The Eight Realizations of Great Beings: Essential Buddhist Wisdom for Waking Up to Who You Are (Paperback)

The Eight Realizations of Great Beings: Essential Buddhist Wisdom for Waking Up to Who You Are Cover Image
By Brother Phap Hai, Rebecca Li (Foreword by)
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(Meditation / Yoga)


A pithy guide to the Buddha's instructions to unlock the powerful insights that make us "great"—by wise, warm, and humorous Brother Phap Hai, the most senior Australian Dharma teacher ordained by Thich Nhat Hanh  

In this essential sutra for sincere practitioners, the Buddha says, "If you would like to be enlightened, take on these eight subjects for meditation and apply their corresponding insights to your daily life." Brother Phap Hai's lively, down-to-earth explanation of spirituality's original self-help manual makes this book a must-read for all seeking inspiration on the path of self-realization and compassion. Beginning with a brief historical overview of the sutra's origins, Brother Phap Hai explores each of the eight realizations and shares a story in each chapter from his own journey to become a monk himself.

Ordaining as a Buddhist monk in 1997 while still in his twenties, Brother Phap Hai has been practicing mindfulness on a daily basis for much of his adult life. Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh authorized him to teach in 2003, and since then, he has guided and mentored thousands of students in meditation. Brother Phap Hai calls the Buddha's Discourse on the Eight Realizations of Great Beings his "'Desert Island Sutra' because it distills the essence of the Buddhist path." In his words, it is everything you need in a practical meditation manual, "a very structured exposition of realizing the entirety of the Buddhist path for yourself."

About the Author

BROTHER PHAP HAI (Dharma Ocean) is a senior monastic disciple of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. He ordained as a monk in 1997 and was formally authorized to teach in January 2003. Originally from Australia, he is an active meditation teacher who leads retreats, days of mindfulness, and talks throughout the western United States, Australia, South America. and Asia. Much loved for his warm, accessible, and humorous teaching style, Brother Phap Hai's charming blend of Dharma scholarship, sharp social awareness, and application of ancient wisdom to contemporary issues makes him one of the most compelling Buddhist teachers today.

Praise For…

"We are fortunate to have Brother Phap Hai as a guide … a good spiritual friend.… He embodies the characteristics of a Dharma teacher." —from the foreword by Rebecca Li, PhD, dharma teacher in the lineage of Chan Master Sheng Yen

"The Eight Realizations of Great Beings is the user manual for understanding how to navigate our lives in the continual churn of the pressure-packed, noisy, and often cruel modern world. Brother Phap Hai has made accessible  the ancient wisdom of Buddhism, shedding a bright light on the truth of our existence that we so easily overlook. Explored gradually and patiently in small measures, this book helps our mind move towards the enlightenment that is inherent in all things."
Les Kaye, abbot, Kannon Do Zen Center in Mountain View, California, and author of Zen at Work and A Sense of Something Greater

“Brother Phap Hai invites the reader along on his own journey through the Eight Realizations of Great Beings—from his initial resistance to the sutra’s seeming simplicity to his discovery of its profound beauty. It is an invitation to keep exploring for a lifetime, to ground ourselves in ordinary truths, to allow ourselves to wake up to something new.” —Tracy Franz, Lion's Roar magazine and author of My Year of Dirt and Water: The Journal of a Zen Monk’s Wife in Japan

"Brother Phap's authorship and stories make this sutra's relevance alive for this moment in history. His heart at the center of the work shines with the brilliance of practice and study well lived and well shared. A must-read for practitioners and scholars alike."—Larry Ward, PhD, author of America's Racial Karma

"Thich Nhat Hanh loved the Eight Realizations of Great Beings. Brother Phap Hai has been living these teachings and his deep practice is evident in his reflections and insights. I appreciate his use of story and of humor; this to me is a sign of a great teacher."—Peggy Rowe Ward, author of Love's Garden

"A student of Thich Nhat Hanh, Brother Phap Hai exudes an utterly contagious sense of calm, one that knows no boundaries of time or space.… I have long wondered how this 'miracle of calm' comes about, and am deeply grateful that he has written this book. Brother Phap Hai illuminates a road toward calm that each of us can travel—so, so necessary now, on this storm-tossed boat of ours."—Joel ben Izzy. storyteller and author of The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness

"Brother Phap Hai's down-to-earth approach and kindly humor make him the ideal guide to the profound teachings of the Sutra on the Eight Realizations of Great Beings and to help us find answers to the question, 'How do I apply the Dharma in my daily life?'”—Bodhipaksa, author of This Difficult Thing of Being Human

"Like his teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, not only concerned with how we live, but willing to meet us where we live.... Grounded in Buddhist practice and philosophy, the exercises and encouragement here are not highfalutin,' but practical and doable." —Rod Meade Sperry, editor of

Product Details
ISBN: 9781946764867
ISBN-10: 1946764868
Publisher: Parallax Press
Publication Date: September 28th, 2021
Pages: 208
Language: English