We can spend a lot of time looking for happiness when the world right around us is full of wonder. But our hearts and minds are so full of noise that we can’t always hear the call of life and love. To hear that call and respond to it, we need silence.

In his beautiful new book, Buddhist monk and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Thich Nhat Hanh explains how mindfulness is the practice that stops the noise inside. With gentle anecdotes, simple Buddhist wisdom and practical exercises, he shows us how to live mindfully so that all the internal chatter ceases and we are left with the eloquent sound of silence. Now, at last, we can answer the call of the beauty around us. Through silence, Thich Nhat Hanh reveals, we are free to hear, to see – and just be.

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist who has spent his long life quietly teaching people the art of peaceful living by means of the practices of meditation and mindfulness. He, together with a group of monks, nuns and laypeople, was very active in helping people in Vietnam whose homes and lives had been ravaged by war. He was invited to the USA by the peace movement there, to speak about how the war was affecting the Vietnamese people, in the hope that this would galvanize support for an end to the war. As a result of his tireless work, Martin Luther King Jnr nominated Thich Nhat Hanh for the Nobel Peace Prize. Another result was that he was banned from returning to Vietnam after the war. He went to live in France, creating a community at Plum Village, south-east of Bordeaux. This is a place of peace where Buddhist monks and nuns honour their vows and welcome visitors who come to learn meditation and mindfulness so they too can practise peace in their lives. Thich Nhat Hanh is a great scholar and has written over 100 books about meditation, mindfulness in daily life and the teachings of the Buddha. He has truly practised his own teachings and is revered the world over for his committment to spreading peace and love and for his humble but luminous presence.

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