A Zen Monk’s Letter to Adam Lanza

Calligraphy : Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

Dear Reader —————What if you wrote a letter to Adam Lanza : what might you say ?Here's one, from a young man who grew up at 22 Lake Road, Newtown, Connecticut. Born Douglas Bachman, he's now a Buddhist monk, named Phap Luu, teaching applied ethics and the art of mindful living to students and school teachers. He lives in Plum Village Monastery, in Thenac, France.   Dear Adam,Let me start by saying that I wish for you to find peace. It would be easy just to call … [Read more...]

OPEN LETTER : Taking a Stand Against Islamaphobia

BOSTON / LOS ANGELES — This Open Letter comes to us via Joshua Eaton, a journalist writing about Buddhism, religion and politics, poverty, and the American South. He is also a Tibetan translator. Also, Rev. Danny Fisher, a professor and Coordinator of the Buddhist Chaplaincy Department at University of the West (and no stranger to Patheos) collaborated on it in key ways.The letter's motivated by recent news reports, as well as a long-standing, deep-rooted sense of social justice. This being R … [Read more...]

What If You Knew You Had Only 10l,000 Days Left To Live?

SAN FRANCISCO. Peter Baumann is one of the great adventurers of our time. Early in his career, he was an innovator in electronic music, associated first with Tangerine Dream with whom he toured the globe. Then, after another decade as CEO of a record company, he was drawn to a differnt adventure. Sometime during the dawn of this new millennium, it sems, he'd realized he'd had about 10,000 days left to live. At least, according to actuarial tables.So he embarked on an adventure "not on any … [Read more...]

Feel Cared About

When Have People Been Caring? The Practice: Feel cared about.  Why?Everyone knows what it's like to care about someone. Remember being with a friend, a mate, a pet: you feel warmly connected, and want him or her not to suffer and to be happy.On the other hand, you've probably had the sense, one time or another, of not being cared about. That you didn't matter to another person, or to a group of people. Maybe they weren't actively against you, but they sure weren't for you.As soon as you … [Read more...]

Be Friendly

Friend or Foe? The Practice: Be friendly. Why?Friendliness is a down-to-earth approach to others that is welcoming and positive.Think about a time when someone was friendly to you - maybe drawing you into a gathering, saying hello on the sidewalk, or smiling from across the room. How did that make you feel? Probably more included, comfortable, and at ease; safer; more open and warm-hearted.When you are friendly to others, you offer them these same benefits. Plus you get rewarded yourself. … [Read more...]

Have Compassion

Do You Care? The Practice: Have compassion. Why?Compassion is essentially the wish that beings not suffer - from subtle physical and emotional discomfort to agony and anguish - combined with feelings of sympathetic concern.You could have compassion for an individual (a friend in the hospital, a co-worker passed over for a promotion), groups of people (victims of crime, those displaced by a hurricane, refugee children), animals (your pet, livestock heading for the slaughterhouse), and … [Read more...]

Relax, You’ve Arrived – Just One Thing

Are we there yet? The Practice Relax, you've arrived. Why?We spend so much of our time trying to get somewhere.Part of this comes from our biological nature. To survive, animals - including us - have to be goal-directed, leaning into the future.It's certainly healthy to pursue wholesome aims, like paying the rent on time, raising children well, healing old pain, or improving education.But it's also important to see how this focus on the future - on endless striving, on getting the … [Read more...]


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