Post date: Dec 26, 2011 5:01:01 PM
Below is letter from Sr. Chan Khong, Thay's senior assistant, requesting your help in the furtherance of the Thich Nhat Hanh Continuation and Legacy Foundation.
Some of us who attended the October retreat with Thay at Blue Cliff may recall the call for help to this Foundation, made by a number of active practitioners. Below I would like to add some personal reflections on the matter, and ask you to further consider contributing to the Foundation if you have not already done so.
As you know, Thay is 85 this year. He is still very active for his age, traveling to the various corners of the world to share the dharma with us. And I have the sense that he will not stop. I recall asking him to work less hard on one occasion a couple of years ago, and he smiled and said that he was only doing the work assigned by "our spiritual ancestors". It seems this sense of duty springs from Thay's compassion and joy, especially when his life's work is bearing more and more concrete fruit as time goes on. The transformations people experience exposed to Thay's teachings are real, and these transformations are possible through meditative practices that reflect the very essence of what the Buddha taught, now made available to us through Thay's profound understanding and creative insights into what the modern world needs and what practices are most suitable for such needs. What we see on the surface are sweet grapes; what we do not readily see is that the roots are a hundred feet deep relentless distilling the essence of the earth for our benefits.
Yet occasionally the vines need to be replanted--it's the law of nature. Despite his tremendous reservoir of energy (which I believe is as much an act of strong will as anything else), one day he will need to rely on his continuation to carry on with the peace work of our spiritual ancestors, work that is all the more necessary today. His continuation would also need to develop the kind of relentless one-hundred-foot deep roots the he has, with the tenacity and insights that he has. For such continuation to be possible, indeed, "for a future to be possible", I would like to add my own request for your help.
Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.
-Thich Nhat Hanh
Dear (Contact First Name),
As a child, James experienced tremendous suffering at the hands
of his father, who had suffered the abuse of his own father. In turn, James hurt his own family, friends and colleagues through verbal, emotional, and sometimes physical violence. He was miserable
and wanted to choose a different path but did not know how.
James read Thich Nhat Hanh's book, "Being Peace". He started practicing mindfully sitting, breathing, and walking. His suffering began to ease and he felt more peaceful. Then, James attended a retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay). He practiced touching the earth with me, listened to Thay, and participated in a Dharma discussion group with people that shared similar painful circumstances.
"My suffering has been transformed. Now I water the seeds of joy
and compassion in my family and the hundreds of people I work with
around the world. I am spreading peace in our world community."
The impact of Thay's teachings and work around the world is powerful, tangible and transformative for thousands of people like you, me and James each year.
Why am I telling you this? Because the world urgently needs peace. And I'm writing you today to join me in helping us reach many more people with Thay's message of compassion and peace.
Please join us by making a monthly or one-time gift to the Thich Nhat Hanh Continuation and Legacy Foundation. Your gift deepens our capacity to bring healing and transformation to our world-it makes a difference.
Your gift will support...
Blue Cliff, Deer Park, and Magnolia Grove Monasteries. Many of us have experienced the deep joy and peacefulness of being at one of these beautiful practice centers. Sadly, we lack the necessary resources to meet the growing demand of attendees, maintain the practice centers and make urgently needed improvements.
Sharing Thich Nhat Hanh's teaching around the world. Thay and the fourfold community share the message of mindfulness and compassion with many different groups including politicians, educators, environmentalists, children and business leaders. This exposure to new audiences helps create a much larger community and mindful impact in the world.
Love and Understanding Program. Recent devastating floods have destroyed rice crops in Vietnam and left many children at risk. Your gift will provide urgently needed funds to replace destroyed clothing, school supplies and food. Children will receive ten dollars to purchase a set of clothes, five notebooks and rice to feed their family.
Supporting monks and nuns in Thailand and Vietnam. There are many brothers and sisters doing essential work while living in primitive conditions. Your support helps them meet their basic needs so that they can continue to help the poor and share the Dharma with the Thai and Vietnamese people.
Online Dharma sharing and publications. Many people are not able to attend retreats and do not have access to a local Sangha. However, through Internet Dharma talks, podcasts, videos, books and journals, millions of people are able to touch the Dharma and learn about mindfulness. If there is a way to communicate the Dharma, we're doing it.
" Don't worry if you feel you can only do one tiny good thing in
one small corner of the cosmos.
Just be a Buddha body in that one place."
-Thich Nhat Hanh
And please know that Thay, the monks and nuns, the world-wide Sangha and all those who benefit, are most grateful for your loving support.
A lotus for you,
Sister Chan Khong
P.S. When you support the work of Thich Nhat Hanh, please consider joining the Thich Nhat Hanh Continuation Fund. By becoming a monthly supporter you ensure the continuation of Thay's work into the future. It's easy for you, and you'll help do even more good in the world.
Thich Nhat Hanh Continuation & Legacy Foundation
2499 Melru Lane
Escondido, California 92026