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New Contemplations Before Eating by Thich Nhat Hahn

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As a spiritual family and a human family, we can all help avert climate change with the practice of mindful eating.
Going vegetarian may be the most effective way to stop climate change.
Being vegetarian is already enough to save the world. 

- from Thich Nhat Hanh’s 2007 “Blue Cliff Letter”


Dear Spiritual Family,

Thay has just announced a new version of the Five Contemplations before Eating, after receiving a letter from scientists recommending replacing “global warming” with the more appropriate term “climate change.”

This change is a chance for us all to reflect deeply on what we buy and what we eat. What we buy and eat can contribute to climate change, or it can help stop it. Eating is a chance to nourish our own body with the wonders of the cosmos, knowing that we are not destroying the earth by doing so.

In Plum Village communities around the world, we practice not only to be mindful of the food, but also of our spiritual friends sitting with us. Sharing a meal together is not just to sustain our bodies and celebrate life’s wonders, but also to experience freedom, joy, and the happiness of brotherhood and sisterhood, during the whole time of eating.

Read more: New Contemplations Before Eating by Thich Nhat Hahn

Is the Buddha in the car? by Thich Nhat Hanh


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One day, while riding in a bus Thay asked his attendant: “Do you think the Tathagata is in this bus with us or not?” Brother Phap Nguyen replied: “Yes, I think he is.” Thay said: “Are you sure?” There were 3 buses, Thay was in one, and there were still the other two buses. Wanting to find out if the Buddha is in the bus is not difficult.

If there are 50 people in the bus, and one of them is breathing in mindfulness, that means the Buddha is in the bus. If not only one, but two, three, or five people are breathing mindfully and enjoying the landscape mindfully, then the presence of the Buddha is assured. And if 50 people breathe mindfully, then that would be wonderful! We only need one person in the car to breathe mindfully to have the Buddha present in the car. With the presence of the Buddha everyone is safer and protected by his energy.

Read more: Is the Buddha in the car? by Thich Nhat Hanh

One of my teachers - Thich Nhat Hanh

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One of the best known and most respected Zen masters in the world today, poet, and peace and human rights activist, Thich Nhat Hanh (called Thây by his students) has led an extraordinary life. Born in central Vietnam in 1926 he joined the monkshood at the age of sixteen. The Vietnam War confronted the monasteries with the question of whether to adhere to the contemplative life and remain meditating in the monasteries, or to help the villagers suffering under bombings and other devastation of the war. Nhat Hanh was one of those who chose to do both, helping to found the "engaged Buddhism" movement. His life has since been dedicated to the work of inner transformation for the benefit of individuals and society.

Read more: One of my teachers - Thich Nhat Hanh

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