The Vietnamese Buddhist monk, poet and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the most important spiritual teachers of our time. His dharma talks on topics such as dealing with difficult emotions, living mindfully, cultivating joy, peace and compassion, and the practice of presence have garnered him a following of millions the world-over. His is the fastest-growing monastic order in the world. He’s also earned the attention of global corporations that bring him in to speak to leaders and staff about mindfulness, compassion and effective leadership.
In anticipation of the upcoming course at the Open Center, The Teachings and Mindfulness Practices of Thich Nhat Hanh led by Jeanne Anselmo, here are some principles the 87-year-old Thich Nhat Hanh stands for and is expected to be teaching as he tours North America this season.
— Our level of consumption points to our strategies of “papering over” our suffering. Thich Nhat Hanh suggests the opposite approach: get closer to your pain by examining its root and being present to the sensations.
— Redefine the relationship between success and happiness. You don’t need to be number one or the winner in order to be happy. Becoming fully engaged and adding a “spiritual dimension” to your work can leave you feeling more fulfilled.
— Find a new level of freedom. When a reporter from The Guardian newspaper caught up with Thich Nhat Hanh giving a talk in the Catskills, the monk had this to say about the commemoration of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech.” (King nominated Thich Nhat Hanh for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967 for his opposition to the war in Vietnam). “When President Obama said let freedom ring, he is talking about the kind of freedom coming from outside; political and social freedom, but even if you have a lot of freedom to organize, to say things, to write, you can still suffer a lot as you don’t have the freedom inside – from your anger and fear.”
Jeanne Anselmo, ordained by Thich Nhat Hanh as a Dharmacharya (teacher) in his Order of Interbeing, is a holistic nurse consultant, co-founder of the Contemplative Law Program at CUNY School of Law, and a mindfulness teacher/retreat leader in the U.S. and Ireland, including of “Living Buddha/Living Christ” retreats (with Kathleen Deignan and the Iona Spirituality Institute).
To learn more about the course and to register, click here.