No Death, No Fear
Title: No Death, No Fear: Comforting Wisdom for Life
Author: Thich Nhat Hanh
Publisher: Riverhead Books
“No Death, No Fear” by Thich Nhat Hanh is about the impermanence of life, death, living fully in the present and how to help someone who is near death, in order to ease their suffering.
Even though death is a heavy subject, this book is very accessible to all readers. Most perceive death as the end, as nothingness. Thich Nhat Than, also known as Thay, lends a different perspective. His gentle view and clear allegories on life and death are very clear and uncomplicated. It will help understand the ideas of “no birth”, “no death”, “no being”, “no non-being”, “no coming”, “no going”, “no same, no different”, “no permanent self”, “no annihilation”. Thay’s philosophical view can also be seen scientifically: energy is neither created nor destroyed, it merely changes form. When the conditions are right, things will manifest.
Some parts of the book are repetitive, though it doesn’t bother me, it actually helps to let things sink in. Thay also shares practices as for daily mindfulness, to detach from the idea of coming and going, which also help deepen the feeling of simply being alive and being more mindful. As for truths, Thay also emphasizes that no matter how well known and smart any leader or book can be, we ourselves need to learn to experience the truth by ourselves. The given practices are clear and simple.
This is a book to be read on a daily basis, a bit at a time, while also practicing what Thay suggests. Doing so will make the truth sink in and free us of notions that limit and constrict us, like feeling separated and being limited to one life. In one line: A highly recommended book for all to read as it makes death (as well as life) less fearful.
Thay unfolds his teachings and views, which help us to look deeper and with that, to live every day without being afraid of what will happen, especially when we die. Without such a sword of Damocles above our heads, life is far happier, we are free of fear. Thay shows us that, through close examination of who we are, how we exist and how we live, that we can conquer our fear of being ‘annihilated’ when it is time for the manifestation (of ourselves or loved ones) to transform.
“Our biggest fear is that when we die, we will become nothing”.
“When conditions are not right to support life, they withdraw”.
“If the carpenter does not have things like nails, saw, wood, time and space, food to eat, a father and mother who brought him to life and a multitude of conditions, he would not be able to bring the table into being”.
“That beauty and goodness goes into your friends, into your children and grandchildren and into the world, It is not lost, and you go into the future in that way”.