by Thich Nhat Hanh

Shambhala Publications, $14.00, 160 pages

This is the little book that packs a big punch. The content in this modest text speaks volumes about how to appreciate the gift of our lives and provides guidelines for being mindful in all that we think and do. Author, Thich Nhat Hanh is a Zen monk who has lived through many challenges in his life, but is able to quickly take the reader to a point where they can understand their own pains and turn them into joy and happiness. He also provides several anecdotes about how other people’s lives were transformed by his book, Cultivating True Love. In fact, the only two criticisms of this book are that additional stories might have been even more helpful and a quick list of definitions would be more helpful if included. The language is simple, loving and to the point. An analogy for emotions as uncomplicated as describing a storm and the reader as a tree can succinctly illustrate all the elements and provide the reader with a visual springboard for their own self-exploration. A small paperback to be referred to over and over.

Reviewed by Kim Van Allen