using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : January 2016
THICH NHAT HANH finally saw his homeland again on Janu- ary 11, 2005. Now a world-renowned Buddhist teacher, he was allowed to return after lengthy negotiations with the communist government of Vietnam. He was accompanied on the trip by members of the Order of Interbeing—founded forty-one years earlier in wartime Saigon—and other students. He focused on making Buddhism relevant to younger gener- ations. He called for gender equality in Vietnamese Buddhism. He published four of his books in Vietnamese. Two temples were reestablished with Nhat Hanh as their spiritual head, and hundreds of young people asked to become his monastic stu- dents. Prajna Monastery, not far from Phuong Boi, became their training monastery. But it was the same story as decades earlier in South Viet- nam—the communist government was worried that so many people, particularly young, educated people, were drawn to Nhat Hanh’s teachings. In turn, some Buddhists feared the gov- ernment would use the trip to give the appearance of religious freedom while abuses continued. The Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam, which was technically illegal, called on Nhat Hanh to criticise the lack of religious freedom. When Thich Nhat Hanh made his second trip to Vietnam for three months of teachings, retreats, and ceremonies in 2007, his focus was on healing the wounds of the war suffered on both sides. “If we don’t transform the suffering and wounds now, they will be transmitted to the next generation,” he told the Vietnamese people. “They will suffer and they will not understand why. It’s better to do something right away to transform the suffering.” Nhat Hanh led groups of up to 10,000 on meditation retreats and gave talks in temples packed with people who braved the government’s disapproval of religious display. The centerpiece of the trip were the “Great Ceremonies of Healing,” also called “Grand Requiem Masses.” Nhat Hanh led three-day healing ceremonies in three cities—one in the north, one in the central region, and one in the south—and thousands of Vietnamese participated. People around the world were invited to recognize the millions who had died in the war, and even communists were welcome to read from texts that celebrated humanity. During this visit, Nhat Hanh met with the president of Vietnam and made specific proposals for more religious free- dom, including dissolving the corrupt and unpopular religious police. He published these proposals and returned to Vietnam a third time as a keynote speaker at the 2008 United Nations Vesak Celebrations held in Hanoi. This time there was a backlash. Within weeks, the govern- ment began taking steps against Prajna Monastery, which had grown to more than five hundred young monks and nuns in the four years since Nhat Hanh’s first visit. Over the following months, the government cut off water, electricity, and phone lines to the monastery, subjected monastics to physical and sexual abuse, and sent in paid mobs who threw feces at the monks. In December, 2009, all the monks and nuns were forcibly dispersed from Prajna Monastery. Today, there is no practice centre in Vietnam in the Plum Village tradition. Return to Vietnam: 2005–2008 PHOTO[L]BYKATECUMMINGS,[R]BYVELCROWRIPPER Left: In Saigon, Thich Nhat Hanh conducts one of three Grand Requiem Masses to heal the wounds of both sides in the Vietnam War. Tens of thousands of Vietnamese attended the ceremonies. Above: Sister Chan Khong with children at a Plum Village school near Prajna Monastery. The community established free Buddhist-inspired schools in remote villages where children had no access to education. SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2016 50