Nirvana, Fear and Mindfulness

Thích Nhất Hạnh discusses the Buddhist concept of Nirvana, fear, mindfulness and more in this short clip.

Thích Nhất Hạnh (born October 11, 1926) is a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist. He lives in the Plum Village Monastery in the Dordogne region in the South of France, travelling internationally to give retreats and talks. He coined the term Engaged Buddhism in his book Vietnam: Lotus in a Sea of Fire. A long-term exile, he was given permission to make his first return trip to Vietnam in 2005.

Thích Nhất Hạnh has published more than 100 books, including more than 40 in English. Nhat Hanh is active in the peace movement, promoting non-violent solutions to conflict and he also refrains from animal product consumption as a means of non-violence towards non-human animals.

On 11 November 2014, Nhất Hạnh experienced a severe brain hemorrhage and was brought to a hospital. On 3 January 2015 the doctors officially said that he was no longer in a coma and was able to recognize familiar faces. As of 19 February 2015 staff at a rehab facility has reported being able to communicate with Thich Nhat Hanh through eye and arm movement.

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1 Comment

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    March 13, 2015 at 3:40 am

    Something troubles me about this: why would we be created, as human beings, who have slowly evolved, minds and bodies, as a result of the natural process of evolution, be cursed with this apparent appalling bad take on everything around us? Why should we even need to do all this work and puzzle-solving to discard all our false perceptions and replace them with a fresh take on things? Why are our lives, unbeknownst to us, the embodiment of a Magic Eye picture?
    This really bothers me.
    Or are we saying that all of that stuff about nature and evolution is just a kind of illusion/distraction to test us, and there’s something else secretly going on here. Perhaps I’ve answered my own question there but something just doesn’t sit right with me about it all somehow. For instance, what about our ancestors 50,000 years ago before there was any Buddhism or Hinduism and, as far as we know, no equivalent? Didn’t those guys deserve a shot at ditching their bad take on everything? On reaching Nirvana? But without these teachings to guide them, what possible chance did they stand of doing that? Or did they just show up to the party early and were reincarnated until the required teachings came into being?
    Sorry – I know this sounds like I’m being awkward but it’s a genuine stumbling point for me. I really want to believe in this version of reality(and beyond), but certain things trouble the bejesus out of me about it. Perhaps asking such questions reflects a lack of faith or something, but “I yam wot I yam” as Popeye Rinpoche said.

    Then again … 50,000,000 Buddha fans can’t be wrong eh.

    I wonder if Lavoisier was referring to birth and death of living entities when he said that or chemical interactions? Cos I always thought it was the latter. But my old yoga teacher said, regardless whether you’re religious, whether you like it or not you don’t die, because the stuff of your body is directly recycled, probably eventually going into making a new star, new planets, new life. If you wait and observe long enough anyway. And that’s more my take on what Lavoisier was saying there.

    Here’s a proper “mindtroll”: it’s said that every cell in our bodies is renewed every 7 years on average. So if you’re a nihilist, presumably you have to accept that you are roughly 10 different people during a 70 year lifespan. However if you believe in such a thing as a soul, then it’s just the vessel that intermittently renews itself, and your one soul remains unaffected.

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