Internets, if I’d been born rich instead of good looking, I’d be running off to Plum Village in southwestern France to study with Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk and visionary, and I would also hire Stephen Viscusi, “America’s Workplace Guru,” to be my personal coach.
Then Beth Pattillo and I would start a Home for Wayward Girls and Knitters, and I’d be the head librarian and yarn gatherer.
Yes, that is what I would do.
But since I cannot, I will content myself with their books. “Sweetgum Knit Lit Society” is a gem of a book (pssst — “The Sweetgum Ladies Knit for Love” is skedded for release in June). Meet Eugenie, Ruth, Esther, Merry, Camille and their reluctant teenage knitter, Hannah. (WaterBrook Press, 2008, 342 pages, $14.) Look for Ms. Pattillo over here.
Mr. Viscusi’s book, subtitled “4 Simple Strategies to Ride Out the Rough Times and Come Out On Top At Work,” is a compact volume that goes expand-o once it hits your brain. I like this guy. I like his anecdotes, his chop-chop way of writing, his take on things. Get a copy of this book, even if you don’t think you need it. (Collins Business, 2008, 171 pages, $19.95.) Look for more tips from Mr. Viscusi at bulletproofyourjob.com.
Now. Mr. Hanh is someone who my ministers at church quote often, and I am always moved by his words, his philosophies. I finally picked up a copy of “Creating True Peace: Ending Violence in Yourself, Your Family, Your Community, and the World.” (Free Press, 2003, 208 pages, $14.) It is… I do not know how to describe this book. It has brought me some sorely-needed peace. It has brought on tears, and smiles, and a roadmap. I am always looking for roadmaps. We are all so in need of them. I’m tired of refusing to stop to ask for directions — sometimes I need them so badly.
I admit, when I read the title of the book, I thought (flip, as always), “Sure, let’s get going on that.” Funny thing is — he does. He has been working on this for decades now.
Dear Reader (he begins), as you read this book, please do so with the understanding that peace is already here and now. It is already a part of you. Please read these pages slowly and calmly, so that the very act of reading is peace. Remember, the practice of peace always begins right here, right now.
You will find more from Mr. Hanh at Plum Village.org.