can find heaven on Earth' By Sandi Dolbee, Sign On San Diego, January 29, 2004
Visiting Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh says that "Heaven is here and now. Don't look into the distance. The kingdom of God is really available in the here and now."
RONI GALGANO / Union-Tribune Thich Nhat Hanh, one of the world's most popular Buddhist teachers, is spending the winter at Deer Park Monastery in North County.
San Diego, Calif. (USA)-- His head is shaved, his small frame wrapped in the brown robe of his faith. It is late morning, and Thich Nhat Hanh is bathed in a sunlit room talking about heaven.
Heaven, he is saying, is here and now. Don't look into the distance. "The kingdom of God is really available in the here and now."
This is important, because he believes that if you truly understand that you're living in the kingdom of God right now, you'll behave better right now. "If you have the kingdom of God, you'll not have to search for happiness in sex, wealth or fame anymore."
Thich Nhat Hanh (pronounced tick-naught-han) was only 16 when he joined the monkhood in Vietnam. Now he is 77 and one of the most popular Buddhist leaders in the world.
A best-selling, and prolific, author, his most popular books include "Anger," "Creating True Peace" and "Living Buddha, Living Christ," which draws parallels between Buddhism and Christianity. He says his newest book will deal with the subject of power.
He's also a poet, a teacher and a master in Zen Buddhism, blending the Theravada and Mahayana traditions of an Eastern religion that dates back 2,500 years and emphasizes human transcendence over the traditional Western concept of God. He has built a worldwide reputation for his devotion to the pursuit of peace and his adherence to the spiritual practice of mindfulness.
Thich Nhat Hanh was exiled from his native Vietnam decades ago for his anti-war efforts and now spends much of his time at his main monastery, called Plum Village, in southern France. But this winter, he and about 300 monks and nuns from his Unified Buddhist Church have gathered for a long retreat at his Deer Park Monastery in the hills above Escondido.
He arrived earlier this month and plans to leave in April. Between now and the end of March, he will participate in several programs and talks in Southern California – including a special alms round procession Saturday at San Dieguito County Park. Deer Park also is open to the public for days of mindfulness on Wednesdays and Sundays (his Dharma – or teaching – talks are in the mornings in the newly completed meditation hall).
This North County monastery opened almost four years ago, complementing his centers in France and Vermont. He is no stranger to this country. He studied at Princeton and taught at Columbia University. In the 1960s, he worked with Martin Luther King Jr. in protesting the Vietnam War (King nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize).
On this particular morning at Deer Park, Thay, or teacher, as he is affectionately known by his devotees, is sitting in a small house, talking about mindfulness and happiness, about America's war on terrorism and war against Iraq, and trying to explain just why it is that Buddhism is so popular.
On mindfulness:"Mindfulness is the capacity to live deeply in the moments of your entire life." Whether it's drinking a glass of juice or being with a child, mindfulness means treasuring the present-tense – and not getting caught up in what's going to happen next or in having to chase after other things. Mindfulness sets people free, he says. "There is freedom from worries, anger and forgetfulness. Forgetfulness is the opposite of mindfulness."
On the popularity of Buddhism:"I think, first of all, Buddha is not a God. Buddha is a human being. He has suffered as a human being." The strength of Buddha, he says, is that as a role model "he can offer wisdom, insight and practice." He believes that followers of other religions can use the practices of Buddhism to deepen their own faiths. He does not want to convert people. ("We believe Christians should not be uprooted from their culture," he says as an example. "It's like a tree without roots.") He compares Buddhism to a river; each person can take as much as you want. And there is no single truth, no single way. "Buddhism is inclusive, not exclusive."
On teaching children spiritual practices:It can begin in the womb of the mother. "You don't hear things that are violent, you don't eat things that are violent and your husband should treat you with gentleness," he says. Children have an almost natural affinity for mindfulness. "They can be in the here and now very easy, more than adults." During his talks at Plum Village, he says he'll give a short lesson for the children and then let them go out and play. "They practice in the form of play."
On Americans:Americans are not as accepting as they used to be, he says. And he warns that when Americans reach out to other countries, they need to do it out of compassion, not out of control. He offers the Middle East as an example. Americans should seek ways to foster hope and "help them see a future." Peace, he says, would benefit everyone. "If they have peace, they have trust." And where there is trust, he suggests, there is an absence of fear and violence.
On the U.S. -led war in Iraq:It was a bad idea, he says. "I think the war in Iraq has cost a lot." He favors relying more on the United Nations and thinks America should get more involved with that international body.
On the war on terrorism:In Buddhism, he says, every person is looked upon as a potential Buddha. But the war on terrorism turns that around to regard each person as a potential terrorist. "When a culture goes like that, it goes wrong," he says. This campaign has "created more hate and terrorists."
On post-9/ll:After the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, he believes America would have been better off with dialogue. The key question: Why would anyone hate us enough to do that? "If we are able to listen, they will tell us," he says. If other countries have the wrong impression of the United States, then we should try to explain ourselves to them. "That kind of dialogue," he says, "is much safer."
On happiness:"The art of happiness is to learn how to be there, fully present, to attend to your needs and to attend to the needs of your beloved ones." It's about finding peace and harmony in your own self, and then helping those you love to do likewise. "And if you don't do the first step, it's very difficult to do the second," he says. Happiness is possible. His advice? "Stop running and begin to make steps."
The story of the murder of a law ex-student named Raskolnikov is told in Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment”. After suppressing his crime for several days in tremendous agony and terrible suffering in his conscience, Raskolnikov resolved to confess his wrongdoing to his companion, Sonia. In his confession, Raskolnikov reveals some motives for his crime, but he does not explain exactly why the elderly woman ought to be murdered. The tale then presents a mystery, a crime, as a result of Raskolnikov’s predestination. The purpose of this article is to prove that the motive of Raskolnikov’s crime is not his destiny, but rooted in his mind.
The Eight Precepts with Right Livelihood as the Eighth (Ājīvatthamaka Sīla) Dhamma Teachers Certificate
EN074 -__ Feb2010 5 8 Precepts Diacritials
Requirements and Ceremonies for the Five Precepts (Panca Sila),
The Eight Precepts with Right Livelihood as the Eighth (Ajivatthamaka Sila),
Dhamma Teachers Certificate, issued by the Buddhist Group of Kendal
(Theravada) and Ketumati Buddhist Vihara at Wesak 2006).
Updated February 2010
Venerable Rewata Dhamma born in Myanmar [Burma], was head of the Birmingham Buddhist Vihara until his death in 2004. His book Maha Paritta: The Discourses of the Great Protection (With the Threefold Refuges, Precepts, Salutations to the Triple Gem, Dependent Origination and Metta Bhavana), gives the formula in Pali and English for requesting Ajivatthamaka Sila (The Eight Precepts with Right Livelihood as the Eighth). (pages 9-12)
Venerable Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Mahanayaka Thera Abhidhaja Maharatthaguru Agga Maha Pandita (1896-1998)
Venerable Balangoda Ananda Maitreya, born in Sri Lanka, attended the Sixth Buddhist Council held in Myanmar [Burma] (1954-56). In 1956, during the third session of the Council, he served as Chairman of the Convocation for a few weeks. The Council was convened by the Myanmar [Burmese] government to prepare an authorized re-edit and reprint of the entire Tipitaka (the Pali Canon) and its commentaries. Venerable Ananda Maitreya was appointed the Sri
The BEP Buddhist Embroidery Project was started by attendees of the London Buddhist Vihara (Monastery) in 1994. The BEP decided to teach embroidery to people who had not learnt it in childhood. The late Venerable Apparakke Jinaratana, a Theravada Buddhist Bhikkhu (monk), who lived in a cave in Sri Lanka, near a very poor village, was using very old newspapers (supplied by villagers) as tablecloths. The BEP decided to embroider tablecloths, wall hangings and sitting cloths for his use. Although items are given to one monk, they actually belong to the whole of the Bhikkhu Sangha [Order of Buddhist Monks] according to the Vinaya (Buddhist Monastic Discipline). In Asian villages, washing is done in streams and waterfalls, and hung to dry in the hot sun, so items do not last as long as they do in the west.
by Venerable Dr Balangoda Ananda Maitreya
Mahanayaka Thera Abhidhaja Maharatthaguru Aggamaha Pandita DLitt DLitt (1896-1998)
and Jacquetta Gomes Bodhicarini Upasika Jayasili.
Introducing Buddhism was originally published by The Buddhist Society London in 1988, to accompany The Buddhist Society’s Introducing Buddhism Course, on which Jacquetta Gomes was one of the teachers.
Introducing Buddhism has subsequently been published by Buddhist organisations in England, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Taiwan, and the USA. Introducing Buddhism is available on several websites including Access to Insight, CBE Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia and Google Books. Introducing Buddhism was launched by the BCC Buddhist Cultural Centre in Sri Lanka with 24 other books under the patronage of Venerable Dr K. Sri Dhammananda Chief Sangha Nayaka of Malaysia and Singapore, in December 1997.
As a child, my mother Enid often said to me, “There is no such thing as a silly question,” and then would add, “unless.” This latter word was left hanging, and I eventually realised that it was up to me to learn the depth of its meaning.
At the same time that Enid was planting seeds for reflection, my first spiritual teacher, Ven. Lama Senge Tashi, encouraged me to cultivate more skilful thoughts, speech and actions. Sometimes I would try to verbally assert “I” or “Me,” and Lama would respond with, “Who is speaking?” or “Who is asking?”
During the Covid-19 pandemic a dharma sister passed from this life. Her name was Robyn. Although she did not call herself a Buddhist, nevertheless, Robyn had a special connection with the deity Medicine Buddha.
Over the six years that I worked with her, in my role as a hospital chaplain, Robyn frequently asked me to chant the mantra of Medicine Buddha and guide her through the visualisation. During her many stays in hospital, this particular practice brought comfort to her while she was experiencing chronic pain, anxiety and fear of the unknown. The medications she took would sometimes cloud her memory, so I would guide her through the details of the visualisation and begin chanting:
Once, as I was about to hold a summer Dharma class on a beach, as the first students began to arrive for the session I picked up two rocks and carefully placed them, one on top of the other, on to a much larger rock base. Observing what I had just done, three students approached: a young married couple and their five year old son.
True Seeing (Ven. Shih Jingang) One day, while Little Pebble and his Master were walking through a garden, the old teacher stopped to look at a white rose in full bloom. He motioned for his young disciple to join him, and they both sat down near where the flower was growing.
‘Little Pebble,’ said the Master, ‘when you look at this object, tell me what you think about it.’
‘The flower is pretty,’ stated the boy. ‘I like it.’
‘’’Flower,” you say. “Pretty, like it,” you say,’ replied the Master, looking to see how his young disciple reacted. Then he added, ‘Mind creates names like flower, and thoughts of like and dislike, pretty and ugly. This mind is small and closed, but if you can see beyond it to the nature of mind, then all is vast like space, completely open to all things. In this state of awareness, there is neither a flower nor a non-flower. Understand?’
But the young disciple did not quite understand, so his Master continued, ‘Little one, come here each day,
Nguyện đem công đức này, trang nghiêm Phật Tịnh Độ, trên đền bốn ơn nặng, dưới cứu khổ ba đường, nếu có người thấy nghe, đều phát lòng Bồ Đề, hết một báo thân này, sinh qua cõi Cực Lạc.
May the Merit and virtue,accrued from this work, adorn the Buddhas pureland, Repay the four great kindnesses above, andrelieve the suffering of those on the three paths below, may those who see or hear of these efforts generates Bodhi Mind, spend their lives devoted to the Buddha Dharma, the Land of Ultimate Bliss.