Since the Vietnam War era, Thich Nhat Hanh has been known to North Americans as an activist for peace and justice and an interpreter of Vietnamese Buddhism and culture. Martin Luther King Jr. and Thomas Merton were his friends. Exiled from Vietnam after he headed the Buddhist delegation at the Paris peace talks, Nhat Hanh now lives in Plum Village, a monastic complex he founded in the south of France. From there he travels around the world, leading retreats on mindfulness. After the Dalai Lama, he is probably the world's best-known spokesperson for Buddhism.
This book presents various talks Nhat Hanh gave at Plum Village from 1995 to 1997 during the feast of Christmas. The talks were part of Nhat Hanh's continuing engagement with Christian themes and symbols. His teaching of the practice of mindfulness—a practice many Christians have embraced—as a way to overcome suffering recapitulates the fuller discussions offered in his numerous earlier works.