Since Earth Day occurs in April, we chose Thich Nhat Hanh for our contemplation. Poet, peacemaker, Buddhist scholar, and worldwide teacher of ethical, engaged Buddhism, Thich Nhat Hanh is a voice for lovingly caring for ourselves, others, and our planet.
During the Vietnam War in response to the terrible suffering, Thich Nhat Hanh began Engaged Buddhism--a way of actively applying dharma teachings and insights to suffering in the world. “To ensure a future, we must act today,” he urged. For his peace efforts, he was exiled from Vietnam and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King, Jr. who called him “An apostle of peace and nonviolence”.
His teachings guide deep ecology, which recognizes the interconnectedness of all life on earth. He calls this teaching interbeing. “Everything relies on everything else in the cosmos in order to manifest—whether a star, a cloud, a flower, a tree, or you and me.” For more on interbeing, go here. For an interview on his deep ecology, go here.
Thich Nhat Hanh experienced a massive stroke in November of 2014 which left him unable to speak or write, but just prior to that he was asked by the UN Convention on Climate change to write a statement for them. It became a guiding document at the Paris Climate Change meeting in 2015. It begins, “Falling in Love with the Earth: This beautiful, bounteous, life-giving planet we call earth has given birth to each one of us, and each one of us carries the earth within every cell of our body.” To read his statement go here.
For more on his life, teachings and writings (more than 130 books!) go here.
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