The most recommended Thích Nhất Hạnh books

Who picked these books? Meet our 18 experts.

18 authors created a book list connected to Thích Nhất Hạnh, and here are their favorite Thích Nhất Hạnh books.
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Peace Is Every Step

By Thich Nhat Hanh,

Book cover of Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

Olivia H. Miller Author Of Essential Yoga: An Illustrated Guide to Over 100 Yoga Poses and Meditations

From the list on inspiration just when you need it most.

Who am I?

I strive to inspire others through my writing, yoga card decks, and workshops; therefore, I’m passionate about finding inspiration and passing it on to others. For me discovering a dose of wise counsel or learning how someone else endured and overcame challenging times is a lifeline…especially when I feel hopelessly stuck. These 5 books are a balm for the soul, quieting the negative self-talk long enough to clear a path to joy, optimism, and creativity. I hope these recommendations bring the same sense of inspiration for you…just when you need it most! 

Olivia's book list on inspiration just when you need it most

Why did Olivia love this book?

This slender book is my “bible” for inspiration as well as mindfulness. (One can’t go wrong with a book that includes a foreword by H.H. the Dalai Lama!) The first essay, “Twenty-four Brand-New Hours,” reminds me that each day affords an opportunity to bring “peace, joy, and happiness to ourselves and others.” Thich Nhat Hanh, described in the introduction as “a cross between a cloud, a snail and a piece of heavy machinery—a true religious presence,” humbly offers simple ways to be present in the moment (the only moment we have, btw!). “We are very good at preparing to live,” the author reminds us, “but not very good at living.” The essays in Peace Is Every Step inspire me to breathe more, think less, wake up, and feel alive.   

By Thich Nhat Hanh,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Peace Is Every Step as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'This is a very worthwhile book. It can change individual lives and the life of our society.' The Dalai Lama

Lucidly and beautifully written, Peace is Every Step contains commentaries and meditations, personal anecdotes and stories from Nhat Hanh's experiences as a peace activist, teacher, and community leader. It begins where the reader already is - in the kitchen, office, driving a car, walking in a park - and shows how deep meditative presence is available now. Nhat Hanh provides exercises to increase our awareness of our own body and mind through conscious breathing, which can bring immediate joy and…

Being Peace

By Thich Nhat Hanh,

Book cover of Being Peace

David J. Bookbinder Author Of The Art of Balance: Staying Sane in an Insane World

From the list on living your best life.

Who am I?

To paraphrase the old Hair Club for Men ads from 1980s late-night TV, I'm not only a life coach, I'm also a client. I’ve been a self-help junkie since before the term was a book category. I started out with Eastern thought, added in meditation and psychology, and eventually became a therapist and life coach myself. Like the authors of several of the books I’m recommending here, I’ve crystalized into one easy-to-access volume the essence of what I’ve learned from 20 years of working with clients and from my own struggles. I hope these books help you move ahead confidently, knowing you can take on whatever comes your way.

David's book list on living your best life

Why did David love this book?

I read Being Peace about 30 years ago. It’s the first of many books by this Zen Buddhist monk that I’ve read since then.

In one short volume, it captures the essence of what he teaches in his writings, retreats, and videos. Each short segment has layers of meaning and emotion that, over time, settle into the soul.

Despite years of therapy and meditation, my periods of inner peace were few and far between. This book planted a seed that led to more books, a new meditation practice, and eventually to my going to a large retreat, joining a community of Buddhist practitioners, and becoming a therapist myself.

I’ve passed on many of Thich Nhat Hanh’s wise insights and observations to my own clients.

By Thich Nhat Hanh,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Being Peace as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A bestseller with over 250,000 copies sold, Being Peace is the seminal founding work by Zen Master and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Thich Nhat Hanh. With a new introduction by Jack Kornfield and the first update since its release over fifteen years ago, this eloquent meditation on "being peace in order to make peace" is more relevant than ever. A book for everyone concerned about the state of the world and the quality of our lives, it has lost none of its timeliness since it was first published in 1987. It is filled with practical suggestions how to create a…

No Mud, No Lotus

By Thich Nhat Hanh,

Book cover of No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering

Yong Kang Chan Author Of The Disbelief Habit

From the list on calm the inner critic and make peace with thoughts.

Who am I?

I grew up with low self-esteem. As an introvert, I found it difficult to make friends in school and I feel I wasn’t good enough for others. Even when I had my first job, I found myself tearing up in the restroom cubicle one day, feeling defective and unable to fit in. That set me off on a journey to improve my self-esteem. I began reading a lot and taking courses on this topic. For years, I felt more confident and worthy. However, it wasn’t until I had a depression that I was truly transformed. After I recovered, I become committed to living peacefully.

Yong's book list on calm the inner critic and make peace with thoughts

Why did Yong love this book?

I have read almost 40 books from Thich Nhat Hanh and every time I read his books, I feel a deep sense of peace.

I recommend this book to deal with the inner critic because it is about transforming suffering. Instead of running away from our emotional pain, the book teaches us to be present with it. I love how the author uses lotus as an analogy to help us see the beneficial aspects of all things. 

In his book, he wrote “We need to have mud for lotuses to grow. Without mud, there can be no lotus.” This reminds me to not reject the inner critic, but use it as an excellent teacher for my own growth.

By Thich Nhat Hanh,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked No Mud, No Lotus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The secret to happiness is to acknowledge and transform suffering, not to run away from it. Here, Thich Nhat Hanh offers practices and inspiration transforming suffering and finding true joy.

Thich Nhat Hanh acknowledges that because suffering can feel so bad, we try to run away from it or cover it up by consuming. We find something to eat or turn on the television. But unless we’re able to face our suffering, we can’t be present and available to life, and happiness will continue to elude us.

Nhat Hanh shares how the practices of stopping, mindful breathing, and deep concentration…

A Path with Heart

By Jack Kornfield,

Book cover of A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life

Linda A. Curtis Author Of Shunned: How I Lost My Religion and Found Myself

From the list on endings and beginnings.

Who am I?

Linda mentors individuals who are going through major life events to experience honorable closure and move into the future, unencumbered by the past. The best-selling author of Shunned – How I Lost My Religion and Found Myself  her work draws on contemporary neuroscience, wisdom traditions, social science, and her own life experience navigating ends large and small.

Linda's book list on endings and beginnings

Why did Linda love this book?

This book by the revered Buddhist teacher was a balm to my soul at a time when I’d left all my previous religious beliefs behind and was searching for ways to think about good and bad, right and wrong. I did not become a Buddhist but here I discovered practical techniques, guided meditations, stories, and other gems of wisdom that eased my journey through the world.

By Jack Kornfield,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Path with Heart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jack Kornfield's A Path with Heart has been acclaimed as the most significant book yet about American Buddhism-a definitive guide to the practice of traditional mindfulness in America today.

On this audio edition, Kornfield teaches the key principles of Buddhism's cherished vipassana (insight) tradition, and puts them into direct service, with the unique needs of the contemporary seeker in mind.

Book cover of Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom

Alex M. Thomas Author Of Macroeconomics: An Introduction

From the list on becoming a critical economist.

Who am I?

I am passionate about the dissemination of economic ideas both inside and outside university spaces. In addition to classroom lectures at my university, I give a lot of public lectures on economics. Through these talks, I introduce the audience to the tradition of doing economics using a critical perspective. I have an MA and MPhil in Economics from the University of Hyderabad and a PhD in Economics from the University of Sydney.

Alex's book list on becoming a critical economist

Why did Alex love this book?

I was introduced to bell hooks only later in my teaching career—after I had taught for 10 years.

And I read hooks immediately after reading Paulo Freire’s The Pedagogy of the Oppressed

This is a book on pedagogy, especially within a classroom with students from diverse social backgrounds. This is the book on critical pedagogy, I would say.

The training of economists will significantly benefit from engaging with the work of hooks.

By bell hooks,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Teaching to Transgress as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"After reading Teaching to Transgress I am once again struck by bell hooks's never-ending, unquiet intellectual energy, an energy that makes her radical and loving." -- Paulo Freire

In Teaching to Transgress,bell hooks--writer, teacher, and insurgent black intellectual--writes about a new kind of education, education as the practice of freedom. Teaching students to "transgress" against racial, sexual, and class boundaries in order to achieve the gift of freedom is, for hooks, the teacher's most important goal.

bell hooks speaks to the heart of education today: how can we rethink teaching practices in the age of multiculturalism? What do we do…

Living Buddha, Living Christ

By Thich Nhat Hanh,

Book cover of Living Buddha, Living Christ

Timber Hawkeye Author Of Buddhist Boot Camp

From the list on mindfulness, inner peace, and serenity.

Who am I?

Having studied what people believe (and why we believe what we do), it’s important to question the origin of our opinions, who gave them to us, and most importantly, why we are still carrying them today. I’m drawn to books that make you think rather than telling you what to think. 

Timber's book list on mindfulness, inner peace, and serenity

Why did Timber love this book?

There is a misconception that reading Buddhist scripture would somehow steer the reader away from God, but given the chance, it does exactly the opposite, actually strengthening the reader's existing faith (whatever it may be). Many of the people who attend my public talks, discussions, and Q&A’s, jokingly refer to themselves as “Recovering Catholics” in search of deeper meaning, and this book beautifully bridges the gap between traditions, highlighting how compatible the two practices can be with one another.  

By Thich Nhat Hanh,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Living Buddha, Living Christ as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Thich Nhat Hanh is a holy man, for he is humble and devout. He is a scholar of immense intellectual capacity. His ideas for peace if applied, would build a monument of ecumenism, to world brotherhood, to humanity.' Martin Luther King, Jr.

Budda and Jesus Christ, perhaps the two most pivotal figures in the history of humankind, each left behind a legacy of teachings and practices that have shaped the lives of billions of people over the course of two millennia. If they were to meet on the road today, what would each think of the other's spiritual views and…

Happy Teachers Change the World

By Thich Nhat Hanh, Katherine Weare,

Book cover of Happy Teachers Change the World: A Guide for Cultivating Mindfulness in Education

William Meyer Author Of Healing Breath: A Guided Meditation Through Nature for Kids

From the list on to make you rethink life and learning.

Who am I?

I’ve been meditating for thirty years, leading meditations with students for the last decade, and most recently working with teachers to explore how they can deepen the experiences of their students by engaging in their inner lives. This work, as well as my own experiences in the classroom as an educator, makes the topic ideal for me to explore and share more about.

William's book list on to make you rethink life and learning

Why did William love this book?

This book seems to be even more relevant today after the recent passing of Thich Nhat Hanh. Hanh was truly a groundbreaking monastic and peace activist. He introduced mindfulness to the west as well as the concept of “engaged contemplation.” I think Hanh’s book, Happy Teachers is the ultimate toolkit for bringing these practices fully into the classroom. It is so much more than just mindfulness, but a new way of seeing one’s own teaching and practice.

By Thich Nhat Hanh, Katherine Weare,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Happy Teachers Change the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Happy Teachers Change the World is the first official, authoritative manual of the Thich Nhat Hanh/Plum Village approach to mindfulness in education. Spanning the whole range of schools and grade levels, from preschool through higher education, these techniques are grounded in the everyday world of schools, colleges, and universities.

Beginning firmly with teachers and all those working with students, including administrators, counselors, and other personnel, the Plum Village approach stresses that educators must first establish their own mindfulness practice since everything they do in the classroom will be based on that foundation. The book includes easy-to-follow, step-by-step techniques perfected by…

Book cover of The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering Into Peace, Joy, and Liberation

Lodro Rinzler Author Of Take Back Your Mind: Buddhist Advice for Anxious Times

From the list on how to learn Buddhism.

Who am I?

Lodro Rinzler has taught Buddhism for 20 years, starting when he was just 18 years-old. He is the author of seven meditation books including the best-seller The Buddha Walks into a Bar, and the co-founder of MNDFL meditation studios in New York City. His books Walk Like a Buddha and The Buddha Walks into the Office both have received Independent Publisher Book Awards. Named one of 50 Innovators Shaping the Future of Wellness by SONIMA, Rinzler's new book is Take Back Your Mind: Buddhist Advice for Anxious Times.

Lodro's book list on how to learn Buddhism

Why did Lodro love this book?

If you’re interested in learning about Buddhism, you don’t want to go the route of Buddhism for Dummies; you want to read the words of true Buddhist masters who are pioneers in the field of making this ancient tradition accessible and relevant to our modern world. The Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh is famous for his peaceful demeanor as well as making Buddhism applicable and meditation easy to grasp and practice. While all of his books are lovely (you can even check out the recent shorter books such as How to Love or How to Fight) this book goes over the foundations of what the Buddha taught so for our purposes it hits the top of the list.

By Thich Nhat Hanh,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Thich Nhat Hanh shows us the connection between personal, inner peace, and peace on earth.' The Dalai Lama

In The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching, Thich Nhat Hanh brings his gift of clear and poetic expression to an explanation of the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, and other basic Buddhist teachings. Thich Nhat Hanh's extraordinary contribution to Buddhism and to life is the way he makes these teachings and practices accessible to everyone, showing us how the very suffering that is holding us down can be the path to our liberation.

The Miracle of Mindfulness

By Thich Nhat Hanh,

Book cover of The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation

Guy Claxton Author Of The Heart of Buddhism: Practical Wisdom for an Agitated World

From the list on Buddhism that get to the heart of the matter.

Who am I?

I’m a long-time meditator and student of Buddhism, and a retired but still active academic. I am a cognitive scientist specialising in the learnable aspects of real-world intelligence. My meditation ‘career’ started when I was an undergraduate studying psychology at Cambridge in the late 1960s, and has since taken me to America, India, and Japan, as well as to many retreats in the UK with visiting teachers from all the main branches of Buddhism. In my academic life, I have a doctorate in psycholinguistics from Oxford and have been Professor of the Learning Sciences at the University of Bristol and the Research Director of the Centre for Real-World Learning in Winchester. My books on the crossover between Eastern and Western Psychology include The Psychology of Awakening, Wholly HumanNoises from the Darkroom, and The Heart of Buddhism.

Guy's book list on Buddhism that get to the heart of the matter

Why did Guy love this book?

This little book is the best introduction to the practice – and benefits – of mindfulness I know. It is easy to make meditation more complicated than it needs to be, and Vietnamese Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh keeps drawing you back to the simple essence of the practice, and to the peaceful aura of the present. Just above my computer screen I have one of his postcards pinned to the wall. “Here I am, sitting in this room, aware of the chair, aware of the sitting, aware of the breathing – aware of this precious moment.” What an effective stress-buster – bringing me back from the maelstroms of thoughts inside my head to the simple, pleasurable fact of just being alive, here, now, and enabling me to reset the emotional dashboard!

By Thich Nhat Hanh,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Miracle of Mindfulness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the best available introductions to the wisdom and beauty of meditation practice. --New Age Journal

In this beautiful and lucid guide, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh offers gentle anecdotes and practical exercise as a means of learning the skills of mindfulness--being awake and fully aware. From washing the dishes to answering the phone to peeling an orange, he reminds us that each moment holds within it an opportunity to work toward greater self-understanding and peacefulness.

Book cover of Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet

Leah Naomi Green Author Of The More Extravagant Feast: Poems

From the list on spiritual ecological thought.

Who am I?

Leah Naomi Green is the author of The More Extravagant Feast, selected by Li-Young Lee for the Walt Whitman Award of The Academy of American Poets. She received the 2021 Lucille Clifton Legacy Award for compassion, courage, truth-telling, and commitment to justice, as well an Academy of American Poets 2021 Treehouse Climate Action Poetry Prize. The More Extravagant Feast was named “one of the best books of 2020” by The Boston Globe, is a silver winner of the 2020 Nautilus Book Awards, and was featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered”. She lives in Rockbridge County, Virginia where she and her family homestead and grow or find much of their food for the year.

Leah's book list on spiritual ecological thought

Why did Leah love this book?

This is the most recent compilation of Thich Nhat Hanh’s thoughts, experiences, and teachings on humans within a more-than-human world, edited and with commentary by his brilliant, passionate student, Sister True Dedication. As always, Thich Nhat Hanh presents very practicable tools for cultural and personal awakening (one in the same). As always, he presents insight rooted more firmly in the ground of being than any other mind I have ever encountered. If there is a path by which the world and its inhabitants will thrive, it is the path that Thich Nhat Hanh walks.

By Thich Nhat Hanh,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


“When you wake up and you see that the Earth is not just the environment, the Earth is us, you touch the nature of interbeing. And at that moment you can have real communication with the Earth… We have to wake up together. And if we wake up together, then we have a chance. Our way of living our life and planning our future has led us into this situation. And now we need to look deeply to find a way out, not only as individuals, but as a collective, a species.”

-- Thich Nhat Hanh

We face…