Vietnam — Thich Nhat Hanh responds to Bat Nha crackdown with Zen koan
Friday 22 January 2010
Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh released on 19 January his first official public statement on the persecution of his disciples and the wiping-out of his spiritual tradition in Vietnam.
Thich Nhat Hanh’s extraordinary statement takes the form of a fearless investigative meditation, a Zen ‘koan’, in which the global public is invited to discover the truth for themselves. Thich Nhat Hanh has taken the unusual step of requesting seven days of contemplation on the koan before public discussion in print or online; the koan is embargoed until 00:00am on January 25th.
Thich Nhat Hanh takes you on a journey investigating the hearts and minds of the central participants in this great crisis in Vietnam: the gentle young monks and nuns who have been persecuted; the police officers who carried out the campaign of suppression; the monks in Vietnam’s Buddhist Church whom the government falsely alleges support the crackdown; the top communist officials and former revolutionaries who are presiding over this betrayal of Vietnamese culture and values; and the international political community which has so far remained conspicuously silent.
Looking deeply into their hearts and minds, you will see your own.
“A koan is unsettling,” Thich Nhat Hanh writes. “So long as it remains unsolved… we can neither be happy nor at peace.”
“If you think Bat Nha is only a problem for 400 monks and nuns in Vietnam… then it is not a koan. Bat Nha truly becomes a koan only when you understand it as your own problem, one that deeply concerns your own happiness, your own suffering, your own future and the future of your country and your people.”
“Bat Nha is an opportunity, because Bat Nha can help you see clearly what you couldn’t – or didn’t want – to see before.”
Thich Nhat Hanh encourages the global Sangha of practitioners to take these coming days as a precious opportunity for each one of us to take his guidance to heart, to take the Bat Nha koan as our very own koan, and practice deeply with it in our daily life. Please share the koan with your Sangha, with your family and friends, so we can begin our collective practice together, all over the world. But please wait until 25 January before reproducing, quoting or discussing the koan in print or online.
When hundreds of practitioners silently look deeply together, the collective energy of mindfulness and concentration is very powerful. This collective energy nourishes your concentration in every minute and every second, giving you the opportunity to have a breakthrough in your practice of the koan. …The firm discipline of your meditation practice, the favorable environment for concentration, as well as the guidance of the Zen master and silent support of fellow practitioners, all provide you with many opportunities to succeed.
A koan cannot be solved by intellectual arguments, logic or reason.... A koan can only be solved through the power of right mindfulness and right concentration. Once we have penetrated a koan, we feel a sense of relief, and have no more fears or questioning. We see our path and realize great peace.
Thich Nhat Hanh - excerpt from Bat Nha: a Koan
Source : helpbatnha.org
View online : helpbatnha.org