Celebrating Thich Nhat Hanh – Lion’s Roar


Upon the event of his ninety fifth birthday, Andrea Miller displays on her time spent with Thich Nhat Hanh, sharing three interviews with the worldwide religious chief, poet, and peace activist.

Picture by Paud Davis.

The final time I noticed Thich Nhat Hanh was not too lengthy earlier than his stroke. It was in 2013, throughout his last North America instructing tour, and we have been at Blue Cliff Monastery within the Catskills. When the retreat wrapped up, I stayed to interview him, and we talked about many issues—his household, karma, the important thing to happiness, and extra—then on the finish, feeling a mixture of unhappy and completely satisfied, I put my palms collectively in gassho. It was great to attach with Thay, however I knew he was getting older and I puzzled if I’d ever see him once more.

Due to prepare time, I needed to spend another evening at Blue Cliff. Virtually all the eight-hundred-plus retreatants had gone dwelling, leaving solely the monastics and lay volunteers, so the subsequent morning we have been a small group consuming breakfast underneath a tarp. Admittedly, I wasn’t consuming my corn on the cob as mindfully as I may have. However all of a sudden I used to be introduced again to the current second by the shocking sight of Thich Nhat Hanh crossing the garden and coming towards us.

I used to be, in spite of everything, seeing Thay once more!

I watched him as he moved from desk to desk, greeting individuals individually and smiling extensively as kids spontaneously hugged him. His consideration to every particular person was touching. When he got here to me, I felt self-conscious about my gnawed corn cobs, however he simply patted me on the shoulder and requested a couple of e book I used to be studying. Then he took his quiet depart, crossing again over the inexperienced garden. Now 5 years have handed, and I’m nonetheless hoping to see him as soon as extra. However even when I by no means do, I do know that he’ll proceed in me. His perception and compassion.

Listed here are three interviews with him that now we have printed on our pages, together with the one I did with him at Blue Cliff.

—Andrea Miller, deputy editor, Lion’s Roar journal

thich nhat hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh. Picture by Duc.

On this unique interview, Thich Nhat Hanh reveals particulars about his household, sheds gentle on a little-known Buddhist grasp, and explains how — you probably have conscious ears and conscious eyes — the Buddha is at all times instructing.

Andrea Miller: How will we discover a constructive objective for our lives?

Thich Nhat Hanh: Everybody needs to do good, as a result of all of us have buddhanature. When you’ve gotten discovered a option to do good, you might be at peace with your self and happiness turns into potential. However it’s a must to use your individual intelligence to discover a manner. The nice manner, the precise manner, is the alternative of the unhealthy manner. The unhealthy manner has been bringing you struggling. As an alternative of improper view, you need proper view. As an alternative of improper considering, you need proper considering — considering with compassion and understanding.

Once you have a look at the trail that’s not noble, you may see the opposite path. So trying into struggling, you see the way in which of happiness. That’s the instructing of the 4 noble truths. You don’t must be a Buddhist to grasp them. You simply must take the time to look into your individual struggling and happiness.
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Picture by Brother Phap Due.

On this 2010 interview, Thich Nhat Hanh talks to Lion’s Roar journal’s Melvin McLeod about real love, the advantages of struggling, and the perception that can set you free.

Thich Nhat Hanh: When you’ve gotten mindfulness, when you’ve gotten sufficient braveness to return to your self and embrace the struggling in you, you be taught so much. By doing so, you remodel your struggling. For those who’re at all times making an attempt to run away out of your struggling, you don’t have any probability to do this. That’s the reason the Buddha advised us to acknowledge the primary noble fact, the reality of struggling, and to look deeply so as to uncover the second noble fact, the reason for struggling. That’s the solely manner the fourth noble fact, the trail to rework struggling into happiness, can reveal itself. So now we have to emphasise the function of struggling. If we’re so afraid of struggling, now we have no probability.

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bell hooks thich nhat hanh

bell hooks (picture by Liza Matthews) and Thich Nhat Hanh (picture by Velcrow Ripper).

bell hooks meets with Thich Nhat Hanh to ask: how will we construct a neighborhood of affection?

Thich Nhat Hanh: We ourselves want love; it’s not solely society, the world outdoors, that wants love. However we will’t anticipate that love to return from outdoors of us. We must always ask the query whether or not we’re able to loving ourselves in addition to others. Are we treating our physique kindly — by the way in which we eat, by the way in which we drink, by the way in which we work? Are we treating ourselves with sufficient pleasure and tenderness and peace? Or are we feeding ourselves with toxins that we get from the market — the religious, mental, leisure market?

So the query is whether or not we’re practising loving ourselves? As a result of loving ourselves means loving our neighborhood. After we are able to loving ourselves, nourishing ourselves correctly, not intoxicating ourselves, we’re already defending and nourishing society.

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