Mindrolling – Ep. 190 – Thích Nhất Hạnh with David Silver

Thích Nhất Hạnh

David Silver returns to share words of peace and wisdom for an upside-down world from the sage Thích Nhất Hạnh.

Zen Master Thích Nhất Hạnh is the epitome of peace, mindfulness and awareness. David and Raghu talk about how we can transform Thích Nhất Hạnh’s wisdom into inner and outer change.

Podcast Show Notes

Emerging from Fire (Opening) – Thích Nhất Hạnh is a venerable Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist. David explores the life and tribulations of this paragon of the Dharma. Raghu and David discuss the virtues that Thích Nhất Hạnh embodies and why these qualities are so important in the chaotic political world we live in.

“How do we deal with a world in turmoil? Apart from being an activist and helping, how do we put ourselves in a state where we are strong, poised and have equanimity?”

Engaged Buddhism (10:30) – Raghu reads a passage from Thích Nhất Hạnh, which entails the struggles he and his people went through during the Vietnam War. Thích Nhất Hạnh describes practicing what he calls “Engaged Buddhism,” the practice of mindfulness in all aspects of life, even when bombs are falling all around you. David reflects on the small things we can do for one another that ameliorate their suffering, even for a few moments. He reminds us that our own happiness comes from putting our own peace and stillness into the hearts of others.

“What Thích Nhất Hạnh has to offer is a real prescription for dealing with suffering and getting free from the overwhelming negative emotions we all have.”

Inner and Outer Social Work (26:00) – Raghu and David talk about the necessity of practice and inner work if we want to be of service to the rest of the world. David shares what Thích Nhất Hạnh had to say about healing ourselves.

Looking Forward (41:20) – At a time when so many people have no hope looking forward, Thích Nhất Hạnh introduces a positive picture of what the future can be. Raghu and David discuss the possibilities ahead of us if we apply teaching such as Thích Nhất Hạnh’s.

In Touch with Suffering (52:00) – It is important for us to stay in touch with all of the suffering in the world in order to be compassionate. To remain strong we also need to embrace the positive elements. David and Raghu talk about the efficacy of practice and positivity.

“He even says, ‘In your meditation, you close your eyes, sit comfortably and you put a slight smile on your face, because it works as a machine within your consciousness.”

If you are interested in reading more from Thích Nhất Hạnh, check out 44 Mindful Moves in Daily Life or click below to find some of our favorite books from Thích Nhất Hạnh.

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Photo via Plum Village