Nobel Prize nominee, Thich Nhat Hanh, gives a rare and unparalleled look at his incredible life, which has influenced millions to take up the cause of peace. At Home in the World (Penguin, £12.99) is a collection of autobiographical stories from early life as a child in Vietnam, to his his training as a monk and his exile in France.
Footsteps of the Buddha
In 1968, on my way to Paris to help set up the Buddhist delegation at the peace talks, I stopped in India, hoping to have an opportunity to visit the place where the Buddha reached enlightenment. From New Delhi I took a plane to Patna, north of the Ganges River.
The Buddha didn’t travel by car, by airplane, or by train. He just walked to many cities. Once he even walked as far as Delhi. He visited over fifteen kingdoms on foot. Knowing that, as I was looking down on the Ganges, I could see his footsteps everywhere. The Buddah’s footsteps continue to bring his solidarity, freedom, peace, joy, and happiness everywhere.
It was very nice to have fifteen minutes to visualise the Buddah down there, walking and sgaring his happiness, his enlightenment, his peace, and his joy with the Earth and with the human beings who inhabited that region of the Earth. I was moved to tears, looking down as I sat on the plane, seeing the presence of the Buddha in the here and now. Looking down, I vowed that I would practice waking meditation in order to bring the steps of the Buddhato other parts of the world. We can walk in Europe, in the Americas, and we can continue the Buddha, bringing peace and joy, solidarity, and freedom to many parts of the world.
I have been all over the world. I have shared the practice of walking meditation with so many people. I have made friends, both monastic and lay, who have been walking like that on all five continents. So the Buddha is now everywhere, and not just in the delta of the Ganges River.
At Home in the World (Penguin, £12.99) is out now – a collection of stories, brought together for the first time, that span the author’s life.