Book Reviews - Lessons for the young soul
by Nandini Murali
The greatest truths are the simplest. And the most profound truths can be conveyed with deceptive simplicity only by a person who has plumbed the depths. Thich Nhat Hanh does both with practised ease. In A Pebble for Your Pocket, the Vietnamese Zen monk and peace activist introduces young readers to the basic tenets of Buddhism. Using an endearing story-telling mode interwoven with colourful metaphors and insightful parables, Thich Nhat Hanh opens young readers to new ways of living and being.
Although ostensibly meant for children, the book addresses a diverse audience across age groups. As an adult reader, there were several moments of illumination when I read the book. For instance, the lines "Anyone can be a Buddha. A Buddha is anyone who is awake… who is aware of what is inside us and around us at every moment… the only difference between you (sic the children) and the Buddha is that he is a full-time Buddha." In doing so Hanh reiterates that spirituality is about the here and the now; not an exalted state of halo around the head or ochre robes. The section on Present Moment, Wonderful Moment, is strewn with gems of wisdom along a young seeker's way: she is gently led by Hanh to a state of awareness and mindfulness to experience the Divine, for as Hanh says, "Life is available only in the present moment." The book concludes with a section on translating precepts into various practices that enhance mindfulness – for any activity done with mindfulness is a source of joy.
book was a satori experience for me. I'd recommend the book for readers across age groups.
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