The Theravada Aspect of Thich Nhat Hanh

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Đây là bài viết nghiên cứu về Khía Cạnh Phật Giáo Theravada của Thiền Sư Thích Nhất Hạnh bằng tiếng Anh. Qua bài này, chúng ta thấy tầm vóc của thiền sư cũng như việc thiền sư vốn xuất thân từ Phật Giáo Đại Thừa đã chuyển qua học hỏi thêm Phật Giáo Theravada ra sao. 1 Class: Buddhist Traditions in South Asia Professor: Lisa Grumbach Student: Quang Le Essay: Final Exam Theravada Aspects of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s Teachings: On Thich Nhat Hanh’s Usage of Theravada Buddhist Sources, Concepts, and Practices “Zen” Buddhism belongs to Mahayana branch of Buddhist thought and practice Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (1926-) was religiously raised in the Mahayana tradition (42 nd generation of Linji or Rinzai tradition) However, as he matured, he studied, practiced, and deployed Theravada Buddhist thought and practices while still maintaining his practice in the “great vehicle.” In this essay, I would like to describe the Theravada aspects of this teachings: namely his use of Theravada discourses and mindfulness meditation as well as Theravada precepts and spiritual achievements I will also present some points on which Thich Nhat Hanh does not follow Theravada either in theory and in practice In addition, at the end of the essay, I will include an appendix about the Five Mindfulness Trainings which is the five precepts refreshed by Thich Nhat Hanh He is still alive; there are not many scholarly journals or academic books researching on him Consequently, this essay follows theological approach which includes his books, writings, Dharma Talks plus social media sources In Asia, Vietnam is a unique country in so far as it received both Southern (Indian) and Northern (Chinese) varieties of Buddhism Vietnamese people in the past and present have used both Sanskrit and Chinese popularly to study the varieties of Buddhism derived from the brilliant cultures of China and India Buddhism from India directly came to Vietnam firstly in the first century or second century C.E In Viet Nam Phat Giao Su Luan, Thich Nhat Hanh writes that Buddhism arrived in Vietnam perhaps in the first century C.E A different opinion is presented by Le Manh That, who states that Buddhism came to Vietnam from the third to the second century B.C.E.2 Nguyen Tai Thu, suggests it was Mahayana Indian Buddhism that came firstly to Vietnam.3 According to Minh Nga, Theravada Buddhism started to come to Southern Vietnam in the 4th century via sea route also From this point, both Mahayana and Theravada varieties of Buddhism have existed in Vietnam up until now although Mahayana has been more popular in this country This is the foundation for Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh to religiously tolerate different Buddhist traditions, to learn from both Mahayana and Theravada, and to combine them The Theravada Aspects of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Teachings Theravada is considered the conservative Buddhist tradition This tradition has maintained as much original teaching of the Buddha as possible This tradition has the Pali Nikayas as its canonical literature This body of texts contain the discourses that are considered the Buddha’s teachings The Agamas are relatively the same discourses in Chinese Buddhism, Thich Nhat Hanh, Việt Nam Phật Giáo Sử Luận [Commentary on History of Buddhism in Vietnam] (Ha Noi, Vietnam: Van Hoc Publication, 2014), 23 Le Manh That, Lịch Sử Phật Giáo Việt Nam Tập I [History of Vietnamese Buddhism] (Hue: Thuan Hoa Publication, 1999), 26 Nguyen Tai Thu, History of Buddhism in Vietnam (Washington D.C.: Library of Congress Cataloging-inPublication, 2008), 15 Minh Nga, “Giới Thiệu Sơ Lược Khmer Theravada” [Brief Introduction about Khmer Theravada], the Government Committee of Religious Affairs, accessed November 16, 2018, http://btgcp.gov.vn/Plus.aspx/vi/News/38/0/162/0/1290/Gioi_thieu_so_luoc_ve_Phat_giao_Nam_tong_Khmer but they are not Mahayana discourses Thich Nhat Hanh deploys these Nikayas or Agamas in a number of his books Old Path White Clouds is the life of the Buddha, rooted from these discourses The majority of discourses in Chanting from the Heart: Buddhist Ceremonies and Daily Practice, which is used in daily Buddhist practice in his communities worldwide, are from Nikayas Many parts of The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching, the overall of the Buddha’s words, come from Nikayas In my opinion, the Zen Master mostly writes books from Theravada discourses (and there are only a few books, sourced from Mahayana tradition) Comparing to the two methods of practice between Mahayana meditation and Theravada one, the Zen Master suggests the following which I translate from Vietnamese: the basic practice of Original Buddism [Theravada in this context] is the four foundations of mindfulness, with its capacity of recognizing, transforming habits, and be fulfilled the seven factors of awakening and the Eightfold Path Mahayana meditation types, including patriarch meditation, need sometimes to return to bathe on the stream of Original Buddhism to not lose the marrow of Buddhadharma.5 It seems that in his experience, Theravada forms of meditation is more effective than those found in Mahayana Buddhism In social media, he is “the father of mindfulness.” He is well-known in mindfulness circles on the global scale Unlike a traditional Zen Master who uses koans, a product of Chinese Zen Buddhism, as a method to help the students reach enlightenment, Thich Nhat Hanh uses mindfulness, a method from the Buddha’s teaching which belongs to Theravada The discourses that he mainly uses when teaching mindfulness are from the Nikayas Our Appointment with Life: Sutra on Knowing the Better Way to Live Alone is a book of mindful living which he Plum Village, “Định Đề Giáo Lý Làng Mai” [Propositions of Plum Village’s Catechism], accessed November 21, 2018, https://langmai.org/tang-kinh-cac/tai-lieu/nhung-dinh-de-giao-ly-lang-mai/ Sylvia Thompson, “The Father of Mindfulness,” Irish Times, April 10, 2012, https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/the-father-of-mindfulness-1.498724 4 emphasizes on the importance of living in the present moment Breathe, You Are Alive: The Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing is a book that he teaches how to breath mindfully His technique includes 16 steps of breathing Another of Thich Nhat Hanh’s books is Transformation and Healing: Sutra on the Four Establishments of Mindfulness, which he guides how to use four areas to practice mindfulness: body, feelings, mind, and the object of mind These are considered the most important suttas in Theravada’s teaching of mindfulness meditation, as well as Thich Nhat Hanh’s teaching on this field 10 Furthermore, there are two of his books of applied mindfulness that are famous: The Miracle of Mindfulness and Peace Is Every Step The first book guides readers how to practice mindfulness in daily life (not only focus on sitting posture)11 and the second book teaches how to enjoy walking meditation 12 The Zen Master is famous for teaching walking meditation Another of his books in which he teaches mindful walking is The Long Road Turns to Joy.13 He often leads thousands of practitioners to walk silently and mindfully in large cities: London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Seoul, BangKok, Hanoi… to name just a few Thich Nhat Hanh, Breathe, You Are Alive: The Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing (Berkeley: Parallax Press, 2008) Our Appointment with Life: Sutra on Knowing the Better Way to Live Alone (Berkeley: Parallax Press, 2010) Transformation and Healing: Sutra on the Four Establishments of Mindfulnes (Berkeley: Parallax Press, 2002) 10 Actually mindfulness, as well as these three suttas, are clearly presented in Agamas, but Mahayanists not deploy them as popularly as Theravadins 11 Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation, tran Mobi Ho (Boston: Beacon Press, 1987) 12 Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life, ed Arnold Kotler (NY: BANTAM BOOKS, 1991) 13 .Thich Nhat Hanh, The Long Road Turns to Joy: A Guide to Walking Meditation (Berkeley: Parallax Press, 2011) 5 The Zen Master uses the same spiritual attainments from Theravada In Mahayana, there are ten stages of spirituality that a Bodhisattva needs to attain Differently, these are the Four Attainments of Plum Village: “I have arrived, I am home” or “froglessness”14 “Dwelling happily” “Interbeing” “No-birth, no-death.”15 They are equivalent to the spiritual fruits that were taught by the Buddha: stream enterer, once returner, never returner, and arhat It is not easy to guide practitioners to reach these originally spiritual fruits, taught by the Buddha, nowadays It seems Watkins Magazine is reasonable to rank him as the second person on the list 100 spiritual leaders in 2013 (after the Dalai Lama) 16 On the one hand, he distinguishes his Buddhist disciples on the basis of the original Buddhist precepts He has some hundreds of thousands of lay Buddhist disciples globally The lay Buddhists receive the five precepts In addition, he transmits the Great Ordination ceremonies for Buddhist novices to receive the Great Precepts to become Bhikkhus/Bhikkhunis (Actually, the Pratimoksha, precepts for Bhikkhus/Bhikkhunis, that he inherits and transmits is from the Dharmagupta school, which is often used in China and Vietnam, while Theravada uses the 14 Thich Nhat Hanh explains a frog often jumps When a practitioner achieves the spiritual stage of froglessness, he will not jump often; instead, he dwells deeply and mindfully in the present moment 15 Chan Niem Hy, “Four Attainments of Plum Village,” Thich Nhat Hanh’s Dharma Talks, last modified January 16, 2011, https://tnhaudio.org/2011/01/30/four-attainments-of-plum-village/ 16 Watkins Mind Body Spirit, “Watkins’ Spiritual 100 List for 2013,” https://www.watkinsmagazine.com/watkins-spiritual-100-list-2013 modified February 6, 2013, Pratimoksha from Tamrasatiya,17 but he has monastics which are similar to Theravada) The number of his monastics are about 1000, yet many of them left after years of practice in his monasteries Therefore, his monastic number is about 700 so far 18 The Differences between Thich Nhat Hanh’s Teachings and Those of the Theravada On the other hand, Thich Nhat Hanh allows women to become Buddhist nuns in his lineage, whereas orthodox Theravada Buddhists not allow for this possibility There are about 400 nuns in his monasteries Nowadays, the majority of Theravada pagodas only have monks, laymen and laywomen, and are without nuns entirely This is the key difference It is Thich Nhat Hanh’s effort to build the Fourfold Sangha (monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen) in the West When he goes to somewhere to give a Dharma Talk, his Fourfold Sangha follows to assist him Moreover, just a few years ago, he had built a rather large monastery in Thailand, a country whose Buddhist majority follows the Theravada tradition, which houses about 300 monastics A Thai female became his nun-disciple, as well as some Thai males became his monk-disciples, and there are about 200 nuns in his Thai monastery They open many retreats for Thai-lay Buddhists as well as for people from across the world It is interesting to wait for reactions from Thai Theravada Buddhists about the existence of hundreds of Buddhist nuns in a Theravada region Another difference between Thich Nhat Hanh and Theravada is that he refreshes Buddhist precepts Traditionally, the Five Precepts are prohibitions that are organized shortly and directly to memorize easily: not to kill, not to steal, not to perform sexual misconduct, not to tell lie, not to drink alcohol There are of course some other versions, but they are quite short because 17 Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dharma Teacher Council of Plum Village, preface of Freedom Wherever We Go: A Buddhist Monastic Code for the Twenty-First Century (Berkeley: Parallax Press, 2014), viii 18 I had lived in his monasteries for five years, so I know 7 in the Buddha’s time and after that, humans did not have paper to write down As a result, the organization of the precepts had to be short in order to be more easily memorized The Zen Master presents the Five Precepts as the Five Mindfulness Trainings which is richer and updated Because it is quite long, I would like to present it at the end of this essay Moreover, he refreshes the manners and precepts of Sadi/Sadini (Buddhist novices) For example, he adds some more gathas (short poems that a new monastic memorizes to silently recite with the purpose of being mindful) such as gathas for using a computer or using seat belt on a car He also writes on this book to encourage new novices Why has he done this? The Zen Master explains Buddhism needs to update, as normal as other fields of study “In the fields of education, art, and science, new works appear every year or two to respond to the demands of students and practitioners Four hundred years is a long time to wait for an updated version of these teachings.” 19 Furthermore, he revises Pratimoksha Thich Nhat Hanh switches some heavy precepts to lighter category In addition, he adds some new precepts while illuminating a number of precepts Pratimoksha has been kept strictly since the Buddha’s requirement; no patriarch has dared to change it, that is, until Thich Nhat Hanh This is his perception as foundation of revising the precepts: When the Buddha was about to enter Nirvana, he told his attendant, the Venerable Ananda, that the minor and less rules could be removed, so that the text would remain light, relevant, and appropriate At that time, Ananda did not inquire which specific trainings the Buddha referring to So, after the Buddha’s passing into Nirvana, the elder monk Kassyapa did not dare to remove any of the precepts Two thousand six hundred years have gone by, and this recommendation by the Buddha has not been carried out.20 19 Thich Nhat Hanh with the Monks and Nuns of Plum Village, introduction to Stepping into Freedom: An Introduction to Buddhist Monastic Training (Berkeley: Parallax Press, 1997), xii 20 Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dharma Teacher Council of Plum Village, preface of Freedom Wherever We Go: A Buddhist Monastic Code for the Twenty-First Century (Berkeley: Parallax Press, 2014), viii 8 From the perspective of an outsider, if a law of a country does not fit the actual reality of that country, it should be refreshed, edited, or changed The Zen Master continues to present his interpretation, One time the venerable Shariputra asked the Lord Buddha, “Why don’t you create precept?” The Buddha said, “I not need to create precepts We make a precept only when something goes wrong, to help people avoid falling into that harmful situation again.” We [Thich Nhat Hanh and his Sangha] know that the Buddha was not a lawmaker The Buddha only devised a precept when there was a need Once it was devised, if it was not perfect in that form, it could be corrected or abandoned in favor of a different precept This is a wonderful attitude to have If we are caught in the outer form of the precepts and say that they cannot be changed because changing them is disrespectful to the Buddha, we are going in the opposite direction of what the Buddha wants We have to keep correcting and making the precepts more beautiful if we want to be loyal to the idea and the spirit of the Buddha.21 Thich Nhat Hanh does not forget to imagine what would happen if he did not that, Buddhism should remain a living tradition Like a tree, the dead branches need to be pruned in order for new shoots to grow The new shoots are the teachings and practices that respond to the needs of our present time and culture Technology developments, mass media, and the speed of modern life have all influenced the life of monastic communities Degradation of the monastic lifestyle is evident in places all over the world, in both Buddhist and non-Buddhist communities To respond to this present situation, a revised Pratimoksha is urgently needed.22 From what I wrote above, the Zen Master chose Theravada meditation to teach worldwide because he thinks it is more effective, compared to Mahayana meditation In contrast, Thich Nhat Hanh criticizes Theravada on one matter: conservativism He said the conservatives [Theravada in this context] of the tradition must own their fault when it comes to to preventing (non-religious) people from entering Buddhism Conservatives, he claims, are all too content to strictly follow the formalities without a thought as to how to make the tradition appeal to an 21 Thich Nhat Hanh, 2014, 13 22 Ibid., ix 9 increasingly disinterested body of young people across the world It is very necessary, according the Zen Master, that the tradition must be suitable to the abilities of learners Even though they are the Four Noble Truths or the Eightfold Path, they are not Buddhism because the learners not understand to put them into practice; Mahayana attracted people better Buddhism has changed its form a few times over its twenty-five centuries of history Some patriarchs have appeared in history to refresh Buddhism, and from these refreshments Buddhism has been better able to attract people.23 Thich Nhat Hanh’s deployment of the three Dharma Seals is different from that found in the Theravada tradition The Three Dharma Seals (otherwise translated as “Hallmarks” or “Marks”) distinguishes Buddhism from other doctrines and religious teachings Teachings which not convey these seals are not considered the authentic teachings of the Buddha In Theravada, the three Dharma Seals are impermanence, suffering, and non-self (or not self or no self) The three Dharma Seals are repeated many times by the Buddha in Samyuta Nikaya 24 Nonetheless, Thich Nhat Hanh states the Three Dharma Seals are impermanence, nonself, and nirvana.25 The Zen Master explains it is not true to state that life is all suffering; impermanence and nonself are universal, but suffering is not Thich Nhat Hanh said Samyuta Nikaya presents the formula impermanence, suffering, and nonself, but in Samyuta Agama (Tsa A Han 262 23 Thich Nhat Hanh, “Duy Biểu Học Ứng Dụng: 06 Sự Khế Cơ Làm Mới Đạo Bụt” [Applied ManifestationOnly: 06 Suitability and Buddhist Refreshment] November 21, 2018, video lecture, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7EC-7sQLUY 24 Bhikkhu Bodhi, “chapter 22 Khandhasamyutta: Connected Discourses on the Aggregates,” in The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2000), 853-983 25 Thich Nhat Hanh, “chapter eighteen The Three Dharma Seals,” in The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation (New York: Harmony Publication, 2015), 131-46 10 (Taisho 99)), they are impermanence, nonself, and nirvana He continues to cite that Nagarjuna presents nirvana as one of the Three Dharma Seals in the Mahaprajnaparamita Shastra.26 In practice, Thich Nhat Hanh does not teach his disciples to practice jhānas Jhānas are what Theravadins traditionally practice to gain levels of concentration, based clearly on Nikayas In contrast, the Zen Master writes in Vietnamese language that people can be sure only 50% as to whether the four jhānas, as well as the four immaterial concentrations, were what the Buddha taught.27 He does teach his disciples to practice mindfulness meditation to increase concentration, then to contemplate the four foundations of mindfulness.28 In his tradition, the Zen Master encourages the people to sing mindfulness songs On the contrary, singing is not allowed in Theravada Thich Nhat Hanh either changes words of songs while maintaining the melodies or composes new mindful, positive and peaceful songs Many of his monastic disciples and lay Buddhists also compose these songs These songs are translated into many languages to use in retreats The Fourfold Sangha usually sings these mindfulness songs before group walking meditation or listening to a Dharma Talk Eating in Theravada is somewhat different from his tradition A traditional Theravadin has breakfast and lunch before noon A Theravada monk does not eat afternoon, meaning he does not have dinner in the evening He may ingest milk or fruit juice without chewing solid foods 26 Thich Nhat Hanh, “chapter five Is Everything Suffering?” in The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation (New York: Harmony Publication, 2015), 19-24 27 Plum Village, “Gốc Rễ Kinh Điển Bụt” [Roots of Buddhist Discourses], accessed November 18, 2018, https://langmai.org/tang-kinh-cac/vien-sach/giang-kinh/truyen-thong-sinh-dong-cua-thien-tap/thien-tap-thoi-nguyenthi/goc-re-kinh-dien-cua-but/ 28 Thich Nhat Hanh, Transformation and Healing: Sutra on the Four Establishments of Mindfulness (Berkeley: Parallax Press, 2002) 11 He does not eat vegetarian foods strictly Nevertheless, in Plum Village’s tradition, the monastics often have dinner However, they had only eaten vegetarian foods in the past until last decade when they decided to switch to a vegan diet, that is, one without milk products or eggs The purpose is to protect the earth dealing with climate change and global warming, as well as to nurture one’s sense of compassion Traditionally, a Theravadin monk does not hold any money He completely relies on donation to live (or to survive in contemporary Western perspective!) In Thich Nhat Hanh’s monasteries, a monastic receives pocket money monthly Usually it is $50 if that monk lives in a monastery in France, Germany, the United States, but it is about $10 in Vietnam or Thailand The monasteries provide food, shelter, clothes, and medicine, as well as other necessary things such as library From the perspective of the economic conditions of late capitalism, Thich Nhat Hanh’s tradition responds better than that of Theravada; it is the first step, from the ground of proletariat, to climb on the long ladder of a modern society where money is simply necessary As a unique country that has in the past and present gathered both Mahayana and Theravada Buddhist traditions, Vietnam has been a good place for Buddhists to study and compare the two traditions That he w born in Vietnam, and although he was raised and trained in the Mahayana tradition, Thich Nhat Hanh includes clearly Theravada aspects in his Buddhist teachings Some Theravada aspects of his teachings are his use of Pali Nikaya discourses, the promotion of mindfulness meditation, the formulation of precepts along the lines of the Theravada tradition, and his explanation of the spiritual fruits of practice In theory, he does not teach jhānas and states the three Dharma Seals differently from how they are presented in Theravada Buddhist literature In practice, the Zen Master deploys Buddhism differently from 12 Theravada in allowing women to become Buddhist nuns, refreshing Buddhist precepts, encouraging mindful singing, and allowing monastics to hold pocket money On the one hand, one of a few things in Theravada that he cherishes the most is the discourse on the awareness of breathing (the Zen Master wrote when he explored this discourse, he felt he was the happiest person in the world).29 On the other hand, he criticizes that some Theravadins preserved Buddhism strictly that did not attract new people effectively All in all, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh plays an important role in not only contemporary Buddhism but also in the long history of this religion.30 Therefore, studying about him is worthy Some directions for future research include the “Mahayana Aspects of Thich Nhat Hanh,” “How Thich Nhat Hanh Combines Mahayana and Theravada,” “Why and How Thich Nhat Hanh Refreshes Buddhism,” “Thich Nhat Hanh’s Socially Engaged Buddhism,” “Distinctions and Weaknesses of Thich Nhat Hanh,” as well as “Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama in Comparison,” “Thich Nhat Hanh and Martin Luther King in Comparision.” Appendix The Five Mindfulness Trainings (in Thich Nhat Hanh’s tradition) 29 Thich Nhat Hanh, “Tinh Yếu Kinh Quán Niệm Hơi Thở” [Essence of the Discourse on the Full Awareness of Breathing], Buddhism Today, accessed November 22, 2018, http://www.daophatngaynay.com/vn/phap-mon/thiendinh/nguyen-thuy/9578-Tinh-Yeu-Kinh-Quan-Niem-Hoi-Tho.html 30 John Powers, in the book The Buddhist World, presents the list of 14 Buddhists who have formed and developed this religion in the Buddhist history The first is the Buddha, the second is Nagarjuna,…only two people are alive: Thich Nhat Hanh is the 11th and the Dalai Lama is the 13th 13 The Five Mindfulness Trainings represent the Buddhist vision for a global spirituality and ethic They are a concrete expression of the Buddha’s teachings on the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path, the path of right understanding and true love, leading to healing, transformation, and happiness for ourselves and for the world To practice the Five Mindfulness Trainings is to cultivate the insight of interbeing, or Right View, which can remove all discrimination, intolerance, anger, fear, and despair If we live according to the Five Mindfulness Trainings, we are already on the path of a bodhisattva Knowing we are on that path, we are not lost in confusion about our life in the present or in fears about the future Reverence For Life Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I am committed to cultivating the insight of interbeing and compassion and learning ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to support any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, or in my way of life Seeing that harmful actions arise from anger, fear, greed, and intolerance, which in turn come from dualistic and discriminative thinking, I will cultivate openness, non-discrimination, and non-attachment to views in order to transform violence, fanaticism, and dogmatism in myself and in the world True Happiness Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing, and oppression, I am committed to practicing generosity in my thinking, speaking, and acting I am determined not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others; and I will share my time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need I will practice looking deeply to see that the 14 happiness and suffering of others are not separate from my own happiness and suffering; that true happiness is not possible without understanding and compassion; and that running after wealth, fame, power and sensual pleasures can bring much suffering and despair I am aware that happiness depends on my mental attitude and not on external conditions, and that I can live happily in the present moment simply by remembering that I already have more than enough conditions to be happy I am committed to practicing Right Livelihood so that I can help reduce the suffering of living beings on Earth and stop contributing to climate change True Love Aware of the suffering caused by sexual misconduct, I am committed to cultivating responsibility and learning ways to protect the safety and integrity of individuals, couples, families, and society Knowing that sexual desire is not love, and that sexual activity motivated by craving always harms myself as well as others, I am determined not to engage in sexual relations without true love and a deep, long-term commitment made known to my family and friends I will everything in my power to protect children from sexual abuse and to prevent couples and families from being broken by sexual misconduct Seeing that body and mind are one, I am committed to learning appropriate ways to take care of my sexual energy and cultivating loving kindness, compassion, joy and inclusiveness – which are the four basic elements of true love – for my greater happiness and the greater happiness of others Practicing true love, we know that we will continue beautifully into the future Loving Speech and Deep Listening 15 Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I am committed to cultivating loving speech and compassionate listening in order to relieve suffering and to promote reconciliation and peace in myself and among other people, ethnic and religious groups, and nations Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I am committed to speaking truthfully using words that inspire confidence, joy, and hope When anger is manifesting in me, I am determined not to speak I will practice mindful breathing and walking in order to recognize and to look deeply into my anger I know that the roots of anger can be found in my wrong perceptions and lack of understanding of the suffering in myself and in the other person I will speak and listen in a way that can help myself and the other person to transform suffering and see the way out of difficult situations I am determined not to spread news that I not know to be certain and not to utter words that can cause division or discord I will practice Right Diligence to nourish my capacity for understanding, love, joy, and inclusiveness, and gradually transform anger, violence, and fear that lie deep in my consciousness Nourishment and Healing Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I am committed to cultivating good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking, and consuming I will practice looking deeply into how I consume the Four Kinds of Nutriments, namely edible foods, sense impressions, volition, and consciousness I am determined not to gamble, or to use alcohol, drugs, or any other products which contain toxins, such as certain websites, electronic games, TV programs, films, magazines, books, and conversations I will practice coming back to the present moment to be in touch with the 16 refreshing, healing and nourishing elements in me and around me, not letting regrets and sorrow drag me back into the past nor letting anxieties, fear, or craving pull me out of the present moment I am determined not to try to cover up loneliness, anxiety, or other suffering by losing myself in consumption I will contemplate interbeing and consume in a way that preserves peace, joy, and well-being in my body and consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family, my society and the Earth 17 Bibliography Bhikkhu Bodhi “Chapter 22 Khandhasamyutta: Connected Discourses on the Aggregates.” In The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya, 853983 Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2000 Chan Niem Hy “Four Attainments of Plum Village.” Thich Nhat Hanh’s Dharma Talks Last modified January 16, 2011 https://tnhaudio.org/2011/01/30/four-attainments-of-plumvillage/ Le Manh That Lịch Sử Phật Giáo Việt Nam Tập I [History of Vietnamese Buddhism Book I] Hue: Thuan Hoa Publication, 1999 Minh Nga “Giới Thiệu Sơ Lược Khmer Theravada” [Brief Introduction about Khmer Theravada] The Government Committee for Religious Affairs Accessed November 16, 2018,http://btgcp.gov.vn/Plus.aspx/vi/News/38/0/162/0/1290/Gioi_thieu_so_luoc_ve_Pha t_giao_Nam_tong_Khmer Nguyen Tai Thu History of Buddhism in Vietnam Washington D.C.: Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication, 2008 Plum Village “Định Đề Giáo Lý Làng Mai” [Propositions of Plum Village’s Catechism] Accessed November 21, 2018, https://langmai.org/tang-kinh-cac/tai-lieu/nhung-dinh-degiao-ly-lang-mai/ “Gốc Rễ Kinh Điển Bụt” [Roots of Buddhist Discourses] Accessed November 18, 2018, https://langmai.org/tang-kinh-cac/vien-sach/giang-kinh/truyenthong-sinh-dong-cua-thien-tap/thien-tap-thoi-nguyen-thi/goc-re-kinh-dien-cua-but/ Powers, John, ed “Part IV: Biographies.” In The Buddhist World, 485-650 London: Routledge, 2016 Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dharma Teacher Council of Plum Village Preface of Freedom Wherever We Go: A Buddhist Monastic Code for the Twenty-First Century (Berkeley: Parallax Press, 2014) 18 Thich Nhat Hanh Breathe, You Are Alive: The Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing Berkeley: Parallax Press, 2008 “Chapter Eighteen The Three Dharma Seals.” In The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation, 131-46 New York: Harmony Publication, 2015 “Duy Biểu Học Ứng Dụng: 06 Sự Khế Cơ Làm Mới Đạo Bụt” [Applied Manifestation-Only: 06 Suitability and Buddhist Refreshment] Accessed November 21, 2018, , video lecture, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7EC-7sQLUY Our Appointment with Life: Sutra on Knowing the Better Way to Live Alone Berkeley: Parallax Press, 2010 Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life, ed Arnold Kotler (NY: BANTAM BOOKS, 1991) “Tinh Yếu Kinh Quán Niệm Hơi Thở” [Essence of the Discourse on the Full Awareness of Breathing] Buddhism Today Accessed November 22, 2018, http://www.daophatngaynay.com/vn/phap-mon/thien-dinh/nguyen-thuy/9578-Tinh-YeuKinh-Quan-Niem-Hoi-Tho.html _ Transformation and Healing: Sutra on the Four Establishments of Mindfulness Berkeley: Parallax Press, 2002 The Long Road Turns to Joy: A Guide to Walking Meditation (Berkeley: Parallax Press, 2011) The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation, tran Mobi Ho (Boston: Beacon Press, 1987) Việt Nam Phật Giáo Sử Luận [Commentary on History of Buddhism in Vietnam] Ha Noi: Van Hoc Publication, 2014 Thich Nhat Hanh with the Monks and Nuns of Plum Village Introduction to Stepping into Freedom: An Introduction to Buddhist Monastic Training Berkeley: Parallax Press, 1997 Thompson, Sylvia “The Father of Mindfulness.” Irish Times Last modified April 10, 2012 https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/the-father-of-mindfulness-1.498724 Watkins Mind Body Spirit “Watkins’ Spiritual 100 List for 2013.” Modified February 6, 2013, https://www.watkinsmagazine.com/watkins-spiritual-100-list-2013 ... research include the “Mahayana Aspects of Thich Nhat Hanh, ” “How Thich Nhat Hanh Combines Mahayana and Theravada, ” “Why and How Thich Nhat Hanh Refreshes Buddhism,” Thich Nhat Hanh s Socially... Differences between Thich Nhat Hanh s Teachings and Those of the Theravada On the other hand, Thich Nhat Hanh allows women to become Buddhist nuns in his lineage, whereas orthodox Theravada Buddhists... Weaknesses of Thich Nhat Hanh, ” as well as Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama in Comparison,” Thich Nhat Hanh and Martin Luther King in Comparision.” Appendix The Five Mindfulness Trainings (in Thich
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