I found the suggested work difficult to apply to daily life. However, the contents of this book challenge the reader to think in different ways. I also highly recommend a collection of Buddhist wisdom by Taro Gold called 'Open Your Mind, Open Your Life' which has greatly helped me cool my anger and discipline my mind....more info
  • No table of contents for the CD`
    What a disappointment! There are 4 CDS and no printed guide whatsoever to either follow along or to locate a passage at a later time.
    Bogus...more info
  • I'm trying Teachings on Love.
    I really want to like Thich Nhat Hanh's books. I want to because people I respect like them, because I believe in the value of mindful living... but the truth is that I didn't find this book very helpful.

    I have real and continuing struggles with Anger and this book while interesting in a round about way is, as others have mentioned, not directed toward the problem of anger. It is a mindful living remix.

    I'm going to keep searching for a great TNH book and when I do I'll recommend it. Good hunting....more info
  • Anger: Wisdom for cooling the flame.
    Is one of the best book I have ever read. I whish everybody with issues of anger read it.
    I gave this book as a gift to a friend family.

    I like the book very much and plan to buy it again, and keep it on my bedside

    ...more info
  • Preferred over the psychology self-help type books
    The thing I like more about this book than any of the self-improvement type books written by psychotherapists is that this one really strikes a chord with me. I can really relate to the teachings. There isn't a lot of blah blah blah about causitive theories, therapeutic procedures, etc. As one who has been through therapy and who has been fortunate enough to have had a therapist who taught mindful breathing, mindful walking, mindful living, living in the present, and mind-body awareness (focusing), I know that this is the most effective path to overcoming negative emotions such as anger and anxiety. Many of these therapeutic ideas have their roots in Buddhist meditation -- whether or not the mainstream psychiatric profession admits and embraces it. Hanh writes in a style that is neither talking down to you nor over-simplifying concepts. There is no technobabble. It is like a wise friend giving you very valuable advice. I highly recommend the book....more info
  • An outstanding book which speaks direct to heart
    I felt very enlightened after reading this book in a single sitting. Anger is basically a book which shows us how we can apply the great principles of Buddhism to solve our emotional and spiritual problems. Author Thich Nhat Hanh clarifies abstract and intricate points in a story telling way that speaks direct to heart.
    I learnt many practical ways to combat my anger and shows a "Mindful way of life" in which we can be very joyous and productive. In short, dont hesitate to read this book. Reading this book is like listening to Buddha in person. You will feel sense of exhilaration and peace in getting a glimpse of great but simple truths of life. Author Thich Nhat Hanh deserve more than five stars. Great work. Dont miss it....more info
  • The end of the rope
    Stressed, pissed off, ready to take the plunge, I picked up this book and began a new chapter in life. I strongly suggest reading this, or at the very least giving it as a gift to someone you care about. ...more info
  • Practical exercises to release your anger
    This is a beautiful little book full of simple and true advice to emancipate yourself and those around you from destructive anger. Though Buddhist in philosophy, there is no religious boundary to cross and all will find great benefit from this book. I deal with my anger much differently and have had beautiful results in my relationships. These practices work....more info
  • Anger is natural - Rage Is Not
    Thich Nhat Hahn's personality shines in the text of this book. This kind-hearted Vietnamese monk gives specific instructions on how to deal with anger in a very un-American way. He helps us to understand that anger is natural until it turns into rage, and that what we must do is "take care of" our anger, rather than repressing it, ignoring it, or beating it into our pillows. The amazing thing about this advice is that it works! Thich Nhat Hahn teaches us that anger is an opportunity to have compassion for ourselves and others. Try it, and have a more peaceful you. ...more info
    As a counsellor I have seen first hand how people react when tragedy and loss invade our lives. First we weep, we grieve and then that grief often gives way to anger. It is okay to feel all those emotions; it is part of human nature. What is important is that we deal with our emotions in a positive, constructive manner. Violence leads to more violence, hated breeds more hate, revenge does not bring us true happiness.

    Thich Nhat Hanh has been a Buddhist monk since the age of sixteen and has written hundreds of books aimed at helping us deal with the trials and tribulations of day-to-day living. This particular book focuses on anger and quelling the raging fires within. No doubt, there are many fires burning within many citizens around the world as a result of the horrendous terrorist acts in America. Reading this particular book will not resolve the world's problems; it does, however, have the potential to help the reader deal with anger. Anger can be one of the most powerful, all-consuming, self-destructive emotions known to mankind if not dealt with in a constructive manner. It has destroyed relationships and divided countries. Left untethered, it eats away little by little at the soul and very core of our being.

    Thich Nhat Hanh is a learned, compassionate man who has the ability to make people see the positive light in virtually every situation. This book is no exception. He reminds us that anger begins and ends with ourselves. Nhat Hanh has the ability to take a complex situation, wrap it up with a bow and deliver it to us as a saving grace. His words of wisdom will help soothe the ravaged soul. Also recommended reading by this author are "Peace is Every Step", "The Heart of Buddha" and "Teachings on Love"; all are five-star books, highly recommended and well worth reading....more info

  • tremendous insight of Thich Naht Hahn
    I picked up this book knowing of Thich Nhat Hanh and thinking it might be interesting to see what he had to say. As a psychotherapist I found his insight into the condition of emotional blindness stunning. I have to say that I seldom feel enthusiastic enough about a book to recomend it particularly highly and I have never written a review for Amazon before, this is a first for me. I write it out of deeply felt gratitude to TNH. This book contains insights into how Anger and ohter emotions take hold of us and how we can change the state we are in for the better. Notice I say change the state for we cannot 'get rid of' only transform what we have. TNH explains this with great clarity, sincerity, simplicity and compassion. He is convincing and compelling, interesting and enjoyable to read.

    his meditative suggestions are also simple and expound the idea of meditation in a unique way. this way is surely 'the way' and is explained so that meditation will never, at least for me be the same again.

    if you suffer anger or other emotional woes read this book. I feel certain that it will give you a tremedous and new perspective into your suffering and how best to deal with it.

    TNH uses analogies that make it so simple you almost kick yourself for not understanding before. He shows us that you don't need endless psychology degrees or the patience of a saint to have cope with emotions. He explains why compassion heels us as well as others.

    If you read only one book on zen Buddhism read this one......more info

  • Unbelievably wonderful
    I can't quite find the words to describe the purity, love and sheer compassion with which this book was written. Thich Nhat Hanh once again delivers simple, yet hauntingly beautiful words that reach into your heart and provide comfort and wisdom.

    Within the first 10 pages, I found myself crying tears of relief - finally, I was able to understand how my anger is created, why I feel that way, and how I can work towards embracing anger so that it does not remain a destructive force.

    Using simple, accessible language, we're taught how to understand different types of anger, what causes our anger, and how we can both embrace and release our anger, thereby encouraging peace and happiness. It's one book I wish I could buy for every person I know. I keep going back to re-read certain passages, and every time I read, I gain a new insight, a new understanding. Particularly, the "peace treaty" was a beautiful idea, and one which I did find extremely helpful.

    Included are meditations and practical methods one can use in times of stress and angst. The book does include some Buddhism-specific ideas and lessons, but that should not disuade the non Buddhist from reading. We can ALL learn from this wonderful wisdom....more info

  • Embracing Your Anger
    I picked this up after my anger started careening out of control, especially at work. This book was responsible for putting me back on the dharma path. Thich Naht Hanh's writings on Buddhism are incredibly lucid, and easy to apply to your daily life. Since discovering this book, I've read four others by Thich Naht Hanh, and am currently working on a fifth. My life has been transformed since reading this book, but keep in mind that I've also been meditating daily and meeting regularly with a sangha. Whether you're looking to "walk the path" or simply gain some control over your emotions, this book is an effective resource. ...more info
  • Don't Let Anger Consume You.
    Written by a monk since the age of sixteen who has also written many others of poetry, fiction and Eastern philosophy for more than 30 years he has been in exile.

    In one moment of anger, lives can be ruined and spiritual development destroyed. Fear is based on ignorance, and this lack of understanding is also a cause of anger. If you learn not to fear this turmoil and suffering, you learn to embrace them with mindfulness (on which he has since written a book) and to transform them into something useful. It is most important not to keep your anger and fears repressed. Let it out (get it out of your system) but, whatever you do, don't take it out on others, especially your best friend. Love is the key to happiness.

    To be happy is to suffer less, but true happiness must come from within. Bitterness results from repressed anger, and the 'hurt' person complains and blames others for his problems. When someone says or does something to make you angry, you suffer; thus, you may retaliate 'in kind' to make the other person suffer. But he may try to find 'relief' by making you suffer more. It becomes a vicious cycle.

    We live in a time of sophisticated means of communication. Information can travel via computers to the other side of the planet almost instantaneously, but the family members cannot speak freely of their feelings. If they can't restore communication, happiness will never be possible.

    He gives exercises and suggestions on how to succeed in this process....more info
  • An abject lie
    By publishing a poem showing his anger at the USA. Thich Nhat Hanh
    is one of the worst liar. He is the most hated personality among the
    Vietnamese community who knew him very well as a communist in disguise....more info
  • a book to shape the world
    if everyone read this book, I think our world would be a very differant place.

    its not a "self help book" its an explination of how the world works... how it should work, and how we can improve it by imporving ourselves.

    He talks about how mindfulness and self awareness can lead to better personal relations, and how how we talk to eachother, and what we listen to and watch and take in, can affect ourselves and our relationships.

    I started reading this book because I was looking for a book on Buddhism, and someone had recomended Thich Nhat Hanh to me I believe... and since then I've read it over and over because it has come to mean so much to me. I am trying very hard to take Thich Nhat Hanh's teachings to heart, and since I've done that, I think I've become a much more healthy and happy person. I've started to read other books he has written too, all I've savored any enjoyed.

    I highly recomend this book, there no better investment for your $10. hehe...more info
  • The "mindful" way...
    As someone who has dealt with anger and depression, I read this book with great interest. I have always been interested in the traditional East Asian philosophies and methods of healing. While I don't subscribe to everything suggested in this book, I do think that American medicine and psychotherapy could benifit from incorporating a more spiritual approach.

    We in America have advanced all kinds of drugs that can help people with anger and depession to get thier chemicals and hormones back on track, but we don't always offer people a more spiritual method of coping. What I think is needed is a thoughtful blending of Eastern and Western ideas.

    Thich Nhat Hanh gives one a good insight into the Buddhist or more "mindful" way. I think that anyone that struggles with anger or depression (which is really anger turned inward), may take something useful from this book. ...more info
  • Teachings that work
    I discovered Buddhism during a time when I was consumed by anxiety and anger. As I live in a small town 70 miles from the nearest Buddhist Sangha, I've had to rely a lot on books, audio dharma talks, and the internet.

    That was about 6 years ago, and I have to say that my life has turned around dramatically. While I am still occasionally paralyzed by my own afflictive emotions, it happens far less frequently that it used to, and I am more able to keep myself from "spinning out of control."

    Among the most useful teachings I've encountered are those in this book. As some other customers have mentioned, some of these are found in Thay's other writings, but if you are new to his teachings, I'd say that this book is a good place to start, as it contains many of his most important ideas.

    If anger is an important issue for you, I really think this book will help. Good luck!...more info
  • Good read
    Sent this to my daughter who is away out of state for college. She liked it....more info
  • Old hurts released
    I had many issues I couldn't let go of in my life including an abusive stepfather. Because of this book, I was able to forgive him and move forward in my life. It helps me to understand others and their actions and not hate them for it. Its still hard but this book gives you the path should you choose to walk it....more info
  • Understanding and transforming negative feelings
    This book gave me insight about accepting negative feelings and not letting them overpower you. I like the use of metaphors: visualizing anger like a crying baby (embrace it and soothe it), treating unpleasant feelings like an unexpected, perhaps also unpleasant guest (give them hospitality with the assurance they WILL go away...) I use this concept to try to comfort my (real-life) child. This book has given me many inspirations....more info
  • Mindfulness Meditation for the Hurried American
    Thich Nhat Hahn (b. 1926 in Vietnam) entered a Buddhist Zen monastary at 16 and used his insights to help teach the West a new spirituality and way of communication. This 200-page volume is a gem of practical wisdom for all people on the art of communication, including anger.

    Nhat Hanh, author of over 100 books, suggests that rather than "venting" our anger and spreading it into the world like fire, we meditate upon it: walking, while breathing in and breathing out. Within 24 hours, he says, the anger should be gone. Our anger is a part of who we are and we must treat it as lovingly as a baby. To our spouses, our children, our friends with whom we are angry, we must write a "Peace Note" and deliver it, saying, "Darling, I am angry, I suffer."

    The book truly taught me to think about my anger. I own it. It is no one else's but mine. If we "water the seed of anger," it grows and becomes larger, rather than the desired result of resolving itself peacefully through mindfulness meditation. As a mom, I was a tiny bit miffed at my son, put down the book, and spoke to him kindly about a matter of minor contention. "Not a problem, Mom," he said. "I'll take care of it right now."

    Nhat Hanh also speaks about the importance of "deep listening," which means not to analyze or to judge a person but to simply listen with compassion. "Compassion alone," he writes, "can protect you from becoming irritated, angry or full of despair." He urges the reader to "play the role of a Bodhisattva... Compassion is born from happiness and also from understanding."

    Helpful encounters with Hanh's own early teachers or students flow through the book, which reads as easily and gently as a softly flowing brook. For me, this was a Life Altering Book! It made me want to do research on Hanh and learn that he is a brilliant man, speaks 7 languages, lives in Plum Village in the south of France, and convinced Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., then a Nobel prizewinner, to publicly come out against the Vietnam War.

    It is men and women like Thich (formal title for monk) Nhat Hanh who help enlighten the world and show us the true value of life: its good people, the beauty of each day, the birds, the mountains, and a flower....more info
  • Not What I Expected, But Loved It Anyway.
    When I bought this book, I was looking for wisdom for keeping me from anger and irritability in my important relationships. I chose this book over all of the other self-help and anger-management books out there because of the author, Thich Nhat Hanh, whose other books I have read and really enjoyed. I was looking for something that would help me learn not to get angry at people close to me, but what I found in this book was that you cannot stop anger itself, but you can only stop it from ruining your relationships. You can't tell your anger to go away, just the same as if you have a stomach ache you can't tell your stomach to go away. You can only do things to make it better. And this book helps you realize what those things are....more info
  • I didn't consider myself angry until I read this book
    And then I found what anger really was. So much more than a feeling, but really a state of mind. This man speaks the truth with insight about life, relationships, and just everything. A truly altering book that is readable for any age. It can really help anyone who wants less anger in general. So read it, you might be angry and not even know it....more info


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