Vegetarian Ideal

Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.
- Albert Einstein

Friday, December 30, 2011

Dalai Lama New Years Message 2009

Dalai Lama
(Translated from the Tibetan original)

Message of H.H. the Dalai Lama to the Tibetan People
On the Occasion of the Earth-Ox Tibetan New Year

On the occasion of the Earth-Ox New Year of the 17th Rabjung cycle in the Tibetan Royal Year 2136, I would like to greet all Tibetans, both inside and outside of Tibet. I pray that there be peace and prosperity, and that our just cause may see gradual resolution.

Although there is no old or new phase in the continuous cycle of planetary movements, which results in the days, nights, months and years, there is a tradition throughout the world to observe the beginning of a new year upon the completion of the previous one. Likewise, in the snow land of Tibet, we have the tradition to observe the New Year in the first lunar month with elaborate celebrations incorporating both spiritual and temporal elements. However, last year in Tibet we witnessed hundreds of Tibetans losing their lives, and several thousands facing detention and torture, in response to the widespread display by Tibetans all over Tibet of their discontentment with the Chinese authorities' policies.

Therefore, since they faced immense difficulties and sufferings, the occasion of this New Year is certainly not a period when we can have the usual celebrations and gaiety. I admire the determined move by Tibetans, inside and outside of Tibet, not to indulge in celebratory activities during this New Year. Instead, everyone should utilize this period in abandoning non-virtuous acts and engaging in positive actions, thereby cultivating virtuous merits so that all those who sacrificed their lives for the cause of Tibet, including those who lost their lives in the tragic events of the past year, may have quick realization of Buddhahood through successive rebirth in higher realms. The dedication should also go to those currently undergoing suffering so that they may immediately be able to enjoy the happiness of freedom. Through such an accumulation of collective merits we should all strive for an early solution to the just cause of Tibet.

Just as we had suspected, the strike-hard campaign has been re-launched in Tibet and there is a heavy presence of armed security and military forces in most of the cities all over Tibet. In all the places those who dare to come out even with a slight hint of their aspirations have to face torture and detention. In particular, special restrictions have been imposed in the monasteries, patriotic re-education has been launched, and restrictions have been imposed on the visit of foreign tourists. Provocative orders have been passed for special celebrations of the Tibetan New Year. Looking at all these developments it becomes clear that the intention and aim behind them are to subject the Tibetan people to such a level of cruelty and harassment that they will not be able to tolerate and thus be forced to remonstrate. When this happens the authorities can then indulge in unprecedented and unimaginable forceful clampdown. Therefore, I would like to make a strong appeal to the Tibetan people to exercise patience and not to give in to these provocations so that the precious lives of many Tibetans are not wasted, and they do not have to undergo torture and suffering.

It goes without saying how much admiration I have for the enthusiasm, determination, and sacrifice of the Tibetans in Tibet. However, it is difficult to achieve a meaningful outcome by sacrificing lives. Above all, the path of non-violence is our irrevocable commitment and it is important that there be no departure at all from this path.

Once again, I pray that the Tibetan people are freed from oppression and torture, and enjoy the happiness of freedom. May all sentient beings enjoy happiness at all times.

The Dalai Lama

February 25, 2009
(corresponding to the first day of the first month in the Earth Ox Tibetan Year)

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Thursday, December 29, 2011


‎"Nisargadatta, whose name interestingly enough translates as Mister Natural, a masterful teacher of sacred emptiness and essential non-duality, was once asked what one might do about the qualities of separation that small minds so often manifest in relationships. He said, 'Just let go of every thought except 'I am God, you are God.' He offered them an express ticket. He made the Beloved the conductor. But of course, even on this train, after the last stop, you must walk the rest of the way yourself."

Stephen Levine and Ondrea Levine
"Embracing the Beloved: Relationship as the Path of Awakening"

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Rumi: Say I Am You (Sufi poem) - YouTube

Rumi: Say I Am You (Sufi poem) - YouTube: ""
aded by rahmama2 on Apr 14, 2007
Rumi's poems elegantly and consistently touch our inner being and inspire us to go beyond our limitations towards the Divine.

The music: The credits do appear at the end of this video, but it is by the composer, Eleni Karaindrou, and is the theme music called "Eternity and a Day" from the movie, Aggelopoulos.

A note on the music: This entire video was constructed in silence-only the poem and the images were put together without my knowing what music would be the right one. The music is so important to the interpretation of these poems. Rather than reading them, the music is my voice. When I 'laid' this beautiful piece of music over the video it fit perfectly. Few edits were made to accomodate the images to fit the music. They seem to be made for each other.

Note for those who overlook the message and want to 'claim' Rumi as their own (country, nationality, language) they've missed the point completely and these comments will be deleted.

For more Sufi-inspired Islamic art, go to
Film & Animation

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I Am Wind, You Are Fire - YouTube

I Am Wind, You Are Fire - YouTube: "
by hassanstudios on Mar 2, 2008
I am Wind You are Fire.... comprises of images from the 'Sema' ceremony on Shab-e-Arus, 'the nuptial night'. Shab-e-Arus, was the night that Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi passed away to be united with his Beloved: the Creator.
'Sema', the 'whirling' or 'turning', is the gateway through which the mevlevi dervishes transcend all boundaries into a greater connection with the universe.
Film & Animation
sufi mevlana spiritual dervesh mystical Turkey Istanbul Mansoora Hassan Konya sema whirling music ceremony

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Thich Nhat Hanh quotes (showing 101-122 of 122)
“If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“The electron is first of all your concept of the electron.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace

“Please don't wait until the doctors tell you that you are going to have a baby to begin to take care of it. It is already there. Whatever you are, whatever you do, your baby will get it. Anything you eat, any worries that are on your mind will be for him or her. Can you tell me that you cannot smile? Think of the baby, and smile for him, for her, for the future generations. Please don't tell me that a smile and your sorrow just don't go together. It's your sorrow, but what about your baby? It's not his sorrow, its not her sorrow.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace

“During the last 2,500 years in Buddhist monasteries, a system of seven practices of reconciliation has evolved. Although these techniques were formulated to settle disputes within the circle of monks, i think they might also be of use in our households and in our society.

The first practice is Face-to-Face-Sitting.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace

“Guarding knowledge is not a good way to understand. Understanding means to throw away your knowledge.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace

“Usually when we hear or read something new, we just compare it to our own ideas. If it is the same, we accept it and say that it is correct. If it is not, we say it is incorrect. In either case, we learn nothing.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching

“I always encourage them to practice in a way that will help them go back to their own tradition and get re-rooted. If they succeed at at becoming reintegrated, they will be an important instrument in transforming and renewing their tradition.
When we respect our blood ancestors and our spiritual ancestors, we feel rooted. If we find ways to cherish and develop our spiritual heritage, we will avoid the kind of alienation that is destroying society, and we will become whole again. ... Learning to touch deeply the jewels of our own tradition will allow us to understand and appreciate the values of other traditions, and this will benefit everyone.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ

“The raft is used to cross the river. It isn't to be carried around on your shoulders. The finger which points at the moon isn't the moon itself.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness

“It is possible to live twenty-four hours a day in a state of love. Every movement, every glance, every thought, and every word can be infused with love.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“Before practicing meditation, we see that mountains are mountains.
When we start to practice, we see that mountains are no longer mountains.
After practicing a while, we see that mountains are again mountains.
Now the mountains are very free. Our mind is still with the mountains,
but it is no longer bound to anything.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“Only the present moment contains life.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

“As long as you find something beautiful, good, and true to believe in and abide by, you have the equivalent of God in your life.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Creating True Peace: Ending Violence in Yourself, Your Family, Your Community, and the World

“Each thought, each action in the sunlight of awareness becomes sacred.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

“When you begin to see that your enemy is suffering, that is the beginning of insight.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness

“Each time you look at a tangerine, you can see deeply into it. You can see everything in the universe in one tangerine. When you peel it and smell it, it’s wonderful. You can take your time eating a tangerine and be very happy.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

“Sometimes it is better not to talk about art by using the word "art". If we just act with awareness and integrity, our art will flower, and we don't have to talk about it at all.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

“Your breathing should flow gracefully,
like a river, like a watersnake crossing
the water, and not like a chain of rugged mountains or the gallop of a horse. To master our breath is to be in control of our bodies and minds. Each time we find ourselves dispersed and find it difficult to gain control of ourselves by different means, the method of watching the breath should always be used.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness

“Happiness does not come from consumption of things.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Creating True Peace: Ending Violence in Yourself, Your Family, Your Community, and the World

“Seules votre compassion, votre attention et votre gentillesse sont invincibles et sans limites.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“Words and thoughts concerning compassionate action that are not put into practice are like beautiful flowers that are colorful but have no fragrance.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Creating True Peace: Ending Violence in Yourself, Your Family, Your Community, and the World

“Le miracle c'est de marcher sur la terre.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes 2

Thich Nhat Hanh > Quotes

Thich Nhat Hanh quotes (showing 51-100 of 122)
“Breathing in, there is only the present moment.
Breathing out, it is a wonderful moment.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

“If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace

“Attachment to views is the greatest impediment to the spiritual path.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Old Path White Clouds: Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha

“I am determined to practice deep listening. I am determined to practice loving speech.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, True Love: A Practice for Awakening the Heart

“If our love is only a will to possess, it is not love.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

“Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. Every breath we take, every step we take, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

“The kingdom of God is available to you in the here and the now. But the question is whether you are available to the kingdom. Our practice is to make ourselves ready for the kingdom so that it can manifest in the here and the now. You don't need to die in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. In fact, you have to be truly alive in order to do so.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“When we walk like (we are rushing), we print anxiety and sorrow on the earth. We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the earth... Be aware of the contact between your feet and the earth. Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace

“To dwell in the here and now does not mean you never think about the past or responsibly plan for the futurre. The idea is simply not to allow yourself to get lost in regrets about hte past or worriees about hte future. i fyou are firmly grounded in the present moment, the past can be an object of inquiry, the object of your mindfulness and concentration. you can attain many insights by looking into the past. But you are still grounded in the present moment.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Power

“In modern society most of us don't want to be in touch with ourselves; we want to be in touch with other things like religion, sports, politics, a book - we want to forget ourselves. Anytime we have leisure, we want to invite something else to enter us, opening ourselves to the television and telling the television to come and colonize us.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace

“If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

“To think in terms of either pessimism or optimism oversimplifies the truth. The problem is to see reality as it is.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness

“If you love someone but rarely make yourself available to him or her, that is not true love.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ

“The fact is that when you make the other suffer, he will try to find relief by making you suffer more. The result is an escalation of suffering on both sides.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Anger

“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“Do not avoid contact with suffering or close your eyes before suffering. Do not lose awareness of the existence of suffering in the life of the world. Find ways to be with those who are suffering by all means, including personal contact and visits, images, sounds. By such means, ...awaken yourself and others to the reality of suffering in the world. If we get in touch with the suffering of the world, and are moved by that suffering, we may come forward to help the people who are suffering.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“I would not look upon anger as something foreign to me that I have to fight... I have to deal with my anger with care, with love, with tenderness, with nonviolence.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace

“I am inviting you to go deeper, to learn and to practice so that you become someone who has a great capacity for being solid, calm, and without fear, because our society needs people like you who have these qualities, and your children, our children, need people like you, in order to go on, in order to become solid, and calm, and without fear.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“You are not an observer, you are a participant.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace

“From time to time, to remind ourselves to relax and be peaceful, we may wish to set aside some time for a retreat, a day of mindfulness, when we can walk slowly, smile, drink tea with a friend, enjoy being together as if we are the happiest people on Earth.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace

“In mindfulness one is not only restful and happy, but alert and awake. Meditation is not evasion; it is a serene encounter with reality.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness

“If you love someone, the greatest gift you can give them is your presence”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“There is no enlightenment outside of daily life.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“Those who are without compassion cannot see what is seen with the eyes of compassion.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness

“A human being is like a television set with millions of channels.... We cannot let just one channel dominate us. We have the seed of everything in us, and we have to recover our own sovereignty.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“Being rich is an obstacle to loving. When you are rich, you want to continue to be rich, and so you end up devoting all your time, all your energy, in your daily life to stay rich.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, True Love: A Practice for Awakening the Heart

“Do not say that I'll depart tomorrow because even today I still arrive.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace

“An oak tree is an oak tree. That is all it has to do. If an oak tree is less than an oak tree, then we are all in trouble.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace

“Life can be found only in the present moment. The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“Smile, breathe and go slowly." - Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Zen monk, author and peace activist. ”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“Earth will be safe when we feel in us enough safety.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Call Me By My True Names

“The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“if your love is only a will to possess, its not love”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“In true dialogue, both sides are willing to change.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“There is a story I would like to tell you about a woman who practices the invocation of the Buddha Amitabha's name. She is very tough, and she practices the invocation three times daily, using a wooden drum and a bell, reciting, "Namo Amitabha Buddha" for one hour each time. When she arrives at one thousand times, she invites the bell to sound. (In Vietnamese, we don't say "strike" or "hit" a bell.) Although she has been doing this for ten years, her personality has not changed. She is still quite mean, shouting at people all the time.

A friend wanted to teach her a lesson, so one afternoon when she had just lit the incense, invited the bell to sound three times, and was beginning to recite "Namo Amitabha Buddha," he came to her door, and said, "Mrs. Nguyen, Mrs. Nguyen!" She found it very annoying because this was her time of practice, but he just stood at the front gate shouting her name. She said to herself, "I have to struggle against my anger, so I will ignore that," and she went on, "Namo Amitabha Buddha, Namo Amitabha Buddha."

The gentleman continued to shout her name, and her anger became more and more oppressive. She struggled against it, wondering, "Should I stop my recitation and go and give him a piece of my mind?" But she continued chanting, and she struggled very hard. Fire mounted in her, but she still tried to chant "Namo Amitabha Buddha." The gentleman knew it, and he continued to shout, "Mrs. Nguyen! Mrs. Nguyen!"

She could not bear it any longer. She threw away the bell and the drum. She slammed the door, went out to the gate and said, "Why, why do you behave like that? Why do you call my name hundreds of times like that?" The gentleman smiled at her and said, "I just called your name for ten minutes, and you are so angry. You have been calling the Buddha's name for ten years. Think how angry he must be!”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace

“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything - anger, anxiety, or possessions - we cannot be free.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching

“The problem is whether we are determined to go in the direction of compassion or not. If we are, then can we reduce the suffering to a minimum? If I lose my direction, I have to look for the North Star, and I go to the north. That does not mean I expect to arrive at the North Star. I just want to go in that direction.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace

“I clean this teapot with the kind of attention I would have were I giving the baby Buddha or Jesus a bath.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness

“Anyone can practice some nonviolence, even soldiers. Some army generals, for example, conduct their operations in ways that avoid killing innocent people; this is a kind of nonviolence. To help soldiers move in the nonviolent direction, we have to be in touch with them. If we divide reality into two camps - the violent and the nonviolent - and stand in one camp while attacking the other, the world will never have peace. We will always blame and condemn those we feel are responsible for wars and social injustice, without recognizing the degree of violence in ourselves. We must work on ourselves and also with those we condemn if we want to have a real impact.

It never helps to draw a line and dismiss some people as enemies, even those who act violently. We have to approach them with love in our hearts and do our best to help them move in a direction of nonviolence. If we work for peace out of anger, we will never succeed. Peace is not an end. It can never come about through non-peaceful means.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Love in Action: Writings on Nonviolent Social Change

“At any moment, you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“You have to learn how to help a wounded child while still practicing mindful breathing. You should not allow yourself to get lost in action. Action should be meditation at the same time.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“We who have touched war have a duty to bring the truth about war to those who have not had a direct experience of it. We are the light at the tip of the candle. It is really hot, but it has the power of shining and illuminating. If we practice mindfulness, we will know how to look deeply into the nature of war and, with our insight, wake people up so that together we can avoid repeating the same horrors again and again.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Love in Action: Writings on Nonviolent Social Change

“May our heart's garden of awakening bloom with hundreds of flowers.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“Nonviolent action, born of the awareness of suffering and nurtured by love, is the most effective way to confront adversity.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Love in Action: Writings on Nonviolent Social Change

“You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“Know that life can only be found in the present moment.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

“Anyone can practice some nonviolence, even soldiers. Some army generals, for example, conduct their operations in ways that avoid killing innocent people; this is a kind of nonviolence.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Love in Action: Writings on Nonviolent Social Change

The Door of Happiness

Cardinal Maradiaga presents books on Auschwitz survivor Viktor Frankl
Date: 2011-12-17 08:00:00
December 17, 2011. ( Eugenio Fizzotti was a student of the famous Austrian psychiatrist Viktor Frankl. He has presented at the Vatican “La porta della felicità,” or “The Door of Happiness”. It's a book about the work of his teacher. He was accompanied by Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga.

The title “The Door of Happiness” refers to an observation made by the Danish philosopher Kierkegaard, who said that opening the door of happiness for others, is the key to finding it yourself. 

Eugenio Fizzotti
Author “La porta della felicità”
“This sentence shares one of the fundamental concepts of the theory of Frankl, that being human means being open to reality, especially interpersonal reality, paying attention to the questions, emergencies, any type of problem, not just economic, but also in the family, culture and education.”

After surviving four Nazi concentration camps over the span of three years, Viktor Frankl founded the Logotherapy School in Vienna. According to the school, to find happiness, man must find self-transcendence, which is to set goals outside oneself.

Among his many fans is Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, who considers Frankl as a model for all people.

Card. Oscar Andrés Rodriguez Maradiaga
Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras

“Above all he was a man who lived the experience of pain and suffering and carried on without resentment, and therefore has sent a message of peace that is still relevant today.”

Viktor Frankl died in 1997 of a heart attack. He published over 30 books among which was “Man's Search for Meaning,” in which he recounts his experience in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp.


Thich Nhat Hanh > Quotes

Thich Nhat Hanh > Quotes

Thich Nhat Hanh quotes (showing 1-50 of 122)
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That's the message he is sending.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child -- our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“Because you are alive, everything is possible.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ

“Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don't wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching

“Life is available only in the present moment.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Taming the Tiger Within: Meditations on Transforming Difficult Emotions

“My actions are my only true belongings.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Understanding Our Mind: 50 Verses on Buddhist Psychology

“Through my love for you, I want to express my love for the whole cosmos, the whole of humanity, and all beings. By living with you, I want to learn to love everyone and all species. If I succeed in loving you, I will be able to love everyone and all species on Earth... This is the real message of love.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Teachings on Love

“Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace

“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Stepping into Freedom: Rules of Monastic Practice for Novices

“We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“Our own life has to be our message.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology

“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you
don't blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not
doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or
less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have
problems with our friends or family, we blame the other
person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will
grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive
effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason
and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no
reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you
understand, and you show that you understand, you can
love, and the situation will change”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“Many people think excitement is happiness.... But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Power

“By eating meat we share the responsibility of climate change, the destruction of our forests, and the poisoning of our air and water. The simple act of becoming a vegetarian will make a difference in the health of our planet.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology

“Suffering is not enough. Life is both dreadful and wonderful...How can I smile when I am filled with so much sorrow? It is natural--you need to smile to your sorrow because you are more than your sorrow.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“When you say something really unkind, when you do something in retaliation your anger increases. You make the other person suffer, and he will try hard to say or to do something back to get relief from his suffering. That is how conflict escalates.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Anger

“For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace

“If you suffer and make your loved ones suffer, there is nothing that can justify your desire.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Power

“The source of love is deep in us and we can help others realize a lot of happiness. One word, one action, one thought can reduce another person’s suffering and bring that person joy.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“I have noticed that people are dealing too much with the negative, with what is wrong. ... Why not try the other way, to look into the patient and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos — the trees, the clouds, everything.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Touching Peace: Practicing the Art of Mindful Living

“The wave does not need to die to become water. She is already water.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching

“Root out the violence in your life, and learn to live compassionately and mindfully. Seek peace. When you have peace within, real peace with others is possible.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“I promise myself that I will enjoy every minute of the day that is given me to live.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Anger

“Feelings, whether of compassion or irritation, should be welcomed, recognized, and treated on an absolutely equal basis; because both are ourselves. The tangerine I am eating is me. The mustard greens I am planting are me. I plant with all my heart and mind. I clean this teapot with the kind of attention I would have were I giving the baby Buddha or Jesus a bath. Nothing should be treated more carefully than anything else. In mindfulness, compassion, irritation, mustard green plant, and teapot are all sacred.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness

“Compassion is a verb.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“The true miracle is not walking on water or walking in air, but simply walking on this earth.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“It is said that God has created man in his own image. But it may be that humankind has created God in the image of humankind.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers

“The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“Understanding means throwing away your knowledge.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace

“The secret of Buddhism is to remove all ideas, all concepts, in order for the truth to have a chance to penetrate, to reveal itself.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddha Mind, Buddha Body: Walking Toward Enlightenment

“Each moment is a chance for us to make peace with the world, to make peace possible for the world, to make happiness possible for the world.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Teachings on Love

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it. (21)”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

“Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers

“In true love, you attain freedom.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, True Love: A Practice for Awakening the Heart

“Until there is peace between religions, there can be no peace in the world.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

“We often think of peace as the absence of war, that if powerful countries would reduce their weapon arsenals, we could have peace. But if we look deeply into the weapons, we see our own minds- our own prejudices, fears and ignorance. Even if we transport all the bombs to the moon, the roots of war and the roots of bombs are still there, in our hearts and minds, and sooner or later we will make new bombs. To work for peace is to uproot war from ourselves and from the hearts of men and women. To prepare for war, to give millions of men and women the opportunity to practice killing day and night in their hearts, is to plant millions of seeds of violence, anger, frustration, and fear that will be passed on for generations to come. ”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ

“My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground on which I stand.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Understanding Our Mind: 50 Verses on Buddhist Psychology

“To live in the present moment is a miracle. The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green Earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Touching Peace: Practicing the Art of Mindful Living

“It is my conviction that there is no way to peace - peace is the way.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Power


Buddhist Masters and Their Organisations: Thich Nhat Hanh

Buddhist Masters and Their Organisations: Thich Nhat Hanh:

'via Blog this'

Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh
Organisation: The Community of Mindful Living

Lineage: The Community of Mindful Living (CML) is guided by the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings for Engaged Buddhism of the Order of Interbeing--the Tiep Hien Order. Tiep means "being in touch with" and "continuing." Hien means "realizing" and "making it here and now." The Order of Interbeing was formed by Thich Nhat Hanh in the mid-1960s, at a time when the Vietnam War was escalating and the teachings of the Buddha were desperately needed to combat the hatred, violence, and divisiveness enveloping his country. From its inception and in the present, the Order was comprised of all four membership categories of the original Buddhist community--monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen.

Source: Web site:

Biography: Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk. During the war in Vietnam, he worked tirelessly for reconciliation between North and South Vietnam. His lifelong efforts to generate peace moved Martin Luther King, Jr. to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967. He lives in exile in a small community in France where he teaches, writes, gardens, and works to help refugees worldwide. He has conducted many mindfulness retreats in Europe and North America helping veterans, children, environmentalists, psychotherapists, artists and many thousands of individuals seeking peace in their hearts, and in their world.

"Every day we do things, we are things that have to do with peace. If we are aware of our life..., our way of looking at things, we will know how to make peace right in the moment, we are alive."
Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh has been living in exile from his native Vietnam since the age of forty. In that year of 1966, he was banned by both the non-Communist and Communist governments for his role in undermining the violence he saw affecting his people. A Buddhist monk since the age of sixteen, Thay ("teacher," as he is commonly known to followers) earned a reputation as a respected writer, scholar, and leader. He championed a movement known as "Engaged Buddhism," which intertwined traditional meditative practices with active nonviolent civil disobedience. This movement lay behind the establishment of the most influential center of Buddhist studies in Saigon, the An Quang Pagoda. He also set up relief organizations to rebuild destroyed villages, instituted the School of Youth for Social Service (a Peace Corps of sorts for Buddhist peace workers), founded a peace magazine, and urged world leaders to use nonviolence as a tool. Although his struggle for cooperation meant he had to relinquish a homeland, it won him accolades around the world.

When Thich Nhat Hanh left Vietnam, he embarked on a mission to spread Buddhist thought around the globe. In 1966, when Thây came to the United States for the first of many humanitarian visits, the territory was not completely new to him: he had experienced American culture before as a student at Princeton, and more recently as a professor at Columbia. The Fellowship of Reconciliation and Cornell invited Thay to speak on behalf of Buddhist monks, and he offered an enlightened view on ways to end the Vietnam conflict. He spoke on college campuses, met with administration officials, and impressed social dignitaries. The following year, Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., nominated Thich Nhat Hanh for the same honor. Hanh's Buddhist delegation to the Paris peace talks resulted in accords between North Vietnam and the United States, but his pacifist efforts did not end with the war. He also helped organize rescue missions well into the 1970's for Vietnamese trying to escape from political oppression. Even after the political stabilization of Vietnam, Thich Nhat Hanh has not been allowed to return home. The government still sees him as a threat-ironic, when one considers the subjects of his teachings: respect for life, generosity, responsible sexual behavior, loving communication, and cultivation of a healthful life style.

Thay now lives in southwestern France, where he founded a retreat center twelve years ago. At the center, Plum Village, he continues to teach, write, and garden. Plum Village houses only thirty monks, nuns, and laypeople, but thousands from around the globe call it home. Accommodation is readily available for short-term visitors seeking spiritual relief, for refugees in transit, or for activists in need of inspiration. Thich Nhat Hanh gathers people of diverse nationalities, races, religions, and sexes in order to expose them to mindfulness-taking care in the present moment, being profoundly aware and appreciative of life.

Despite the fact that Thay is nearing seventy, his strength as a world leader and spiritual guide grows. He has written more than seventy-five books of prose, poetry, and prayers. Most of his works have been geared toward the Buddhist reader, yet his teachings appeal to a wide audience. For at least a decade, Thich Nhat Hanh has visited the United States every other year; he draws more and more people with each tour, Christian, Jewish, atheist, and Zen Buddhist alike. His philosophy is not limited to preexistent religious structures, but speaks to the individual's desire for wholeness and inner calm. In 1993, he drew a crowd of some 1,200 people at the National Cathedral in Washington DC, led a retreat of 500 people in upstate New York, and assembled 300 people in West Virginia. His popularity in the United States inspired the mayor of Berkeley, California, to name a day in his honor and the Mayor of New York City declared a Day of Reconciliation during his 1993 visit. Clearly, Thich Nhat Hanh is a human link with a prophetic past, a soft-spoken advocate of peace, Buddhist community, and the average American citizen.

Main Centre:

Plum Village:

Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh's meditation community in the south of France is an abode of harmony, peace, and ethnic diversity. As I drive past the vineyards, chateaux, and sunflower fields of southwestern France, en route to Plum Village, I find myself wondering why I'm going there for my vacation. Wouldn't I really rather be exploring the nearby medieval town of St. Emilion, famous for its macaroons? Or sampling Bordeaux wines? Or slathering Camembert onto French bread while lounging on the beach? But after five minutes in Plum Village, all doubts vanish. This is clearly not a monastery-children race about laughing and calling to each other in Vietnamese, French, and English; gray-haired women chatter in Vietnamese as they prepare rice and vegetables in the communal kitchen; a group of teenagers sit under a tree playing sitars. But permeating all of this activity is a sense of peace and simplicity that I find deeply refreshing after a week of frenzied tourism.

This interweaving of practice and daily living is the essence of Plum Village, founded in the early 1980's to fulfill Nhat Hanh's decades-old dream of a community where people involved in the work of social transformation could come for rest and spiritual nourishment. Exiled from his native Vietnam because of his antiwar activities, he finally established his spiritual oasis on eighty acres of land in the wine country east of Bordeaux. In exchange for a home, Vietnamese refugees helped clean and renovate the beautiful, rustic, eighteenth-century stone farm buildings and construct additional cinder block structures. Currently, only about fifty residents stay year-round, studying Buddhism, working to help Vietnamese refugees and political prisoners, and tending the 1,250 plum trees, whose crop earns money to send medicine to Vietnam. But for one month each summer, the community is open to the public, and nearly 1,000 visitors - about half Vietnamese and half Westerners - come to practice. This month is by no means a grueling meditation retreat. In fact, Nhat Hanh likes to use the word "treat," rather than "retreat," to describe these gatherings of Buddhist practitioners. The emphasis is on learning skills for bringing mindfulness into everyday life. Family practice is central, and children are wholeheartedly encouraged to participate in all activities, including meditation, tea ceremonies, and Dharma talks. Typically, Tha^y directs the first ten minutes of every talk to the children, who then play outside for the rest of the talk.

No matter what the activity, visitors are gently reminded to perform it with joy and awareness. For me, the spirit of Plum Village is epitomized by the carved wooden sign beside the walking meditation path: "The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms."

- From A Joyful Path , "Plum Village Summer Opening" by Anne Cushman.

At PLUM VILLAGE leads a year-round program of meditation practice for residents and for visitors who come for at least one week. The Summer Opening is from July 15 to August 15. For information write in advance to:

Plum Village
47120 Loubès-Bernac

• Main Web site:


Books of Thich Nhat Hanh are published by many publishing houses, such as Parallax Press, Penguin/Riverhead Publishing, Beacon Press, Bantom Books ...... You can buy them at bookstores such as Barns & Noble, Borders .... or online at parallax press,

Thich Nhat Hanh's books are also available French, German, Italian, Russian, Dutch, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Vietnamese ....

Some of Thich Nhat Hanh's books published by Parallax Press. For a complete list, please visit the Parallax Press Web site:

Winged sun - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Winged sun - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

The winged sun is a symbol associated with divinity, royalty and power in the Ancient Near East (Egypt, Mesopotamia, Anatolia, and Persia). The symbol has also been found in the records of ancient cultures residing in various regions of South America as well as Australia.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

China and Buddhism


Mid-Tang period (713-765) Buddha from Dunhuang

                                                   Height: 218 cm (7 ft 2 in)   

It is widely believed that Buddhism was introduced to China during the Han period (206 BC-220 AD). After its introduction, Mahayana Buddhism, the most prominent branch of Buddhism in China, played an important role in shaping Chinese civilization. Chinese civilization, as well, exerted a profound impact on the way Buddhism was transformed in China.
The influence of Buddhism grew to such an extent that vast amounts of financial and human resources were expended on the creation and establishment of impressive works of art and elaborate temples. This growing interest in Buddhism helped to inspire new ways of depicting deities, new types of architectural spaces in which to worship them, and new ritual motions and actions. In this section, we will look at Six Dynasties and Tang Chinese Buddhist images, view some early and late Buddhist temples, then take a glimpse at contemporary Buddhist practice.
Think about the following questions as you view this unit:
How were Buddhist images, temples, and practices adapted to Chinese circumstances? Keep in mind both chronological order and geographical variation wherever possible.
What connections do you see between Buddhist doctrines and the physical trappings of Buddhism in China?
Do you see anything in these images that would have contributed to the spread of Buddhism in China?

Caswell, James O. Written and Unwritten: A New History of the Buddhist Caves at Yungang.Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1988.
Faure, Bernard. Buddhism. Translated by Sean Konecky. New York: Konecky & Konecky, 1998.
Gernet, Jacques. Buddhism in Chinese History: an Economic History from the 5th to the 10thCenturies. Translated by Franciscus Verellen. New York: Columbia University Press, 1995.
Seckel, Dietrich. Buddhist Art of East Asia. Translated by Ulrich Mammitzsch. Bellingham, WA: Western Washington University Press, 1989.
Weinstein, Stanley. Buddhism Under the Tang. Cambridge, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Wright, Arthur F. Buddhism in Chinese History. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1971.
Zürcher, Erik. The Buddhist Conquest of China. Leiden: Brill, 1972.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Erich Fromm: Atheistic Mystic

Erich Fromm was born in 1900 in Frankfurt, Germany. His father was a business man and, according to Erich, rather moody. His mother was frequently depressed. In other words, like quite a few of people, his childhood wasn't very happy.

Like Jung, Fromm came from a very religious family, in his case orthodox Jews. Fromm himself later became what he called an atheistic mystic.

Quotes:  Erich Fromm

“The ultimate choice for a man, inasmuch as he is driven to transcend himself, is to create or to destroy, to love or to hate.”

Authority is not a quality one person "has," in the sense that he has property or physical qualities. Authority refers to an interpersonal relation in which one person looks upon another as somebody superior to him.

"Both dreams and myths are important communications from ourselves to ourselves. If we do not understand the language in which they are written, we miss a great deal of what we know and tell ourselves in those hours when we are not busy manipulating the outside world."

"Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties."

"Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction."

"If a person loves only one other person and is indifferent to all others, his love is not love but a symbiotic attachment, or an enlarged egotism."

"If I am what I have and if I lose what I have who then am I?"

"Immature love says: 'I love you because I need you.' Mature love says 'I need you because I love you.'"

"In love the paradox occurs that two beings become one and yet remain two."

"In the nineteenth century the problem was that God is dead. In the twentieth century the problem is that man is dead."

"Just as love is an orientation which refers to all objects and is incompatible with the restriction to one object, so is reason a human faculty which must embrace the whole of the world with which man is confronted."

"Just as modern mass production requires the standardization of commodities, so the social process requires standardization of man, and this standardization is called equality."

"Love is often nothing but a favorable exchange between two people who get the most of what they can expect, considering their value on the personality market."

"Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence."
Erich Fromm

Love is union with somebody, or something, outside oneself, under the condition of retaining the separateness and integrity of one's own self.

Man always dies before he is fully born.
Erich Fromm

"Man is the only animal for whom his own existence is a problem which he has to solve."

"Man's biological weakness is the condition of human culture."

"Man's main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is. The most important product of his effort is his own personality."

"Most people die before they are fully born. Creativeness means to be born before one dies."

"The mother-child relationship is paradoxical and, in a sense, tragic. It requires the most intense love on the mother's side, yet this very love must help the child grow away from the mother, and to become fully independent."

"The only truly affluent are those who do not want more than they have."

"The ordinary man with extraordinary power is the chief danger for mankind - not the fiend or the sadist."

"The psychic task which a person can and must set for himself is not to feel secure, but to be able to tolerate insecurity."

"The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers."

"The successful revolutionary is a statesman, the unsuccessful one a criminal."

"The task we must set for ourselves is not to feel secure, but to be able to tolerate insecurity."

"There can be no real freedom without the freedom to fail."

"There is hardly any activity, any enterprise, which is started out with such tremendous hopes and expectations, and yet which fails so regularly, as love."

"There is no meaning to life except the meaning man gives his life by the unfolding of his powers."

"There is only one meaning of life: the act of living itself."

"There is perhaps no phenomenon which contains so much destructive feeling as moral indignation, which permits envy or to be acted out under the guise of virtue."

"To die is poignantly bitter, but the idea of having to die without having lived is unbearable."

"To hope means to be ready at every moment for that which is not yet born, and yet not become desperate if there is no birth in our lifetime."

We all dream; we do not understand our dreams, yet we act as if nothing strange goes on in our sleep minds, strange at least by comparison with the logical, purposeful doings of our minds when we are awake.

"We live in a world of things, and our only connection with them is that we know how to manipulate or to consume them."

"What most people in our culture mean by being lovable is essentially a mixture between being popular and having sex appeal."

"Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies."

"Why should society feel responsible only for the education of children, and not for the education of all adults of every age?"

The Last Temptation of Christ

“The canary began to sing again. The sun had struck it, and its throat and tiny breast had filled with song. Francis gazed at it for a long time, not speaking, his mouth hanging half opened, his eyes dimmed with tears. "The canary is like man's soul," he whispered finally. "It sees bars round it, but instead if despairing, it sings. It sings, and wait and see, Brother Leo: one day its song shall break the bars.”
― Nikos Kazantzakis, Saint Francis

“When an almond tree became covered with blossoms in the heart of winter, all the trees around it began to jeer. 'What vanity,' they screamed, 'what insolence! Just think, it believes it can bring spring in this way!' The flowers of the almond tree blushed for shame. 'Forgive me, my sisters,' said the tree. 'I swear I did not want to blossom, but suddenly I felt a warm springtime breeze in my heart.”
― Nikos Kazantzakis, Saint Francis

“Overdraw me Lord, and who cares if I break!”
― Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation of Christ

“We are not men, to have need of another, an eternal life; we are women, and for us one moment with man we love is everlasting Paradise, one moment far from the man we love is everlasting hell. It is here on earth that we women love out eternity”
― Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation of Christ

“My principle anguish and the source of all my joys and sorrows from my youth onward has been the incessant, merciless battle between the spirit and the flesh.”
― Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation of Christ

“Truly, everything in this world depended on time. Time ripened all. If you had time, you succeeded in working the human mud internally and turning it into spirit. Then you did not fear death. If you did not have time, you perished.”
― Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation of Christ

“I say one thing, you write another, and those who read you understand still something else! I say: cross, death, kingdom of heaven, God...and what do you understand? Each of you attaches his own suffering, interests and desires to each of these sacred words, and my words disappear, my soul is lost. I can't stand it any longer!”
― Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation of Christ

“When everyone drowns and I'm the only one to escape, God is protecting me. When everyone else is saved and I'm the only one to drown, God is protecting me then too.”
― Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation of Christ

“You will, Judas, my brother. God will give you the strength, as much as you lack, because it is necessary—it is necessary for me to be killed and for you to betray me. We two must save the world. Help me."

Judas bowed his head. After a moment he asked, "If you had to betray your master, would you do it?"

Jesus reflected for a long time. Finally he said, "No, I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to. That is why God pitied me and gave me the easier task: to be crucified.”
― Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation of Christ

Tibet Flag and Symbols

National Emblem of Tibet


Armiger Central Tibetan Administration
Supporters Two Tibetian Snow Lions
Motto "bod gzhung dga' ldan pho brang phyogs las rnam rgyal"
or "Tibetan Government, Gaden Palace, victorious in all directions"

The Emblem of Tibet is a symbol of the Tibetan government in exile. It combines several elements of the flag of Tibet, with slightly different artistry, and contains many Buddhist symbols. 

Its primary elements are the sun and moon above the Himalayas, which represent Tibet, often known as the Land Surrounded by Snow Mountains. On the slopes of the mountains stand a pair of snow lions. Held between the two lions is the eight-spoked Dharmacakra, represent the Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism. Inside the wheel, the three-colored swirling jewel represents the practices of the ten exalted virtues and the 16 humane modes of conduct.The inscription on the swirling banner below is as follows:bod gzhung dga' ldan pho brang phyogs las rnam rgyal ("Tibetan Government, Gaden Palace, victorious in all directions".) 

The Gaden Palace, located in Drepung monastery was the residence of the Dalai Lamas until the 5th Dalai Lama. After the 5th Dalai Lama had moved to the Potala in the mid 17th century the Tibetan Government created by him in 1642 became known as the "Gaden Podang" Government.

It is the official emblem of the Central Tibetan Administration government-in-exile headquartered in Dharamsala, India. As a symbol of the Tibetan independence movement, it is banned in the People's Republic of China, including the Tibet Autonomous Region, which corresponds to the former area of control of the Tibetan government at Lhasa, as well as other areas in greater Tibet. It is often seen printed in black-and-white and Buddhist crimson-and-white variants.

Bhutan Flag and Emblem

Flag of Bhutan

Bhutan emblem.svg

Bhutan is a Happy Place

Novice Monks

The former administrative center of Punakha Dzong, one of Bhutan's largest buildings, is seen in Punakha, on March 13, 2011.(Reuters/Michael Smith) #

Sangey, 6, reads during class at the Dechen Phodrang monastery, on October 18, 2011 in Thimphu, Bhutan. About 375 monks reside at the government run monastery that also doubles as a child care facility for under privileged and orphaned males. The monks average about 10 hours of study a day waking up at 5 am.

Mahayana Buddhism is the state religion, although in the southern areas many citizens openly practice Hinduism. Monks join the monastery at six to nine years of age and according to tradition many families will send one son into the monkhood. They learn to read chhokey, the language of the ancient sacred texts, as well as Dzongkha and English.(Paula Bronstein/Getty Images) #

A man prepares food near a small cat in Jityang village in Punakha, Bhutan, on March 22, 2008. (Reuters/Desmond Boylan) #

Buddhist monks stand inside the complex of Tashichhodzong, also known as the
"The Fortress of the Glorious Religion" in Bhutan's capital Thimphu, on April 27, 2010.
The Tashichhodzong was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1641. (Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri) #

The Paro Taktsang Palphug Buddhist monastery, also known as the Tiger's Nest, nestled into a cliffside in Paro district, Bhutan, on October 16, 2011. (Reuters/Adrees Latif) #

Source: the Atlantic


Bhutan - Wikipedia entry

Gross national happiness - Wikipedia entry

Thursday, December 8, 2011


The Atlantic Home

A Trip to Bhutan

The Kingdom of Bhutan is a small Himalayan country east of Nepal, nestled between China and India, with an estimated population of 700,000. Last month, Bhutan celebrated the wedding of monarch Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the fifth Druk Gyalpo ("Dragon King"), to 21-year-old commoner Jetsun Pema, now Druk Gyal-tsuen ("Dragon Queen") of Bhutan.

The deeply traditional nation has been slow to adopt modern development; a country-wide ban on television and the Internet was only lifted in 1999, and only after the previous king abdicated power in 2006 did the nation have its first parliamentary elections. 

Bhutan, often rated as one of the happiest countries in the world, is the birthplace of the concept of "gross national happiness," an alternative to the more traditional measure of gross domestic product. The popular Oxford-educated king is now seeking to strengthen ties with other nations while preserving as much of Bhutan's independence and culture as possible. 

Collected here are recent images of people and places within the Kingdom of Bhutan. [38 photos]

The Paro Taktsang Palphug Buddhist monastery, also known as the Tiger's Nest, in the Paro district of Bhutan, viewed on October 16, 2011. The first temple was built on this cliffside location in 1692. (Reuters/Adrees Latif)

School Children

The Himalayan Mount Jomolhari -- or Chomolhari -- seen from the Chilela pass situated between the Bhutanese valleys of Paro and Haa on October 6, 2010. Straddling the border between the Yadong county of Tibet and the Paro district of Bhutan, Mount Jomolhari stands around 7,350 meters tall and was first climbed by a five-man expedition led by British explorer Freddy Spencer Chapman in May 1937. As of 2010 the mountain has been ascended only six times due to access restrictions imposed by the Bhutanese government forbidding climbers on the mountain which is considered sacred. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Bhutanese Buddhist Monk wears a mask as he prepares himself during a rehearsal for a dance to be performed during the wedding festivities of King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck and future Queen Jetsun Pema, in the capital of Thimphu, Bhutan, on October 11, 2011. The 31 year-old reformist monarch of the small Himalayan Kingdom was set to wed his commoner bride later in the week.(AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #

An elderly woman watches from a balcony in Bhutan's capital Thimphu, on October 12, 2011. (Reuters/Adrees Latif) #

Ceremonial Dancers wait for His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck to come out of the wedding ceremony, on October 13, 2011, in Punakha, Bhutan. King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen of Bhutan Ashi Jetsun Pema Wangchuck wed in Bhutan's historic 17th century Punakha Dzong the same venue that hosted the King's historical coronation ceremony in 2008.(Triston Yeo/Getty Images) #

Bhutan's King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck kisses Queen Jetsun Pema in front of thousands of residents gathered for the third day of their wedding ceremony at the Changlimithang stadium

A statue of Buddha, after a snowfall at Kuensel Phodrang in Thimphu, Bhutan, on January 1, 2011. (Reuters/Singye Wangchuk) 

Source: the Atlantic

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wiki entry

Hindū is the Persian name for the Indus River, first encountered in the Old Persian word Hindu Sanskrit Sindhu, the Indus River The Rig Veda mentions the land of the Indo-Aryans as Sapta Sindhu (the land of the seven rivers in northwestern South Asia, one of them being the Indus). This corresponds to Hapta Həndu in the Avesta (Vendidad or Videvdad 1.18)—the sacred scripture of Zoroastrianism. The term was used for those who lived in the Indian subcontinent on or beyond the "Sindhu". In Arabic, the term al-Hind (the Hind) also refers to 'the land of the people of modern day India'. (həndu), corresponding to Vedic

The Persian term (Middle Persian Hindūk, New Persian Hindū) entered India with the Delhi Sultanate and appears in South Indian and Kashmiri texts from at least 1323 CE, and increasingly so during British rule. Since the end of the 18th century the word has been used as an umbrella term for most of the religious, spiritual, and philosophical traditions of the sub-continent, usually excluding the religions of Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism as distinct.

The term Hinduism was introduced into the English language in the 19th century to denote the religious, philosophical, and cultural traditions native to India.

The term Brahminism was also introduced in the 19th century, describing a limited subset of the traditions subsumed under "Hinduism", viz. the principles and practices of the Hindu Brahmin, Brahminical Hinduism, the current-day practices of Brahmins, or to Vedic Brahmanism, the historical religion from which medieval and modern Hinduism has evloved. caste.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Many people think of "faith" as either a feeling or a collection of ideas that represent one's convictions. Although both of these concepts involve elements of faith, the full definition is much broader. The Greek word most often translated "faith,"pistis, means "firm persuasion" and "a conviction based upon hearing." Notice the definition from a respected Bible dictionary:

"The main elements in 'faith' in its relation to the invisible God, as distinct from 'faith' in man, are especially brought out in the use of this noun and the corresponding verb, pisteuo; they are (1) a firm conviction, producing a full acknowledgment of God's revelation or truth, e.g., 2 Thess. 2:11-12; (2) a personal surrender to Him, John 1:12; (3) a conduct inspired by such surrender, 2 Cor. 5:7. Prominence is given to one or other of these elements according to the context" (Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, 1985, "Faith").

Faith is attitude, conviction and conduct based on a right relationship with God. It is not static, but grows in strength and depth as we nourish that relationship with our Creator throughout our lives.


Be Detached

"Becoming homeless" is a Buddhist metaphor to describe what happens to us when we learn to disidentify with our mind and its thoughts.  Become detached

Mind is the aspect of intellect and consciousness experienced as combinations of thought, perceptionmemoryemotionwill, and imagination, including all unconscious cognitive processes. The term is often used to refer, by implication, to the thought processes of reason. Mind manifests itself subjectively as a stream of consciousness, or inter subjectively through conversation.
Theories of mind and its function are numerous. Earliest recorded speculations are from the likes of Zoroaster, the Buddha, Plato, Aristotle, and other ancient Greek, Indian and, later,Islamic and medieval European philosophers. Pre-modern understandings of the mind, such as the neo-platonic "nous" saw it as an aspect of the soul, in the sense of being both divine and immortal, linking human thinking with the un-changing ordering principle of the cosmos itself.
Which attributes make up the mind is much debated. Some psychologists argue that only the "higher" intellectual functions constitute mind, particularly reason and memory. In this view the emotions—love, hate, fear, joy—are more primitive or subjective in nature and should be seen as different from the mind as such. Others argue that various rational and emotional states cannot be so separated, that they are of the same nature and origin, and should therefore be considered all part of what we call the mind.
In popular usage mind is frequently synonymous with thought: the private conversation with ourselves that we carry on "inside our heads." Thus we "make up our minds," "change our minds" or are "of two minds" about something. One of the key attributes of the mind in this sense is that it is a private sphere to which no one but the owner has access. No one else can "know our mind." They can only interpret what we consciously or unconsciously communicate.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Coaxing the Bell to Ring

File:Deer Park Monastery Bell.jpg
Deer Park Monastery bell in Escondido, California

With body speech and mind in perfect oneness
I send my heart along with the sound of the bell
May the hearers awaken from forgetfulness
And transcend the path of anxiety and sorrow

- Thich Nhat Hanh translation of Buddhist poem.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Dalai Lama Quotes

The more adept we become at cultivating an altruistic attitude, the happier we will feel and the more comfortable will be the atmosphere around us. But if our emotions fluctuate wildly and we easily give in to hatred and jealousy, even our friends will avoid us. So even for people with no spiritual beliefs, it is important to have a peaceful mind.

Human beings are not intrinsically selfish, which isolates us from others. We are essentially social animals who depend on others to meet our needs. We achieve happiness, prosperity and progress through social interaction. Therefore, having a kind and helpful attitude contributes to our own and others' happiness.

Love, kindness, compassion and tolerance are qualities common to all the great religions, and whether or not we follow any particular religious tradition, the benefits of love and kindness are obvious to anyone.

It is time to develop a big ‘US’, rather than the old ‘us and them’ that lets us to exploit and bully others on a personal level, and on an international level to wage war. The East must see the West as part of ‘US’ and the North must come to feel that the South is part of ‘US’. We should include the entire world in our concern, wishing all humanity well. If we can do that there will be no room for hatred, thinking of others as enemies. And we will achieve this through education, not through prayer.

Spirituality concerns our own motivation, while secular activity implies working in the world. Because motivation pervades all action, it is important that we have a positive motivation. Whatever we are involved in, whether it's politics, education, medicine, law, engineering, science, business or industry, the nature of our motivation determines the character of our work.

Study and practice are both very important, but they must go hand in hand. Faith without knowledge is not sufficient. Faith needs to be supported by reason. However intellectual understanding that is not applied in practice is also of little use. Whatever we learn from study we need to apply sincerely in our daily lives.