Releasing the Cows

Told by Thich Nhat Hanh

One day the Buddha was sitting in the wood with thirty or forty monks. They had an excellent lunch and they were enjoying the company of each other. There was a farmer passing by and the farmer was very unhappy. He asked the Buddha and the monks whether they had seen his cows passing by. The Buddha said they had not seen any cows passing by.

The farmer said, “Monks, I’m so unhappy. I have twelve cows and I don’t know why they all ran away. I have also a few acres of a sesame seed plantation and the insects have eaten up everything. I suffer so much I think I am going to kill myself.

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Vietnam’s dispute with Zen master turns violent

From The Associated Press

Communist Vietnam’s sometimes edgy relationship with religious freedom is being tested in a dispute over a monastery inhabited by disciples of Thich Nhat Hanh, one of the world’s most famous Zen masters.

For four years, the Buddhist monks and nuns at Bat Nha monastery in central Vietnam have been quietly meditating and studying the teachings of the 82-year-old Vietnamese sage who is perhaps the world’s best-known living Buddhist after Tibet’s Dalai Lama.

But lately, they are in a standoff that could test the patience of even the most enlightened.

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Lettuce Be Grateful

From Conscious Choice
By Natalie Fee

Something very beautiful happened to me the other day. Something beautiful is happening all the time actually, but for the most part my mind is too busy thinking to notice. But on this particular afternoon, I did notice. While walking my son Elliot home from school, I was presented with a perfect opportunity to employ a technique I’d learned earlier that week from a CD by the Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh. It was a simple way of practicing awareness — when a disturbing emotion arises, you stop, don’t act, and breathe. The idea is that the simple process of becoming aware of the emotion — be it anger, fear, sadness — is enough to begin a transformation, turning the emotion from “negative” into something more beneficial and useful.

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Calming the Fearful Mind

From The American Chronicle
By David Swanson

Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who in 1964 was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King, Jr., has published a new book of advice to Americans and to U.S. Congress members called “Calming the Fearful Mind: A Zen Response to Terrorism.”

Hanh’s words of wisdom strike me as potentially of great value for a variety of types of conflict resolution, but of somewhat limited — if still significant — value for Congress or for U.S. foreign policy.

“If Congress doesn’t engage in Right Action,” claims Hanh, “it is because it doesn’t have Right Understanding about the suffering within our own country and in the world.”

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