2021-2022 Community Book ConnectionFear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm
by Thich Nhat Hanh
“Thich Nhat Hanh shows us that by looking deeply and embracing our whole experience with acceptance, love and understanding, we can go beyond fear and anxiety to find fearlessness and inner peace.” --Sogyal Rinpoche
Thich Nhat Hanh is a world-renowned Vietnamese Buddhist Zen master, poet, scholar, calligrapher, and peace activist who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. After teaching Buddhism at Columbia and Princeton universities from 1961 to 1963, he returned to Vietnam to become an antiwar activist, risking his life with other volunteers to bring aid to war-torn communities He is the founder of the movement called Engaged Buddhism, and the author of 100 books, including the classics Peace Is Every Step and The Art of Power. In his many writings he offers simple, but profound lessons and guidance that can be of use to all, no matter what academic or spiritual tradition we embrace.
Faced with a global pandemic, the existential threat of climate change, the escalation of racial violence, and increased authoritarianism, many people including members of the CCBC community are struggling with fear, depression, and anxiety. Thich Nhat Hanh encourages us to shift away from habits and frameworks that lead to despair and alienation and towards the cultivation of daily practices that can help us face collective challenges—not by ignoring problems, but by developing our capacity for compassionate approaches to problem-solving.
“Fear has countless faces: from the fear of failure to worries about everyday life, from financial or environmental uncertainties to the universal despair we all experience when faced by the loss of a friend or loved one. Even when surrounded by all the conditions for happiness, life can feel incomplete when fear keeps us focused on the past and worried about the future. While we all experience fear, it is possible to learn how to avoid having our lives shaped and driven by it. In these pages, Thich Nhat Hanh offers us a timeless path for living fearlessly.”
What is Community Book Connection?The Community Book Connection (CBC) is a college-wide, interdisciplinary reading initiative dedicated to promoting a culture of dialogue, discussion, and debate at CCBC. We are committed to fostering student engagement and student success by developing stimulating and challenging classroom opportunities and co-curricular programs.
Each year we democratically select a book that we recommend to the college community. We encourage faculty and staff from many different disciplines and program areas to adopt the book for use in their courses and initiatives; we offer workshops, trainings and grant-funded opportunities to help faculty develop as educators.
To further enrich our community learning experience, members of the CBC community organize an exciting array of co-curricular activities centering on the themes of the book. In conjunction with internal and external partners, the Community Book Connection sponsors keynote lectures, panel discussions, debates, poetry readings, field trips, workshops, student presentations, theatre performances, dance and musical performances, art exhibits, fundraisers, service learning initiatives, and other types of programs.
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