“Listening deeply and with compassion is an art. Speaking with loving kindness is also an art. Other things like painting or music can serve that purpose (of compassion). When you sing a song, the song should have an effect of sangha beauty, of building mutual understanding and compassion. That’s what we try to do in our sangha. We write poetry, we write songs, we perform dances, we do chanting. Everything we do is to help bring more harmony and mutual acceptance into our sangha. Slowly we become brothers and sisters to each other. Without that we cannot go far.”
Thich Nhat Hanh…
A young man asks Thich Nhat Hanh a question on young people following their dreams during the Questions and Answers session of a retreat at Deer Park Monastery, California in September 2011.…
A sharing by Karim Manji, a Wake Up London facilitator who is currently on the 90 day Winter Retreat in Plum Village, France.…
Escalation of Peace – page 91 to 92, read during Afternoon of Mindfulness 14.11.2015
(also pages 103-109 was read but it hasn’t been written up)
Suffering, unhappiness, violence, and war escalate when we are overcome with anger and try to punish and inflict suffering on the other side. We act this way because we believe that as a result we will suffer less, but of course this action only leads to the other side desiring revenge. This is the surest course of destruction. Deep down, we know this is childish, unintelligent behavior, but still most of us act this way. When we suffer, we blame the other person or group. We hope that is we can punish them and make them suffer, we will feel better and gain some relief. We know the disastrous effects of such behavior, yet we continue to follow this course. The result is more unhappiness, more terrorism, more violence, and more war.
Sometimes, people who cannot find any way to resolve a problem with someone else are tempted to eliminate the problem by eliminating the other person. They wish the other person would just go away, die, or disappear. That desire may be strong enough to lead them to kill. Killing another person is not an act of freedom but an act of despair and great ignorance; it will not bring freedom or peace.
Let us train ourselves to act with Right Understanding and compassion and move in the opposite direction. We can live our lives in such a way that we cause an escalation of peace to occur within our family, our school, and our society. Offering a calm and gentle smile – this is an act of peace. Looking with the eyes of compassion, making a peaceful step – these are gestures of peace and nonviolence that you can offer every day. Speak peacefully, walk peacefully, think peacefully, and your peace will radiate out in all directions.
On 29th October, Thich Nhat Hanh, together with fourteen other most senior Buddhist leaders including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, have issued a landmark international Buddhist Statement on Climate Change announced to world leaders. The statement calls upon these leaders to adopt an effective climate change agreement at the upcoming UN negotiations in Paris (COP21) starting 30 November. This is the first time so many Buddhist luminaries have come together on any global issue to speak with one voice.
Please also see the ‘Time to Act is Now: A Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change’ which the GBCCC statement endorses as well.
Wake Up London is a community of individuals practicing together to promote peace and reconciliation within ourselves and for our planet. We’d love to highlight what’s happening within our community, and how the practice is positively impacting our society.