Thich Nhat Hanh-No Death, No Fear (audio)

“Our greatest fear is that when we die we will become nothing. We believe we are born from nothing and that when we die we become nothing. And so we are filled with fear of annihilation. The Buddha has a very different understanding, that birth and death are notions. They are not real.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

In 2002, I had the privilege of participating on a week-long retreat with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh at Stonehill College in Massachusetts. To say that it changed my life would be an understatement. I think it saved my life.

Being in the presence of dear Thây (his students’ affectionate name for him) was, for me, like being in the presence of a living Buddha. Here was a man who literally walked the walk of the Buddha.

His teachings sank deep into my heart, and at the end of the retreat I took the took the Three Refuges and the Five Mindfulness Training Oaths.

The same year of this retreat, Thây released another book in a long list of dharma books he’s written. It is titled No Death No Fear-Comforting Wisdom for Life.

No Death, No Fear is one of those books that challenge you, inspire you, humble you, frustrate you, puzzle you, and awaken you. The book has been an enormous help in my life, and yet, I honestly admit that there are parts I still don’t get, and even don’t agree with.

(I think this confession would make Thây smile that wonderful smile of his. He is never dogmatic; he always urges students and seekers to look into things for themselves, not just accept dogma.)

To help give you a taste of the book, which I hope you will investigate for yourself, I want to share a small portion of it in audio form.  This passage is part of a marvelous reading of the book produced by Audio Renaissance as an audio CD/audio book.

The reader is Ken McLeod, who is himself a remarkable dharma teacher in the Tibetan tradition. His Unfettered Mind website is a treasure trove of powerful, helpful teachings. I highly recommend his book Wake Up To Your Life-Discovering the Buddhist Path of Attention as one of the most helpful books on meditation I’ve ever read.

And so, without further explanation, I invite you listen to the opening pages of No Death, No Fear: Comforting Wisdom for Life as read by Ken McLeod.

May this audio excerpt help you, and comfort you, and inspire to investigate the book, and the teachings of the Buddha on life and death for yourself.

No Death, No Fear: Comforting Wisdom for Life (Audio CD)

(app. 38 min.)


About Steven Goodheart

"I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them." Spinoza

8 Responses to “Thich Nhat Hanh-No Death, No Fear (audio)”

  1. Thanks for the audio on “no death no fear”. I have been listening to these cds for a year or so and now I need to share them with others and your link was the “perfect” introduction.

    • Thank you so much this audio ‘no death no Fear…”
      It gave me great comfort I recently lost my father and am still mourning his loss. As well was the reminder of my own mortality.

  2. Many thanks. This talk is a great story that conveys a very deep meaning. I’ve been battered by these questions lately and your post helped me steady myself and look within.

    • You are most welcome. I’m so happy this post was helpful to you. We all struggle with this stuff, believe me.

      May you hold your heart and your questions with great tenderness and compassion.

      With warm metta,



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