I’ve just heard from Angie that the film Walk With Me will be showing at Ryde Commodore on Saturday, February 3rd at 5pm. The film is about Thich Nhat Hahn and is narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch.
It would be great for as many people as possible to be able to see it, so ring round friends re: lift sharing.
“Slow down and breathe. This contemplative journey follows in the steps of Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh and is a rare insight into life within a monastic community. The sun rises. Everything is calm and still. Life is beautifully serene as Benedict Cumberbatch’s composed, meditative voice reads an extract from Thich Nhat Hanh’s early journals. So begins Max Pugh and Marc J Francis’ (Black Gold, LFF2006) fascinating and immersive exploration of what it means to devote one’s life to mindfulness. With unprecedented access to the famous secluded monastery of Plum Village in the South West of France, Walk With Me captures the daily routine and rituals of monks and nuns on a quest to develop a deep sense of presence. It is an insightful rumination on the pursuit of happiness, living in the present and our attachment to material things – a welcome remedy to the stresses of city life and a world in turmoil.”
Laure Bonville, London Film Festival
On the night of Thursday to Friday, December 1st, the old Chartreuse of St-Hugon at Karma Ling Buddhist centre in France was the victim of an arson attack. Fortunately, there were no casualties.
The fire broke out around 1 a.m. on the 1st of December at the south side of the grand temple. The flames spread quickly to the roof and engulfed the rest of the building.
A newsletter posted by Shangpa Karma Ling last weekend revealed that there had been several threats and previous arson attempts at the centre.
“Yesterday morning, exactly one week after the December 1 fire, we received what is likely a third threatening letter from the person who claims to be the perpetrator. This letter claims the burning of the Chartreuse and urges residents to evacuate, at the risk of suffering the consequences of a new attack.”
The newsletter goes on to say…………
“I would also like to encourage you to practice the mantra of the Buddha of Immense Goodness: “Om Mani Padme Hum” associated with a special benevolent dedication intent for the person claiming the fires and continuing to threaten. This person is in great pain and we want to help him or her as much as we can. I personally make prayers and wishes so that he or she become free from any torments.
In these circumstances, let us remember the stanza of the thirty-seven Bodhisattva practices:
“If someone I cherish and protect as my child
Come to think of myself as his enemy,
Just like a mother for her child with an illness
To give him even more affection, such is the practice of a Bodhisattva. “
From heart to heart,
May everything be auspicious.”
Lama Denys Rinpoché
On Sunday the film “Walk with me”, about mindfulness advocate and Zen Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh had its world premiere at SXSW, otherwise known as “South by Southwest” which is an annual conglomerate of film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences that take place in mid-March in Austin, Texas.
Filmed over three years, at Plum Village monastery in rural France and on the road in America, the film is a meditation on a community grappling with existential questions and the everyday routine of monastic life.
As the seasons come and go, the monastics’ pursuit for a deeper connection to themselves and the world around them is amplified by insights from Thich Nhat Hanh’s early journals, narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch.
How should we respond to the events in Paris? As a Buddhist I feel that the only wise, the only skillful response is compassion.
Compassion for the victims, all the victims, the victims of the past, those whose suffering has produced the hatred of the present, the victims of Friday’s terrorist attack, the victims to come and the potential victims who will not be killed, maimed or imprisoned but who will have their compassion killed their humanity maimed and their thoughts and opinions imprisoned in hatred.
The Syrian passport found alongside the dead body of one of the terrorists is significant. ISIS hates the compassion that Europe has shown to the victims of their bloody war; they loath the welcome shown to the refugees in many European countries, how better to sour the succour given than to sow suspicion and distrust precisly when the sheer numbers involved are causing disquiet.
The Buddha said that, “He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,”— in those who harbour such thoughts hatred will never cease. “He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,” — in those who do not harbour such thoughts hatred will cease. For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time: hatred ceases by love, this is an unending truth.” The Dhammapada verses 3 – 5.
The Dalai Lama was once asked why didn’t you fight back against the Chinese. He replied that “war is obsolete, you know. Of course the mind can rationalise fighting back … but the heart, the heart would never understand. Then you would be divided in yourself, the heart and the mind, and the war would be inside you.”
Plum Village has reported that Thich Nhat Hanh has travelled to San Francisco’s UCSF Medical Centre from his monastery in France for intensive rehabilitation, following his stroke last Autumn. The report reiterates the message of Plum Village’s last release, that Thay is recovering remarkably well. While he currently is unable to speak, the report says he was able to walk off the plane himself.