From Being Peace
© 1987 Thich Nhat Hanh
I entrust myself to earth,
Earth entrusts herself to me.
I entrust myself to Buddha,
Buddha entrusts herself to me.
In Buddhism, there are three gems: Buddha, the awakened one; Dharma, the way of understanding and loving; and Sangha, the community that lives in harmony and awareness....Buddha, Dharma and Sangha become matters of everyday life, each minute, each hour of our daily life, and not just a description of something far away....In Buddhism, the most important precept of all is to live in awareness, to know what is going on. The most basic precept of all is to be aware of what we do, what we are, each minute. Every other precept will follow from that.
The root word "buddh" means to wake up, to know, to understand; and he or she who wakes up and understands is called a Buddha. It is as simple as that. The capacity to wake up, to understand, and to love is called Buddha nature....Buddha is in everyone of us.
The second gem is the Dharma. Dharma is what the Buddha taught. It is the way of understanding and love -- how to understand, how to love, how to make understanding and love into real things. Dharma is not just expressed in sounds, in words. It can express itself in just being....This is true not only of humans, but other species as well. Look at the trees in our yard. 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. Therefore, the oak tree is preaching the Dharma.
In a meditation center, we have a Sangha, because the way of understanding and compassion is practiced there. If Buddha and Dharma are not present, it is not a Sangha. Without you, the Buddha is not real, it is just an idea....To me, a meditation center is where you get back to yourself, you get a clearer understanding of reality, you get more strength in understanding and love, and you prepare for your re-entry into society. If it is not like that, it is not a real meditation center. As we develop real understanding, we can re-enter society and make a real contribution.
Meditation is to be aware of what is going on -- in our bodies, in our feelings, in our minds, and in the world. Each day 40,000 children die of hunger. The superpowers now have more than 50,000 nuclear warheads, enough to destroy our planet many times. Yet the sunrise is beautiful, and the rose that bloomed this morning along the wall is a miracle. Life is both dreadful and wonderful. To practice meditation is to be in touch with both aspects. Please do not think we must be solemn in order to meditate. In fact, to meditate well, we have to smile a lot....Smiling means that we are ourselves, that we have sovereignty over ourselves, that we are not drowned into forgetfulness....A smile makes you master of yourself. That is why the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are always smiling....Meditation is to see deeply into things, to see how we can change, how we can transform our situation.
Practicing Buddhism, practicing meditation is for us to be serene and happy, understanding and loving. In that way we work for the peace and happiness of our family and our society.
There are three things I can recommend to you: arranging to have a breathing room in your home, a room for meditation; practice breathing, sitting, for a few minutes every morning at home with your children; and going out for a slow walking meditation with your children before going to sleep, just 10 minutes is enough. These things are very important. They can change our civilization.
Suggested Pdf Resources
- Pali Buddhist Dictionary
- Manual of Buddhist Terms & Doctrines Buddhist doctrinal terms, used in the Pāli Canon and its .
- MODERN KADAMPA BUDDHISM An Introduction
- An Introduction . What is Kadampa Buddhism? Kadampa Buddhism is a special tradition of Mahayana.
- Introduction to Buddhism
- Introduction to. Buddhism. By Thomas Knierim.
- Introduction to Buddhism
- Buddhism, one of the major world religions, began in India around the sixth century, B.C.E.
Suggested News Resources
- China Trying 3 Monks in Self-Immolation Case
- In April, China said it had started conducting “legal education” on monks at the monastery because the monks there had disobeyed Tibetan Buddhism rules and disrupted local order. Chinese officials had also put the monastery under guard.
- Monks bless possible Pataskala temple site
- Showe donated 7.8 acres on Blacks Road as part of the effort to build the Columbus Buddhism Center.
- Vanished Buddhist site rediscovered in Pakistan
- PTI A Gandhara Buddhist site, which was lost to the world due to neglect after it was excavated more than a century ago, has been rediscovered in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar.
- By Joshua Rothman Is Buddhism right? BUDDHISM IS in vogue in the West, partly because Buddhist practices, especially meditation, are popularly associated with contentment and well-being.
- Chinese-Backed Panchen Lama Concludes Disputed Gansu Visit
- The Panchen Lama is the second ranking spiritual leader in Tibetan Buddhism. But many Tibetans reject the current lama because of the way he was chosen.
Suggested Web Resources
- Basics of Buddhism
- A simple introduction to the religion and the basic tenets of Buddhists. From PBS.
- A Basic Buddhism Guide: 5 Minute Introduction
- What is Buddhism? Buddhism is a religion to about 300 million people around the world. The word comes from 'budhi', 'to awaken'.
- An Introduction to Buddhism
- Explores the history of Buddhism and its basic tenets.
- The religion of Buddhism
- Mar 17, 2011 Outline of Buddhist beliefs and practises from "Religious Tolerance" site.
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