Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Who is Trump?

Read deeply the following interview article regarding President-elect Donald Trump. http://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2016/11/22/13638374/buddhist-monk-mindfulness
The followings are key phrases excerpted from the article.

We see the mind like a house, so if your house is on fire, you need to take care of the fire, not to go look for the person that made the fire. Take care of those emotions first; it’s the priority. Because anything that comes from a place of fear and anxiety and anger will only make the fire worse. Come back and find a place of calm and peace to cool the flame of emotion down.

As a collective energy, fear and anger can be very destructive. We make the wrong decisions if we base it on fear, anger, and wrong perception. Those emotions cloud our mind. So the first thing in the practice that we learn from the Buddhist tradition is to come back and take care of our emotion. We use the mindfulness to recognize it.

People are so convinced that anger and all this energy will produce change. But in fact it’s very destructive, because you’re opposing. Opposition wastes energy. It’s not healing.

In a way, we Buddhists look more at energy than personality. That helps us be wiser.

Compassion is not sitting in your room; it’s actually very active and engaging.

We produced Trump, so we are co-responsible. Our culture, our society, made him. ... We have to see him inside of us.

You cannot end discrimination by calling the other names. All the people who voted for him are not bigots and racists and women haters. We are all judgmental, sometimes even a bit racist.

Our society is very vulnerable to being very polarized and that’s what the media is taking advantage of. We have to be really careful. ... I’m not fooled by the media anymore.

I was child in Vietnam. I lived with this stuff, a divided system like this. They divided us, they called us north and south. All we wanted was independence and to determine our own livelihood. We think democracy is the highest thing; it is not democracy, come on. We impose it on others and create division.

Go take refuge in nature, and find a cause where your heart doesn’t feel inactive and in despair. This is the medicine.

Don’t allow hate and anger to take over your world.

You can only be there to offer them that kindness if you are stable. You cannot help them if you are filled with hate and fear. What people need is your non-fear, your stability, solidity, clarity. This is what we can offer.

Our minds and hearts need food. And meditation is a kind of food. So we feed ourselves like that. You need to eat, and your peace, kindness, clarity need to eat as well. Meditation is not just praying; no, you’re cultivating this so you can offer it to others.

When you sit with someone who’s calm, you can become calm. If you sit with someone who’s agitated and hateful, you can become agitated and hateful.

Meditation is not an esoteric practice; it’s not something you do only in a meditation hall or Buddhist retreat center. It can happen right in whatever activity you’re doing — while walking, in the office. It means you are there, present with calm and peace.

With a breath, you can bring calm, clarity and rest your thinking.

When we engage with worldly politics, we try not to take sides. It’s easy to choose a side, but as Buddhist practitioners we try to have more inclusiveness to intervene.

With meditation we learn to touch our own deep suffering.

Stopping is a requirement before deep listening.

When there is discrimination, you can use the opportunity to increase understanding. ... You have to find also the good qualities in them. Don’t focus on wrong views because that makes you angry.

Only when you can be a good listener and be nonjudgmental, is a dialogue possible.

I heard that he took his left hand; he went like this (opens palm). You can interpret that all you want. (I understand that Thay's message is "Just bloom like a lotus flower without thinking".) ... He is totally aware of it, but his mind is in trying to recover and heal and be present with his community than with political things.

The future is built with the present moment and how we take care of it. If you are fearful, the future will be fearful. If you are uncooperative, the future will be divisive. This is very important.

The future is not something that will come to us; the future is built by us, by how we speak and what we do in the present moment.

(My commentary)
If you blame Trump, you are Trump. That's because the way you see depends on the way you think. You are actually seeing yourself through Trump as a mirror. What you see is the object of your mind, namely your mind. So, you are actually blaming yourself. You have to reflect on yourself a lot. If you accept yourself unconditionally, you don't need to criticize others. Instead, you can accept all unconditionally. Non-separation, non-discrimination, non-duality, or the wholeness is the ultimate truth.

(Cf.) https://www.facebook.com/thichnhathanh/videos/vb.7691064634/10153883939529635/?type=2&theater

Thay Phap Dung

Monday, November 28, 2016

「マインドフルネス:今すぐハッピー!」 ドキュメンタリー映画予告編 (2)

次の「マインドフルネス:今すぐハッピー!」( ドキュメンタリー映画)の予告編ビデオをご覧ください。 https://vimeo.com/139513958




















Tuesday, November 22, 2016

「マインドフルネス:今すぐハッピー!」 ドキュメンタリー映画予告編 (1)

次の「マインドフルネス:今すぐハッピー!」( ドキュメンタリー映画)の予告編ビデオをご覧ください。 https://vimeo.com/139513958





1.  静かになって、知るべし!
2.  あなた自身の平和(がなければ)、世界の平和(はない)
3.  幸福への道はない、幸福は道である





また、多分まだ実践者ではない人たちのためにドキュメンタリー映画を作ることについて、私たちは話し合いました。シスター・ダン・ニエムが、 「私たちが種を蒔くことができるであろう人たちに向けて」と言う通り。




Thích Nhất Hạnh

Saturday, November 19, 2016

“Mindfulness: Be Happy Now!” - Trailer of documentary film

Watch the following video of Trailer of “Mindfulness: Be Happy Now!” https://vimeo.com/139513958
The following is Interview with Larry Kasanoff, producer & film maker about documentary-making process with Thich Nhat Hanh. 

How did you get into mindfulness?

I read one of Thay’s books, loved it, and contacted him to meet because I thought he would be great inspiration for one of the characters in a series of very successful action movies I produced called Mortal Kombat. After spending two hours with him and a monastic, I felt like I had been on vacation for three days. I asked him his secret. He said, ‘There is no secret, practice.’  And I thought – I could learn how to feel this way?! I was hooked.

We then became friends and I visited him many times, and learned!

How has practicing mindfulness enriched your life?

Tremendously! I am happier, calmer, but have even more energy and get more done. I don’t have a bad temper like I used to. It’s great and always ongoing, always more to learn.

Here is an example. Every year, I go to the Cannes Film Festival in a gorgeous place in the south of France. People are trying make deals, and are stressed and yell and complain. Now since meeting Thay, I always stop and say, ‘But look where we are, sitting on a yacht in the south of France! This is beautiful! What a great moment!’  Not sure if anyone really listens, but I do!

What is your favorite Thich Nhat Hanh quote?

Here are my top three (all of which I have, in his calligraphy, by the way):

1.  Be Still and Know
2.  Peace in Yourself, Peace in the World
3.  There is No Way to Happiness, Happiness is the Way

What inspired you to film the documentary “Mindfulness: Be Happy Now!”?

Thay asked me to. I produce big action movies and have never made a documentary, but Thay wanted one specifically on mindfulness. He was very, very clear that it was not to be about him or the other monastics, but to teach mindfulness. We talked about trying to reach a broader audience than they usually reach.

So because I love Thay and I think his message of ‘Peace in Yourself, Peace in the World’ is so good and important, I did it.

Plus, I feel I have been fortunate to learn so much from Thay as well as Sister Chan Khong and Sister Dang Nghiem, so I wanted to be able to share that with the world.

Did Thich Nhat Hanh give you specific instructions on how to create this documentary?

Yes, again – NOT about him. No vanity. No life story. Mindfulness, mindfulness, mindfulness. That is why in addition to Thay, Sister Chan Khong and Sister Dang Nghiem, we have such wonderful and famous people in the documentary.

Also, we discussed about making it for people who perhaps are not yet practitioners. “Those for whom we could plant a seed,” as Sister Dang Nghiem says.

This is very important. I think there is a tendency to preach to the converted, so to speak. I thought I could help by introducing the subject to those searching for something but who do not quite know about mindfulness yet.

What did you learn from Thay, Sister Chan Khong, and Sister Dang Nghiem?

What I learned is in the film. That is one of the reasons I made it. So when I try to explain mindfulness, I can just show the film. It’s what I know. And practicing it, I like to think, as Thay says: “Be Still and Know.” I strive for that all the time now!

How did you choose the topics to be discussed during the filming of the documentary?

When you make a documentary, you shoot a lot of footage and then edit it down. I wanted to do two things: to teach and introduce people to mindfulness who do not yet know about it and to make people feel relaxed and mindful by just watching it.

I asked questions based on what I had learned, what I thought people would find interesting, and the expertise of the particular guest.

The funny thing is that for several weeks we were editing many, many of hours of footage down to 90 minutes and I felt so relaxed because I spent all day listening to all the great wisdom from all our great participants. Usually, editing can be stressful. Here, it was mindful!

To what extent were Thay and the monastics involved in the documentary-making process?

They were not, other than two things:

Their scenes were shot over many visits, for which they were great and so patient with us. At one point, I was going to include a supermodel, a sports star, a professional fighter, and some clips from popular movies. This was all to advance the cause of making this appeal to a broader audience. Sister Chan Khong and other monastics were strongly against this.

Thay, on the other hand, seemed to understand the goal of reaching lots of people by including sports figures and models. I still think that would have helped, but out of respect for Sister Chan Khong, I decided not to do it.

How did you approach Deepak Chopra, Academy-award winning director Oliver Stone, Dr. Blaise Aguirre, Cesar Millan, and Sharon Stone to participate in this documentary?

Some of them I know already (Oliver and Blaise). I know Sharon’s manager. For others we just called and asked. Everyone sort of knows who everyone is in the entertainment business which helps because I have made a lot of movies. These people were so wonderful and generous with their time and knowledge.

Can you share a happy moment you had with Thay, Sister Chan Khong, or Sister Dang Nghiem?

I think all the moments I have spent with them are happy!

Early on, the monastics came to speak to a group of people in the entertainment industry I gathered at my house. People said that night changed their lives. Thay came to a meditation room I made because he says to have one!  It was wonderful having them over.

I think the thing people perhaps might not know is that in addition to all the mindfulness and knowledge, the monastics are fun! Thay has a great sense of humor and warmth.

Once, in making the film on a hot day, the cameras broke. I thought it would be too much for everyone, but Thay said, “This is a wonderful moment. Let’s enjoy the peace.”  And I thought, wouldn’t it be great if every movie could be made this way!

Have Thay, Sister Chan Khong, and Sister Dang Nghiem seen the film? What was their reaction?

I think you should ask them!

What advice do you have for young people interested in practicing mindfulness in Thay’s tradition?
Watch the movie!

I’m half kidding. I think for anyone already interested in practicing mindfulness, reading Thay’s books are great. I always give out Peace Is Every Breath. It shows how, as Thay says, one more deep breath you take today is better than yesterday. He makes it easy and not overwhelming, and writes in a way that is calming.

But I think once someone is already interested, half the battle is won. I think there are a lot of people who need something but don’t know about mindfulness, and who would be interested if they know about it.

We hope this film shows them the door and when they walk through, they can then read Thay’s books and go from there.

That’s what we wanted to accomplish with the film, and that is what I hope you can help do.  For every Plum Village practitioner, there are thousands who need to find what you already have!

What message do you have for the readers at plumvillage.org?

My message is my film! This is what I have learned about mindfulness. The more they can share it with others, perhaps the more people it might help.

(My commentary)
I am sure that this documentary film will promote mindfulness a great deal. If the number of practitioners of mindfulness increase, there will be more mindful, concentrated and insightful people. This will bring about more peace and happiness to the people and the world. So, let's enjoy watching this film!

(Cf.) http://compassion5151.blogspot.jp/2016/09/walk-with-me.html

Larry with Thich Nhat Hanh at his hut in Deer Park Monastery

Thursday, November 17, 2016

若者へのティク・ナット・ハンのメッセージ (2)








宗教の目的はつなぐ(結合する)ことです。真の宗教は、決して分離しません。(中略)ほとんどの人にとって、宗教は家族や社会から受け継いだ慣習や儀式の一式にすぎません。怠惰や関心の欠如から、多くの人は宗教の表面的な理解に満足しています。 彼らは自分自身の経験に照らして教えが真実であるかどうかを調べることはせず、ましてや自分自身を向上させ、癒すために、教えを実践しようとはしません。 この種の人々は、教条主義や不寛容を述べる傾向があります。(中略)皆さんの精神生活に栄養を与えることができるように、皆さんの宗教を知能的に微に入り細に入り徹底的に研究してください。 健康な宗教は、生きている宗教です。宗教は、私たちの時代の困難に対応するために進化し、学ぶことができなければなりません

自分自身や自分の周囲の人々を直接観るために、自分自身の能力を利用してほしいです。(中略)皆さんが恐れや孤独を超越するのを助けることができるのは、です。人間性、生命、宇宙の核心へ皆さんを導くことができるのは、理解です。 理解と愛が、社会と地球の現実の状況へ皆さんの心を開かせ、皆さんの選択肢に皆さんを導くでしょう。

私はティク・ナット・ハンに完全に同意します。 理解と愛は、私たちの平和で、楽しく、幸せな暮らしに不可欠です。 理解、即ち洞察のためには、マインドフルネスと集中が不可欠です。 そして、愛と思いやりのためには、理解、即ち洞察が、自動的に愛と思いやりを発生させます。ですから、私たちが本当の自分、無自性(独立していない)自己、即ち目覚めた意識を復活させることを可能にしてくれるマインドフルネスから始める必要があるのです。


Monday, November 14, 2016

若者へのティク・ナット・ハンのメッセージ (1)


彼らは「生ける屍」のようにあなたには見えるかもしれませんが、彼らに内にこもる自由を与えてあげてください。 彼らには私たちと同様、愛が必要なのです。(中略)私たちは幻想に生きたり、幻想の中で死にたくありません。(中略)より多くの束縛と苦しみしか創造しない反抗の方法があります。 しかしながら、本当の自由を与えることができる反抗の方法もあります。(中略)からやって来る変化を期待しないでください。 しかし、もし内面において、あなたが孤独や恐れに圧倒されているなら、また何もすることはできないでしょう。








Friday, November 11, 2016

Thich Nhat Hanh’s Message to the Youth

Read deeply the following Thay's message.
The followings are key phrases excerpted from the above.

They might seem like the “living dead” to you, but give them space. They need love, like the rest of us. ... We do not want to live in illusion or die in illusion. ... There are ways of rebelling which only create more bondage and suffering. However, there are ways of rebelling that can offer us real freedom. ... Do not expect change to come from the outside. Yet, if inside, you are overwhelmed by loneliness and fear, you won’t be able to do anything either.

We sometimes feel very alone. Even within our own family, we are alone. We withdraw into our shell, hoping to find peace, but without success. Then we lose ourselves in the crowd. But when the party is over, we are more alone than before. We do not have the courage to face our loneliness. We continue to run day after day. Do not continue to drown in the ocean of loneliness you have created. Learn to still your mind, so that the storm within you can calm and the sky can clear. ... You are not alone and life is worth living. Life is wonderful. ... They (your body and mind) are manifestations of life, of truth, of the divine.

Deep needs and superficial needs
I find it tragic that so many people are wasting their lives. They do not know how to live fully. They do not know how to listen to their hearts. They continue to chase after unnecessary things without seeking what is most precious in life. ... The reality is that we’ve never needed alcohol or drugs. They do not help us to grow; on the contrary, they destroy us. Our true needs lift us up and bring us peace, joy and freedom. ... Your success depends on your ability to discern between what you really need and what you don’t. If you take time to listen to your heart, you will hear your deepest needs for growth, understanding, and love and you will give them a chance to blossom. ... I want to see you free, but please be aware that freedom without understanding can be a source of suffering. ... To be truly happy, freedom must go hand in hand with understanding.

To hear what your heart desires is already to touch happiness. You do not need to “create” a dream, an aspiration. Your dream is already in you, as the destination is already in the path. You only have to adjust the direction. Redirect the course of your life while there is still time. Use your energy. ... Do not expect too much from them, do not get discouraged and do not lose hope. This will save you a lot of energy. ... Instead, use your own intelligence, your own talent, and the resources at your disposal. Do what you can with the abilities you have. Revolution is built from the bottom up. Anything positive you offer will influence society for the better. I have no doubt you can help to create a better world, as I have no doubt about the immeasurable potential of youth.

Why do we study? To pass exams? To have a degree? To achieve a position in society? Are these the only reasons? No. Studying is first and foremost for the joy of learning, the joy of opening new horizons. ... There is so much to discover, yet we must not close our eyes to the problems of our society. Studying is therefore also to meet the real needs of society. ... However, be careful with mere intellectual knowledge because it can be too abstract. Stay in touch with reality, examine everything you learn, and keep only what is grounded in real life experience. Don’t think that you can’t go beyond your teachers. Keep learning. Don’t get caught in what you’ve already learned, because this will prevent you from recognizing and embracing new ideas and insights.

Love is a basic need. Only love, in any form, provided that it is healthy and true, can break the walls of loneliness. ... Love is always a response to a need, a lack, a suffering. As you grew more independent, you came to need your mother and father less and less. That is why your love for them might have diminished. However, the stream of love between you and your parents is still alive, deep inside of you. You only have to return to it and allow it to refresh your relationship. ... At your age, romantic love is a strong call that can easily cover up other callings in your heart. I say cover up, but not silence. ... Love has great power. It can help you heal deep wounds and realize great aspirations, provided that you know how to wait for it, how to recognize it, how to welcome it, how to go with it, how to protect it, how to nourish it, and how to direct it. For sure, you will meet difficulties and sorrows. But don’t worry. Learn from your experiences so as to be able to love better and better. ... It is not easy to find the right partner. Do not think that physical beauty, talent, or reputation are enough to guarantee a fulfilling relationship. Try to understand the other person – their character, their preferences, their aspirations and vision of life. Then ask yourself if they suit you. To suit does not mean to be alike, but rather not be in conflict, to complement each other. ... Intelligent lovers know to harmonize their deep aspirations. Finding a suitable partner and being able to love in such a way is a great happiness. Remind yourself often, and let the other person know, how lucky you are to be with them. This awareness will help you to cherish the relationship and to avoid damaging it through carelessness. You won’t be able to avoid moments of frustration and jealousy. Keep calm, do not do anything rash and don’t blow things out of proportion. ... Romantic love responds to natural needs of the human body and spirit. While some might perceive it as nothing more than a comfortable arrangement between two people, romantic love can also be a doorway to a wider and greater love. ... Love, like all things, is born, lasts for a while, and then passes away. Like a beautiful tree in your garden, your love needs your care and protection in order to stay healthy for a long time. ... Finally, love is not just tenderness. Love is also patience, courage, and sacrifice. Love is a basic human need, which is why you cannot afford not to love.

The aim of religion is to connect. True religion never separates. ... Religion, for most people, is little more than a set of customs and rituals handed down from family and society. Out of laziness or lack of interest, many are satisfied with a superficial understanding of their religion. They do not examine the truth of the teachings in the light of their own experience, let alone practice those teachings to better themselves and heal. These kinds of people are more likely to express dogmatism and intolerance. ... Study your religion intelligently, in all its depth and beauty, so that it can nourish your spiritual life. A healthy religion is a living religion. It should be able to evolve and learn to respond to the difficulties of our time.

I want us to make use of our own faculties to look directly at ourselves and people around us.  ... It is love that can help you transcend fear and isolation. It is understanding that can bring you to the heart of humanity, life, and the cosmos. Understanding and love will open you up to the real situation of society and the planet, and will guide you in your choices.  ... Your bags are packed. It’s time to go.

(My commentary)
I totally agree with Thay. Understanding and love are essential for our peaceful, joyful and happy life. For understanding, or insight, mindfulness and concentration are essential. And for love and compassion, understanding, or insight automatically generates them. That's why we need to start from mindfulness which enables us to revive true self, non-separate self, or awareness.

(Cf.) http://www.amazon.com/dp/B014NYEP04

Stained glass at Plum Village (Mindfulness, Concentration, Insight)