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aikishrine
08-01-2007, 05:35 AM
I was wondering if anyone has read about his teachings on buddhism, and what you think about him. I find his way of teaching extremely enjoyable i guess, for lack of a better word. So i just wanted to get others feedback if you have read his work. I believe that his thought processes are much the same as O'SENSEI'S
imho.

Fred Little
08-01-2007, 09:14 AM
I was wondering if anyone has read about his teachings on buddhism, and what you think about him. I find his way of teaching extremely enjoyable i guess, for lack of a better word. So i just wanted to get others feedback if you have read his work. I believe that his thought processes are much the same as O'SENSEI'S
imho.

Thich Nhat Hanh's teaching of Mindfulness Meditation has certainly provided a great many people with a useful introduction to Buddhist meditation and ethics.

However, his ethical teachings, his particular emphasis on Socially Engaged Buddhist practice, his status as a fully-ordained monastic, and his personal history in political opposition in his native Vietnam, which includes a very sharp critique of militarism in all of its forms strikes me as quite distinct from that of the Ueshiba, and very distinct from Ueshiba's thought processes, particularly in regard to Ueshiba's emphasis on personal visionary experience of a kind which is often regarded within the Theravada meditation tradition as either unimportant at a minimum, or profoundly wrongheaded at the extreme.

But my view would be that those distinctions are very much to Thich Nhat Hanh's credit.

Best,

FL

Aikibu
08-01-2007, 09:54 AM
I was wondering if anyone has read about his teachings on buddhism, and what you think about him. I find his way of teaching extremely enjoyable i guess, for lack of a better word. So i just wanted to get others feedback if you have read his work. I believe that his thought processes are much the same as O'SENSEI'S
imho.

Some of his Disciples are also Students of our Aikido and one is a Yudansha in Both Iaido and Aikido. I have heard him speak many times and have been honored to meet him,

I admire him greatly and agree with Fred in regard to Roshi Hanh and O'Sensei's "thought processes"

Though I "think" he would prefer to call it "no thought." :D

Here is a link to Sensei Miki's Home Page: http://www.manzanitavillage.org/index.php

She has been with Thich Naht Hanh for many years.

Enjoy :)

William Hazen

Qatana
08-01-2007, 06:16 PM
Fred, could you expand on this , please?

" particularly in regard to Ueshiba's emphasis on personal visionary experience of a kind which is often regarded within the Theravada meditation tradition as either unimportant at a minimum, or profoundly wrongheaded at the extreme."

What do you define as "personal visionary experience"? I was always taught that direct personal experience of the dharma was the intent of meditation practice, and certainly the intent of aikido practice (in that if you don't Do it you won't Get it), so I am clearly not interpreting your words as you intend them.

SeiserL
08-01-2007, 06:39 PM
If his words (and deeds) speaks to you, then we are kindred spirits.
Truly enjoy his work.
Read on.

Fred Little
08-01-2007, 07:14 PM
Fred, could you expand on this , please?

" particularly in regard to Ueshiba's emphasis on personal visionary experience of a kind which is often regarded within the Theravada meditation tradition as either unimportant at a minimum, or profoundly wrongheaded at the extreme."

What do you define as "personal visionary experience"? I was always taught that direct personal experience of the dharma was the intent of meditation practice, and certainly the intent of aikido practice (in that if you don't Do it you won't Get it), so I am clearly not interpreting your words as you intend them.

Sure, Jo.

What I'm thinking of is a number of specific visions (the golden light experience, the purple vapor experience, and some others) to which much importance is attached in the standard hagiographies of the Founder, as well as one or two episodes of spirit possession that witnesses have attested to.

In my limited experience, while direct experience is certainly important in Buddhist practice (and the Soto Zen people in Dogen's line do hold it as a basic truth that one minute of sitting meditation is one minute of being Buddha), it is also important that one neither grasp sat nor push away that experience. And that's the tricky part, innit?

What we see in the case of Deguchi and Ueshiba's hagiographies is a take on these experiences that owes more to primal shamanic traditions in which such visions are reified as sources of personal power than the later Buddhist meditation tradition, in which the point is realizing the essential emptiness of those experiences, and realizing the extent to which they too are not only compound phenomena with no inherent existence, but a particular kind of compound phenomena that often has our own wish fulfillment mechanisms driving them. So the Theravada tradition, of which Thich Nhat Hanh is a fine representative, places strong emphasis on Vipassana or Insight Meditation, which has precise techniques designed to conciously deconstruct mental functioning into these subsidiary tendencies, proclivities, and automatisms, in contrast to the East Asian Mahayana traditions, which tend to place stronger emphasis on Shamatha, or Tranquility/Concentration Meditation. The distinction breaks down if you push it too far, and in reality, both Shamatha and Vipassana techniques are found in varying proportions in almost all Buddhist traditions.

So I would agree with you that on some level, if you don't do it you won't get it. But on another level, until we realize that there's nothing to do and nothing to get, we're still chasing our own tails in the back-alleys of eternity. Because perception and cognition aren't at all the same thing, even though they're closely related.

Best,

FL

dragonteeth
08-01-2007, 07:59 PM
Wow, I almost hate to post my little remarks after that very eloquent post Fred...well said!

However, I would also like to raise my hand as a Thich Nhat Hanh fan. The first of my two favorite books is Living Buddha, Living Christ. In some ways I felt he had a better grasp of some of the truest fundamentals of the Christian faith than many of the Christian theologians and ministers I have met. I also am very glad I read that book because it led me to his friend Thomas Merton's works, whom I have enjoyed thoroughly as well. The second is No Death, No Fear. That book was a wonderful help to me after the sudden death of my husband. I was able to use some of that material as inspiration for analogies that really helped our four year old son come to grips with his father's passing.

As much as I love Thich Nhat Hanh and Thomas Merton, though, I'll always be a Dalai Lama girl at heart! ;)

Qatana
08-01-2007, 09:30 PM
Thanks Fred. My background is in Vipassana, and I have had some pretty mystical experiences that I wasn't looking for and had no choice but to let go of, so I can kind of get behind the visionary practices, so for me, personally, its just a matter of taking a different road to the same place...

Jon Shickel
09-27-2007, 03:10 PM
I know I'm joining this thread a little late, but ...

I see he has many books, which of his would you start with?
I don't have much background in Buddhism if that makes a difference.

Thanks!

aikidoc
09-27-2007, 05:04 PM
Although my orientation tends to be Tibetan and not Zen, I do like his position on engaged Buddhism. There seems to be some influence onf the Myanmar monks currently demonstrating.

Mark Uttech
09-28-2007, 06:06 PM
onegaishimasu. I do not think that Nhat Hanh's thoughts are o par with O Sensei at all. This little monk has written more than 75 books! He is a terrorist to trees.

In gassho,

Mark

Mark Uttech
09-29-2007, 02:33 AM
I know I'm joining this thread a little late, but ...

I see he has many books, which of his would you start with?
I don't have much background in Buddhism if that makes a difference.

Thanks!

Onegaishimasu. "The Miracle of Mindfulness" is one of his early books and is very good. I wonder sometimes if what happened to him is that he simply got carried away and then thought he had to publish every thought and dharma talk? I think it is a common trait to be 'swept away' by our thinking selves. But, "The Miracle of Mindfulness" remains a very good book.

In gassho,

Mark

Mark Uttech
09-29-2007, 02:56 AM
Onegaishimasu. Hmmm. I just double checked. There is an anthology: "A Lifetime of Peace" that was published in 2003. You could save a lot of money by just looking into this.

In gassho,

Mark

kironin
09-29-2007, 08:35 PM
But my view would be that those distinctions are very much to Thich Nhat Hanh's credit.

Best,
FL

Personally, I agree. I was going to say I don't think Ueshiba Sensei holds a candle compared to Thich Nhat Hanh.

Much that many attribute to Ueshiba Sensei doesn't hold up to historical scrutiny.

Jon Shickel
09-29-2007, 08:51 PM
Onegaishimasu. Hmmm. I just double checked. There is an anthology: "A Lifetime of Peace" that was published in 2003. You could save a lot of money by just looking into this.

In gassho,

Mark

Thanks, I got "The Heart of The Buddha's Teaching" for insight into Buddhism and one called Anger. His paperbacks are fairly inexpensive, but I'll look into the anthology if I keep up reading him.

tedehara
09-30-2007, 01:27 PM
...
Much that many attribute to Ueshiba Sensei doesn't hold up to historical scrutiny.Like what? Could you expand on that, maybe give examples?

Mark Uttech
09-30-2007, 06:52 PM
Thanks, I got "The Heart of The Buddha's Teaching" for insight into Buddhism and one called Anger. His paperbacks are fairly inexpensive, but I'll look into the anthology if I keep up reading him.

Onegaishimasu. If you really want to learn about buddhism and the heart of buddhism, you would be much better off reading "Not Always So", the lectures of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, as well as the classic "Zen Mind/Beginner's Mind" also lectures by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. I have used these two books as textbooks for raising a family and teaching aikido, as well as getting myself in gear. So now you know.

In gassho,

Mark

Tomlad
10-01-2007, 11:43 AM
Hi everyone,

I've just joined the Community of Interbeing and am looking forward to starting some classes having read a couple of TNH's books.

FAO: Mark Uttech - in case you haven't already read this you would enjoy "The Crooked Cucumber" a biography of Suzuki Roshi.

Peace:)

Dathan Camacho
10-01-2007, 02:18 PM
Thanks for this thread. Good info.

I've read a little bit that O'sensei wrote, but I feel he was at another level mystically, to the point where some of his writings seem beyond comprehension by mere mortals. Right now I "get" TNH better. Maybe that will change as I learn.

Aikibu
10-01-2007, 04:39 PM
Thanks, I got "The Heart of The Buddha's Teaching" for insight into Buddhism and one called Anger. His paperbacks are fairly inexpensive, but I'll look into the anthology if I keep up reading him.

My Fave is "Peace in every step." :)

William Hazen

Mark Uttech
10-01-2007, 05:03 PM
Hi everyone,

FAO: Mark Uttech - in case you haven't already read this you would enjoy "The Crooked Cucumber" a biography of Suzuki Roshi.

Peace:)

Onegaishimasu. I have 2 copies of 'Crooked Cumber', a hard copy,and a soft copy. It is a wonderful book because, in my view, the autobiography tells of Suzuki Roshi's utter failures as well as his
karmic successes.

In gassho,

Mark

dalen7
10-02-2007, 12:00 AM
I bought his copy "living Budah Living Christ" -
however I related, or was able to extract more from Thomas Mertons book on meditation - seeds of contemplation. (Thomas Merton actually 'recommended' Thich Naht Hanh, and is why I got the book to begin with...a Christian Monk who had no beef with 'questioning' his beliefs and 'hanging' with people of other faiths. Might not seem much, but his milieu isnt necessarily that supportive.

Peace

dAlen

jennifer paige smith
10-02-2007, 08:01 AM
I bought his copy "living Budah Living Christ" -
however I related, or was able to extract more from Thomas Mertons book on meditation - seeds of contemplation. (Thomas Merton actually 'recommended' Thich Naht Hanh, and is why I got the book to begin with...a Christian Monk who had no beef with 'questioning' his beliefs and 'hanging' with people of other faiths. Might not seem much, but his milieu isnt necessarily that supportive.


Peace

dAlen

Slightly off topic, as I venture into Merton land with you, but to me it 'does seem like much that he was hanging out with people of other faiths'. One reason is that 'it' (defined by me here as fundamental religious dogma) is not only an unsupportive milieu, but there is violent backlash for speaking and behaving out of the stream. While I do not advocate for the idea that Thomas Merton was necessarily murdered during his lectures and move toward eastern inclusiveness in Catholic teachings, there was such speculation because of the audacity of his thought and teachings in that regard. A simple act of inclusiveness can be a revolutionary act.

I would also like to add that I love 'Living Buddah, Living Christ". If we could, as a people, embrace living buddah, living christ on a level of 'living aikido' we'd be in better shape..

jennifer paige smith
10-02-2007, 08:12 AM
Like what? Could you expand on that, maybe give examples?

Yes, please. I would also like to hear some examples of this.

dalen7
10-02-2007, 12:28 PM
... but to me it 'does seem like much that he was hanging out with people of other faiths'.

I would also like to add that I love 'Living Buddah, Living Christ". If we could, as a people, embrace living buddah, living christ on a level of 'living aikido' we'd be in better shape..

hmmm...not sure if I catch what your saying, but I think I do.
A quick example from my life about the whole looking into other faiths bit - I grew up in a strict Christian milieu.
I was a missionary for 2 years in a non-denominational organization (operation mobilization) who had presbyterians, baptist, charismatics, etc...though not much of the latter I suppose as those are with Y.W.A.M. usually. - Later in life (2) years ago, I worked with Dr. Charles Stanley (top pastor of the souther baptist convention,etc.) worked there for 4 years at a senior level, interacting with the C.O.O., and Doc himself.

In my whole journey I went from Pentacostal (from my parents church of choice), which dragged me through Charismatic for a few years...then as I was old enough, I ventured out to find the commonality of the protestant religion...so much so I wennt to a mennonite church (have to say, they can cook!)

Ended up going the southern baptist route, however I started to study the roots of the protestant religion...catholicism. And a guy there at In Touch (Dr. Stanleys company), who was a manager, got me interested in Orthodox Christianity as well as Henri Nowen and Thomas Merton.

For all other reading this it may not make sense...but if you grow up in a strong denominational milieu, you will appreciate that I did a lot of 'dangerous' border hopping just by going between Pentacostal and Baptist, and even more so Catholicism and Orthodoxy.

But even further, I studied Judaism (some 7 years now I suppose) - going to the root even further. I have always studied from the more 'mystical' side of these traditions (st. john of the cross for Cahtolics, and sephardic and chassidic kabbalah for Jews) - this in and of itself is like walking in a mind field for an evangelical Christian.

Needless to say, this is a mini bio of sorts - but to come around to your first comment, personally, it was Thomas Mertons ability to reach outside of his milieu, yet keep true to himself (not saying true to what others may believe) but true to his own beliefs, that opened the door more for me to search. Kind of funny, Christians are told to search with all their heart, but yet out of 'fear' they search within their own denomination...not much for going all out and searching with their full heart.

As far as Thich Naht Hanh (to prove Im still on subject), I used to do devotions, and typically I read from Nowen (which the group seemed open to.) Once I chose to read from Living Budah Living Christ, and everyone assumed it was Nowen....

...now, many people shut off if they feel something satanic is going on, which they usually judge by what religion the person they are listening to are in, and not by the substance of the word itself. (for those who dont know, it can be tricky communicating to any fundamental anyone...no matter what religions.) It would be surprising, perhaps to some, to realize that a group could hear Thich Naht and like it, but if you told them who it was before they could make a decision for themselves, who the writing was from...they would probably shut the info off.

So the latter attitude, is one that is not as beneficial for people...its not a sign of true searching, and typically one that represents being in a rut.

I can only imagine how coherent this post will be, as Im typing away rather quickly...so if ti doesnt make sense, dont stress yourself, move on to the next post. :)

Peace

dAlen

- edit: after reading through my post again...it was indeed a very rought draft/ rough read.
sorry about typos, etc. Dont think I have much time to fix it, as editing post have a limit.
But the gist of what I wanted to say is in there, and can be extracted by those who need to do so. :)