Bowdoin Reads

Sarah Paul, Assistant Director, Career Planning Center, is reading...

Touching peace: practicing the art of mindful living
by Thich Nhat Hanh

Ever since I was knee high to a grasshopper, I’ve been awed by the fact that I could check out library books for free. Reading (poetry, fiction, and nonfiction alike) has always been a great source of joy for me. In Touching Peace, Thich Nhat Hanh shares the wisdom of his Vietnamese Zen Buddhist tradition by offering instructions on how to practice mindfulness and meditation. He likens people to flowers, acknowledging the ways in which we are each full of beauty, joy, and peace. However, he also posits that to be so lovely, we must become aware of the fact that we're made from compost and are becoming compost. Nhat Hanh carries out the metaphor to suggest that through meditation, we can choose to mindfully sow the seeds of compassion and happiness. Some of this text challenged me to keep an open mind, while other parts truly resonated with my beliefs. If you're interested in similar works, I recommend a compilation by Jack Kornfield called The Buddha is Still Teaching.

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