Being Peace at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism
The Bell Tower created from pillars left there by the Nazis who had occupied the building. The monastics have been very diligent in transforming the negative energy of the place...this was on of their acts of transformation and healing.
“There is a story I would like to tell you about a woman who practices the invocation of the Buddha Amitabha's name. She is very tough, and she practices the invocation three times daily, using a wooden drum and a bell, reciting, "Namo Amitabha Buddha" for one hour each time. When she arrives at one thousand times, she invites the bell to sound. (In Vietnamese, we don't say "strike" or "hit" a bell.) Although she has been doing this for ten years, her personality has not changed. She is still quite mean, shouting at people all the time.
A friend wanted to teach her a lesson, so one afternoon when she had just lit the incense, invited the bell to sound three times, and was beginning to recite "Namo Amitabha Buddha," he came to her door, and said, "Mrs. Nguyen, Mrs. Nguyen!" She found it very annoying because this was her time of practice, but he just stood at the front gate shouting her name. She said to herself, "I have to struggle against my anger, so I will ignore that," and she went on, "Namo Amitabha Buddha, Namo Amitabha Buddha."
The gentleman continued to shout her name, and her anger became more and more oppressive. She struggled against it, wondering, "Should I stop my recitation and go and give him a piece of my mind?" But she continued chanting, and she struggled very hard. Fire mounted in her, but she still tried to chant "Namo Amitabha Buddha." The gentleman knew it, and he continued to shout, "Mrs. Nguyen! Mrs. Nguyen!"
She could not bear it any longer. She threw away the bell and the drum. She slammed the door, went out to the gate and said, "Why, why do you behave like that? Why do you call my name hundreds of times like that?" The gentleman smiled at her and said, "I just called your name for ten minutes, and you are so angry. You have been calling the Buddha's name for ten years. Think how angry he must be!”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace
Many of us would like to change the world...but first we must do the harder thing..change ourselves - by transforming and healing the wounded places in ourselves ourselves.
I hope this finds all of you well and being peace in the midst of all of life's ups and downs and being cool on such a hot day.
We will be able to be peace together tomorrow evening at 6PM at our home at 725 Matunuck School House Rd, Wakefield, RI . We will enjoy sitting and walking(outdoors, weather permitting) meditation. We had the great good fortune of recently being able to enjoy a retreat for Dharma teachers at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Germany. I had a chance to be with one of my root teachers, Sister Annabel. I had not been able to practice with her, since she took on the position of director of practice at the Institute ten years ago...She is a treasure and it was a true blessing to be able to practice with her again. I will share a bit of what I learned there and we will share the Dharma. I hope that you will be able to be with us.
Please mark your calendar for the Rhode Island Community of Mindfulness Annual Picnic on September 21 at Colt State Park in Bristol. Please bring your family, friends, a vegetarian dish to share,
an instrument, a song, a game, your friendly dog, etc. It is always a joy to be able to get to know folks from the other Sanghas.
I hope you will be able to be with us.
We have had some wonderful news that Thay was awarded the Gandhi Mandela Peace Prize. (Information Below)
Also for those of you who are writers...I have included an invitation that we received to submit your stories for a future book. (Please see below)
ENGAGED PRACTICE OPPORTUNITY
We will do our best to speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so may make difficulties for us or threaten our safety.
Ninth Mindfulness Training of the Order of Interbeing
If you are interested in helping those seeking asylum in our country and would like to see an end to the policies that are now in place to separate families, here are some opportunities - from your presence, to donations to creating paper cranes.
This is from Duncan Ryukan Williams who is helping to organize Buddhist groups to demonstrate in Sills, Oklahoma at a former detention center for the Japanese during WWII which is now being reopened ... this link lists a number of ways to help including creating and sending some paper cranes...you origami buffs might like to participate. We can discuss this further tomorrow evening.
Two organizations that are helping reunite families and looking after those in detention are
International Rescue Committee
and of course the ACLU is providing legal representation to help those in detention.
Also I hope you are watering all of your seeds of joy as well as everyone elses, so you can respond effectively to all the suffering in our world and be peace.
May it be so!
with much love and deepest gratitude,
Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. - Harriet Tubman
The Gandhi Mandela Peace Prize 2019 has been awarded to Zen Master Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh in New Delhi on the 11th of July 2019. The award is instituted by the Believe Foundation which is a part of the Business World and INX T.V.
>> The award was handed over by the jury members in a well attended ceremony to the Ahimsa Trust Sangha
>> members, including members of the Order of Inter-being set up by Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh in 1966. They received the plaque on behalf of Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh since he could not be present in person as he is in the root temple in Hue, Vietnam at present. Members of both Mahatma Gandhi’s family and Nelson Mandela’s family were present. Ahimsa Trust represents Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh in India.
>> In his speech at the award ceremony the convener of the event mentioned that the award was being presented to the Zen Master for his “Impact on Spirituality” and said that “Thich Nhat Hanh is the 'Father of Mindfulness’ whose teachings have changed the lives of millions of people world wide”.
>> The jury members included eminent social workers, journalists and business persons and the Chief Guest was the veteran politician and renowned scholar Dr. Karan Singh, who had hosted Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh on his last visit to India in 2008.
>> At that time, Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh had led a walking Meditation on Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary from the President’s house to India Gate. He had given an addresses to parliamentarians, offered public talks to over 250,000 people, retreats to more than 10,000 people including to teachers, doctors, people in the media, corporate sector and in the Dalit and other Buddhist communities. His influence continues deeply in India as his students have set up communities of practice and are working to bring mindfulness to education, the para-military and many aspects of society. His books including the award winning book on the life of the Buddha, ‘Old Path White Clouds’ have been translated into a number of Indian languages.
We found your address in the Mindfulness Bell's worldwide sangha listing. We would appreciate if you would share the notice below with your sangha.
Many bows,Mary Hillebrand & Jeanine Cogan
Dear friends of Thay,
How excited we are to tell you about a new book project, Walking with Thay, in which students of Thich Nhat Hanh share their journeys of transformation as a result of following Thay’s teachings. The book will be a compilation of first-person short stories of how we were touched, moved, and inspired by Thay.
Walking with Thay is a celebration of Thay’s life and a celebration of our lives with him as our beloved teacher. May this book further the bond of Thay’s students around the world, and may it also inspire potential new students on this path of joy and love.
Best of all, the Walking with Thay book project is also a fundraiser. All proceeds after expenses will be donated to the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation.
We invite you to be part of this exciting project in the following ways:
1) Submit your story for consideration.
2) Spread the word and build momentum! Pass this email on to other students of Thay.
How to decide to submit a story
Reflect on these questions:
• Were you lost or searching and the teachings of Thay were your answer?
• How did Thay’s teachings liberate you? Bring you joy, freedom, peace, or something else that inspired you?
• How did his teachings bring you something beautiful that was previously missing?
• At what point did you know that Thay was your teacher? Describe that experience.
• Was something going on in your life for which Thay’s teachings provided a turning point or offered a different path? Tell that story.
More information about how to submit a story:
• Please send a Word document or Google Doc of no more than 500 words. This book will be printed in English, so all submissions should be in English. We will select a range of stories that capture various perspectives and experiences to create a poignant volume. If your story is selected, we will send back comments for revision. You will be required to resubmit the story by the resubmission date for inclusion in the book.
• Initial submission deadline: 5 pm (ET) August 30, 2019
• Submit your story to firstname.lastname@example.org
About the editors
Jeanine Cogan, Ph.D., is a long time student of Thich Nhat Hanh who fell in love with the teachings in 1996 and is committed to introducing mindfulness and meditation to others. She is known among her students as warm, lighthearted, and grounded. As a former academic, Jeanine edited two books as well as professional journals and is thrilled to bring this editorial success to the Walking with Thay book project.
Mary Hillebrand has studied and practiced in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh since 2001, participating in sanghas in Washington, D.C., and Madison, Wisconsin. In her current role as a high school teacher, Mary enjoys teaching mindfulness to her students and sharing her practice with other educators. She also brings 10 years of technical experience to the Walking with Thay book project from her first career as a magazine editor and writer.
In gratitude and peace,
Mary and Jeanine