Mindful of the present

By MAJORIE CHIEW, The Star, August 10, 2010

Zen master and Nobel Prize nominee to talk on his philosophy in Malaysian tour

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- RENOWNED Vietnamese Buddhist monk and poet Thich Nhat Hanh, 84, leads retreats worldwide on the art of mindful living. He believes that we can learn to live in the present moment through “mindfulness”, rather than in the past and future. That is his key teaching.

<< The path of peace: Vietnamese Buddhist monk Ven Thich Nhat Hanh continues to be active in the peace movement, promoting non-violent solutions to conflict.

“Dwelling in the present moment is the only way to truly develop peace, both in one’s self and in the world,” said Nhat Hanh, a Zen master and Nobel Peace Prize nominee.

Fondly called Thây (Vietnamese for teacher) by his students, Nhat Hanh, who’s also a peace and human rights activist, lives in exile in Plum Village which he founded in 1982 in southwestern France. In this Buddhist “meditation community”, he teaches, writes and works to help refugees worldwide.

He will be in Malaysia for the first time to conduct a Mindfulness Retreat: The Walk Of Peace And Joy at Tiara Beach Resort in Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan, from Sept 15 to19; a free public lecture entitled This Is A Happy Moment, from 8pm to 10pm at Phor Tay High School at Sungai Dua, Penang, on Sept 21; and a Mindfulness Retreat: Becoming Truly Alive at Tunku Abdul Rahman College, Setapak, Selangor, on Sept 24 (thichnhathanh.my). Nhat Hanh will deliver his keynote address on Living In Harmony: When Things Fall Apart during the World Buddhist Conference at Hotel Istana, Kuala Lumpur, from Sept 25 to 26.

Born on Oct 11, 1926 in central Vietnam, he became a Zen monk at the age of 16 and was ordained in 1949. Nhat Hanh founded the “Engaged Buddhism” movement in which he practises meditation and dedicates his life to helping others. He coined the term in his book Vietnam: Lotus In A Sea Of Fire.

In the early 60s, he founded the School of Youth Social Service (SYSS), a relief organisation in Saigon that rebuilt bombed villages, set up schools and medical centres, resettled families left homeless in the Vietnam war and organised agricultural cooperatives. With some 10,000 student volunteers, SYSS based its work on the Buddhist principles of non-violence and compassionate action.

Despite government denunciation of his activity, Nhat Hanh also founded a Buddhist University, a publishing house and an influential peace activist magazine in Vietnam. He created the (non-Zen) Order of Interbeing in 1966, establishing monastic and practice centres around the world.

After visiting the United States and Europe on a peace mission, he was banned from returning to Vietnam in 1966.

His lifelong efforts to generate peace moved Nobel Peace Prize winner Martin Luther King Jr to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967. Subsequently, Nhat Hanh led the Buddhist delegation to the Paris Peace Talks.

In September 2001, just a few days after the suicide terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, he addressed the issues of non-violence and forgiveness in a memorable speech at Riverside Church in New York City.

In September 2003, he addressed members of the US Congress, leading them through a two-day retreat. He is recognised for his works with Vietnam veterans, meditation retreats and his prolific writings on meditation, mindfulness and peace. Nhat Hanh has published more than 100 books including more than 40 in English. Among his best-selling works are Call Me By My True Names, Peace Is Every Step, Being Peace, Touching Peace, Living Buddha Living Christ, Teachings On Love, The Path Of Emancipation and Anger.

On long-term exile, he was permitted to make his first trip back to Vietnam in 2005, where he has returned regularly since. He continues to be active in the peace movement, promoting non-violent solutions to conflict.

We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Omniscient Robotic-Being for Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB
Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB
Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv. Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/norbuchatbot. Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv