October 12, 2008

Being Peace questions, resources

Here are some resources on Buddhism and questions to consider in reading Being Peace over the next two weeks. Some of the links at the end of this entry focus on women in Buddhism.

Here are three local Buddhist meditation centers that are all pretty much westerners - take a look at what they have to offer:

Here's questions and comments on Being Peace:

Visit the web site for an updated look at the five Mindfulness Trainings and some commentaries, as well as more recent talks by Thich Nhat Hanh, some of which were intended for children - VERY accessible and sweet! Note that there are two satellite centers in the United States where, for a rather modest price, people can go and do extended retreats.

* In the book Being Peace, pay attention throughout the book to what meditation is described to be. What is its purpose? (Chapter 1 and further-- especially the last chapter.)

* For Thich Nhat Hanh, what is the relationship between inner peace for individuals and work toward social peace and justice?

* What should be our attitude toward suffering? (Is this realistic, in your view?) -- Chapter 2.

* What are the "three gems," and how are they interrelated? (Chapter 3).

* In Chapter 3, what is "dependent co-arising"? What would be the ethical outcome of taking this concept to heart?

* How would our perceptions change if we accepted the Buddhist understanding of non-duality?

* What needs to happen for us to perceive clearly?

* Think about the ideas of non-duality and interbeing. How do they relate to the ideas of Buber in I and Thou? Are there differences?

* Look at Chapter 4 to explore the relationship between self and society. What role does meditation play in developing awareness of this relationship?

* What does Thich Nhat Hanh mean by "engaged Buddhism"?

* In Chapter 5, what are some ways of changing our perceptions of other people who do evil acts? Or people whom we understand to be "the enemy"?

* What are some helpful ways to think about technology and our use of the environment? How are these issues related to spiritual practice?

* Reflect on the 7 principles of reconciliation. How could these work in situations you have experienced? In larger social conflicts?

* In chapter 6, what are some ways Western and Buddhist traditions can enhance each other? What does Thich Nhat Hanh think an American Buddhism might look like?


From the BBC – overview of Buddhism and some links to radio programs with more details.

Overview of basic Buddhist beliefs from one of the most central web sources.

Web site for women Buddhists

Buddhanet’s page on women in Buddhism

Buddhanet’s page of links related to women and Buddhism

Bibliography on women, Buddhism, and the feminine sacred

Essay on women in early Buddhism

October 15, 2008

I Do Not Rehearse My Anger

Below is the link to the a sound file of the article assigned to go along with Being Peace: “I Do Not Rehearse My Anger: The Teachings of Sister Chan Khong?, from The Bond Between Women, by China Galland.

Download file

This is a .wav file, which should work with Windows Media Player or I-Tunes. It may take a while to download. Or, on your computer, it may just play (using QuickTime). It should take a bit less than 30 minutes to listen to.

The "I" of this article is China Galland - a writer and practitioner of Buddhist meditation who is also interested in Christian tradition and practice - who had taken a trip to various places around the world (Mexico, India, elsewhere) in search of extraordinary women who could teach her more about doing action in the world from a spirit-centered place. China is recounting meeting Sister Chan Khong and the conversation she had with her. (Remember that Chan Khong was the Buddhist nun in the video we watched in class, who has been a co-founder with Thich Nhat Hahn of his monastic communities.)

In addition to the questions on the earlier posting for Being Peace, what new insights to you get into Buddhism, especially "engaged Buddhism," from listening to this article?

Do you think that Chan Khong's experience as a woman shapes her understanding of or experience of Buddhism in significant ways?

(Remember that you should be reading your spiritual classic.)