Peace Work and Engaged Buddhism

Engaged Buddhism—taking action in life, and changing our world—is the practice we must develop so that we can manifest the world we know is possible. We know it’s possible to have a world where justice, equity, and peace are upheld, where compassion is everywhere, and joy is shared. This world is within our reach. We must reach for it.

Engaged Buddhism is a term that Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh coined in the 1950s as part of his peace work in Vietnam that has grown to become a worldwide movement. The topics covered in this book list are especially relevant today: from creating nonviolent social change, to raising climate awareness, to understanding anger in ourselves, and others.

True Peace Work

An all-star review from Buddhism’s greatest activists that teaches us how to cultivate the practice of Engaged Buddhism. Featuring pieces by Thich Nhat Hanh, H.H. the Dalai Lama, Bill McKibben, bell hooks, and many others, this is a foundational trove of writings.

America’s Racial Karma

Immediate, illuminating, and hopeful: this is the key set of talks given by leading Zen Buddhist teacher Larry Ward, PhD, on breaking America’s cycle of racial trauma.

Healing Resistance

Leading Kingian Nonviolence trainer Kazu Haga blazingly reclaims the energy and assertiveness of nonviolent practice (utilized by the Women’s March and Black Lives Matter), and proves that nonviolent civil resistance remains the most effective strategy for social change in hostile times.

How to Fight

“You don’t fight your anger, because your anger is you.” With his signature clarity, compassion, and humor, Thich Nhat Hanh gives us meditations for working with our anger, frustration, despair, and delusion. If we learn to take good care of our suffering, we can help others do the same.

Good Citizens

Imagine if everyone on Earth could be living in peace. In Good Citizens, Thich Nhat Hanh lays out a truly global and nondenominational blueprint for an international solidarity movement based on a shared sense of compassion, mindful consumption, and right action. Following these principles, Thich Nhat Hanh steps boldly beyond Buddhist terms, and offers a vision of our world in harmony, preserving the planet for us and those who follow.

Cover photo by Francesca E. Harris

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What is Mindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

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