http://www.helpbatnha.org 379 young Vietnamese monks and nuns of Bat Nha Monastery, practicing in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, are facing religious persecution from the Vietnamese government. Previously welcomed, it seems the state now feels threatened by the rising popularity of Thich Nhat Hanh’s form of engaged Buddhism in the country, and has cracked down. Having been evicted from their monastery they took refuge in a small temple in Bao Loc city. Police are trying to disband them and December has been given as the date when they must leave the temple. Other temples around the country, while willing, have been barred from accepting them. The state in effect wants to prevent these young monks and nuns from staying together as a community and further, it seems, aim to eradicate the Thich Nhat Hanh tradition within Vietnam. To learn more, visit: http://www.helpbatnha.org
PLEASE NOTE: Police confiscated all camera equipment on the day of the attack on the monastery in September 09. Hence photographs used are from an earlier attack, in June 09.
At 17 seconds Bat Nha is misspelled Bat Nah.
To read the Shambhala Sun article on Thich Nhat Hanhs visit to Vietnam, click on:http://tinyurl.com/yf84nbu
A Fierce Light Flash! Directed by award winning filmmaker Velcrow Ripper. Ripper’s latest film, Fierce Light: When Spirit Meets Action, features Thich Nhat Hanh. http://www.fiercelight.org
Fourteen Precepts Of Engaged Buddhism
by Thich Nhat Hanh
1. Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. All systems of thought are guiding means; they are not absolute truth.
2. Do not think that the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth. Avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views. Learn and practice non-attachment from views in order to be open to receive others’ viewpoints. Truth is found in life and not merely in conceptual knowledge. Be ready to learn throughout our entire life and to observe reality in yourself and in the world at all times.
3. Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education. However, through compassionate dialogue, help others renounce fanaticism and narrowness.
4. Do not avoid contact with suffering or close your eyes before suffering. Do not lose awareness of the existence of suffering in the life of the world. Find ways to be with those who are suffering by all means, including personal contact and visits, images, sound. By such means, awaken yourself and others to the reality of suffering in the world.
5. Do not accumulate wealth while millions are hungry. Do not take as the aim of your life fame, profit, wealth, or sensual pleasure. Live simply and share time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need.
6. Do not maintain anger or hatred. As soon as anger and hatred arise, practice the meditation on compassion in order to deeply understand the persons who have caused anger and hatred. Learn to look at other beings with the eyes of compassion.
7. Do not lose yourself in dispersion and in your surroundings. Learn to practice breathing in order to regain composure of body and mind, to practice mindfulness, and to develop concentration and understanding.
8. Do not utter words that can create discord and cause the community to break. Make every effort to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.
9. Do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest of to impress people. Do not utter words that cause diversion and hatred. Do not spread news that you do not know to be certain. Do not criticize or condemn things you are not sure of. Always speak truthfully and constructively. Have the courage to speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so may threaten your own safety.
10. Do not use the Buddhist community for personal gain or profit, or transform your community into a political party. A religious community should, however, take a clear stand against oppression and injustice, and should strive to change the situation without engaging in partisan conflicts.
11. Do not live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature. Do not invest in companies that deprive others of their chance to life. Select a vocation which helps realize your ideal compassion.
12. Do not kill. Do not let others kill. Find whatever means possible to protect life and to prevent war.
13. Possess nothing that should belong to others. Respect the property of others but prevent others from enriching themselves from human suffering or the suffering of other beings.
14. Do not mistreat your body. Learn to handle it with respect. Do not look on your body as only an instrument. Preserve vital energies (sexual, breath, spirit) for the realization of the Way. Sexual expression should not happen without love and commitment. In sexual relationships, be aware of future suffering that may be caused. To preserve the happiness of others, respect the rights and commitments of others. Be fully aware of the responsibility of bringing new lives into the world. Meditate on the world into which you are bringing new beings.
[Edited 10/14/08 22:35pm]
In this talk Thay speaks about the Five Mindfulness Trainings, on the practice of compassionate listening, on how to make time for our loved ones, as well as the practice of the Five Mantras. For example,”‘Darling, I know that you have suffered so much in the past years, I have not been able to help you. I have reacted with anger, and I am sorry. It was not my intention to make you suffer more. I did not understand the nature of your suffering. Tell me what is in your heart, your deepest aspiration. Help me to understand your suffering. If you don’t help me, who is going to help me?’ This kind of speech is described by the Buddha as right speech, as loving speech.”
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