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."
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Disappeared, The Official Documentary for TwoTooMany. Released on the 26th of October, it marks 4months since the 2 Woodville High School boys where taken. Quoted from one of the main powers behind this campaign, Wathnak Vy “4 months of SADNESS”.
After these 4 months, the 2 boys have not been returned. The Immigration Minister has still made no comment upon this issue. The Woodville High School Community and the Community abroad will continue to fight for these 2 boys and all Asylum Seeker rights. JLe Productions will continue to support them all the way.
Official Correspondence: BringBackTheWoodvilleKids@gmail.com
Twitter - @two_too_many
FaceBook Group - bringbackthewoodvillekids
--- Featuring ---
Special Appearance from
--- Crew ---
Director - Jordan Le
Assistant Director – Jake Capasso and McKenzie Whyte
Producer – Kenley Walter and Jordan Le
Co-Producer – Alex
The Unified Vietnamese Buddhist Congregation of Australia–New Zealand has received the news that the Former Prime Minister of Australia, The Honourable Edward Gough Whitlam passed away in Sydney on October 21st, 2014, aged 98 years.
We Vietnamese Buddhists began arriving in Australia as refugees from communism in the mid-1970s during Mr. Whitlam’s term as Prime Minister.
From our reading we know that the Late Former Prime Minister has become a legend, and that for his near century of life all Australians are grateful to him and admire, respect and honour him. He has through his determination and strength of spirit and to the best of his ability brought progress to Australia making her an equal among free, democratic and powerful nations of the world. Through audacious and welcome reforms to education, justice, health, etc… he made Australia and its people feel reassured and more confident in the future.
Dan Stevenson is neither a Buddhist nor a follower of any organized religion.
The 11th Avenue resident in Oakland's Eastlake neighborhood was simply feeling hopeful in 2009 when he went to an Ace hardware store, purchased a 2-foot-high stone Buddha and installed it on a median strip in a residential area at 11th Avenue and 19th Street.
He hoped that just maybe his small gesture would bring tranquillity to a neighborhood marred by crime: dumping, graffiti, drug dealing, prostitution, robberies, aggravated assault and burglaries.
Ai cũng có quyền được sống an toàn, lành mạnh và hạnh phúc. Vào ngày 26 tháng 06 năm 2014, các nhân viên Sở Di Trú đợi trước nhà của 2 em tị nạn Việtnam đang theo học ở Trường Trung Học Woodville. Khi hai cậu bé đi học về từ trường thì bắt đi và đưa đến Trại tạm Giam Inverbrackie ở Adelaide Hills, trong lúc bản thân hai câu bé không biết chuyện gì đang xảy ra với mình. Hôm sau đó, hai cháu được đưa đến Darwin bằng đường hàng không, và hiện đang bị giam giữ tai Wickham Point.
On December1 1955, in Montgomery Alabama, an African-American woman refused to obey a bus driver’s order to give up her seat on the bus to a white passenger. That simple act of defiance for the cause of social justice became one of the most important symbols of the modern Civil Rights Movements in the USA. That woman was Rosa Parks. The United States Congress called her “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement”. December 1 is commemorated in the US states of California and Ohio as “Rosa Parks Day”
The prison is a scary place, our mental prisons that we've created are no less terrifying. Buddhist Congress and Angulimala Fellowship bring us Ajahn Brahm as he shares his insights and wisdom on this prison-break, peppered distinctively with Ajahn's trademark Brahm Humor.
Vinaya (the monastic discipline) plays an essential role in defining traditional Theravāda Buddhism. This article examines the current state of vinaya recitation and practice in the nearly 150 immigrant Theravāda Buddhist temples in the United States, and also speculates on the prospect of traditional Theravāda's firm establishment in this country.
After briefly reviewing the role of ethics on the path in Theravāda texts, the article moves on to discuss the various criteria for distinguishing between wholesome and unwholesome actions. It then explores the gradation of unwholesomeness of actions according to several variables, and then applies this to wholesome actions, here highlighting the importance of right view.