The Huffington Post recently visited a monastery in southern France to interview Buddhist monks and nuns and ask for their advice on how best to deal with President Trump.
Vietnam war activist and renowned Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh is an advocate of mindfulness and non violence.
The Huffington Post interviewed the nuns and monks who practise Engaged Buddhism at the 90-year-old Zen master’s Plum Village monastery in southern France.
What they learnt opened their minds. The fact that the world around us defines us and we define the world, hence all is one.
Donald Trump is a product of the environment and at the moment that environment is toxic and volatile.
Emotions may trump the mind in important matters.
Brother Phap Dung told HuffPo that we all have “elements of Trump in us.”
Heat Street reports:
Huff Po evidently thought that visiting the monastery of Thich Nhat Hanh, who pioneered the Engaged Buddhism idea and is a leading social and environmental activist, would give them much-needed insight on how to ramp up the resistance.
Except what they found doesn’t exactly seem to be what they wanted to hear. For example, Sister Peace, a nun at the monastery, Plum Village, who previously worked in the office of the mayor of Washington, stressed the need to “recognize, listen to and embrace” the other point of view—an approach hardly prioritized by Huff Po of late.
Sister Peace said: “If we can be strong in ourselves, then we could offer a resistance that is nonviolent. But that means that we ourselves are at a place where we can have that recognition and we can offer that to another. And that is a great, great source of love and having the other feel they’re being recognized and listened to and embraced.”
Brother Phap Dung, a monk at Plum Village and previously an architect based in Los Angeles, stressed the virtues of “non-action,” again something that will be anathema to many Never Trumpers who are declaring war on the President.
“Non-action sometimes is very powerful,” Brother Phap Dung pronounced. “Sometimes we underestimate someone sitting very calm, very solid and not reacting and that they can touch a place of peace, a place of love, a place of nondiscrimination. That is not inaction.”
Brother Phap Dung also added that (shock! Horror!) everybody has “elements of Trump in us.” He said: “We have the wrong perception that we are separate from the other,” he said. “So in a way Trump is a product of a certain way of being in this world so it is very easy to have him as a scapegoat. But if we look closely, we have elements of Trump in us and it is helpful to have time to reflect on that.”
Huff Po‘s Resistance Army of readers took exception to the piece in the comments section. “So easy when you are not living it 24/7 and one can just remove oneself,” fumed Tracy Richards-Pelle.
Katelynn Marie Sommers wrote: “He [Trump] is totally messing with my zen thing, man.”
The Huffington Post probably won’t be returning to Plum Village in a while.
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