Thich Nhat Hanh

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Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh on Art

“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

ReadingThich Nhat Hanh

Escalation of Peace


Excerpt from Creating True Peace: Ending Violence in Yourself, Your Family, Your Community, and the World by Thich Nhat Hanh

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.

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Sit in Peace in Trafalgar Square with Thich Nhat Hanh

Imagine the energy of thousands of people gathered together meditating on the open grounds of Trafalgar Square with one of the most influential people of our time.

Zen Master, author, poet and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh will guide a sitting meditation on Saturday 31 March in Trafalgar Square from 2.30pm.

This is a free event and everyone is warmly invited to join in this celebration of peace within us and around us.

Sitting meditation is one of the ways to contemplate peace. We invite you to sit together in silence, generating the energy of peace, solidity, and freedom.

You may like to bring something to sit on (it may be a good idea for this to be waterproof). You are welcome to sit on the benches and steps in Trafalgar Square.

This event is open to everyone, all ages, from every path, experienced or not.

“If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

RSVP to Facebook event invitation here.

RSVP to MeetUp event invitation here.

How to get to Trafalgar Square, see here

We are inviting everyone around the world to sit in peace with us. Check back later for the cities joining us on 31st March 2012. Email us if you would like to organise an event in your city!

Watch a clip of June 2011’s meditation flash mob in Trafalgar Square

Check out the rest of Thich Nhat Hanh’s 2012 tour in the UK here, including a public talk at Royal Festival Hall and a 5 day retreat at Nottingham University here.

Check out Thich Nhat Hanh’s Facebook page here.

Mindful content from our community

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.