Thich Nhat Hanh

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MattiV
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Thich Nhat Hanh

Post by MattiV » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:40 pm

What is exactly the the significance of Thich Nhat Hanh from the Zen Buddhist point of view? Many of his books have been translated into Finnish, my native language. What is his standing? I'm not questioning his authenticity as a teacher but he seems to be all over the place. So, if I want to learn about Zen Buddhism as a way of life, as a way of practice, is he a reliable guide? Or is he a proponent of a conglomerate of various of traditions - which I would find confusing? I mean mean well, I don't want criticize him just for the sake of being critical. I'm not qualified to do that.

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fuki
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Re: Thich Nhat Hanh

Post by fuki » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:29 pm

MattiV wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:40 pm
What is exactly the the significance of Thich Nhat Hanh from the Zen Buddhist point of view? Many of his books have been translated into Finnish, my native language. What is his standing? I'm not questioning his authenticity as a teacher but he seems to be all over the place. So, if I want to learn about Zen Buddhism as a way of life, as a way of practice, is he a reliable guide? Or is he a proponent of a conglomerate of various of traditions - which I would find confusing? I mean mean well, I don't want criticize him just for the sake of being critical. I'm not qualified to do that.
There's a nice 2017 doc about him and plum village called "walk with me" I just saw it a few days ago. I'm not affiliated but I adviced a friend in München to go practise under his tradition because I thought it would suit his character, to learn about Zen Buddhism in daily life I'd say he's an excellent guide no doubt. But you can only know if you try. Seeing the documentary might also give you an impression about his tradition.
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen nederland.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

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Fu Ri Shin
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Re: Thich Nhat Hanh

Post by Fu Ri Shin » Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:13 pm

Thich Nhat Hanh is a curious figure in that he rarely addresses his lineage and instead opts for a kind of pan-Buddhist approach. He hails from Lam Te Thien, the Vietnamese branch of Linji Chan. The only written work I'm aware of wherein he steps away from his usual non-sectarian mode and directly pulls from his tradition is Zen Keys. If memory serves, that book is quite true to the name and even contains several gong'an/koan. He gives what is called "lamp transmission" to authorize teachers, but it is unclear whether that is a continuity of his Lam Te Thien lineage.

I personally am no longer drawn to him as I once was, but he is obviously a dedicated practitioner of the highest order.
Know that in a remote place in a cloud-covered valley
There is still a sacred pine that passes through the chill of ages.

— Taiso Josai Daishi

SunWuKong
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Re: Thich Nhat Hanh

Post by SunWuKong » Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:57 pm

Fu Ri Shin wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:13 pm
Thich Nhat Hanh is a curious figure in that he rarely addresses his lineage and instead opts for a kind of pan-Buddhist approach. He hails from Lam Te Thien, the Vietnamese branch of Linji Chan. The only written work I'm aware of wherein he steps away from his usual non-sectarian mode and directly pulls from his tradition is Zen Keys. If memory serves, that book is quite true to the name and even contains several gong'an/koan. He gives what is called "lamp transmission" to authorize teachers, but it is unclear whether that is a continuity of his Lam Te Thien lineage.

I personally am no longer drawn to him as I once was, but he is obviously a dedicated practitioner of the highest order.
Yes the documents say Lam Te Dhyana. There's a number of things in his approach which are classically Thein, and other things that are uniquely Thich Nhat Hanh.

Interpreting Pure Land teaching as "This Present Moment" and "Going Home" are historically Thein.

Using "Interbeing" vs. "Emptiness" in translating "Sunyata" is traditional, and it shows the HuaYen school influence in Vietnam.

Seeing all things as Sentient Buddha-Nature goes back to the First Patriarch in Vietnam, "According to traditional accounts of Vietnam, in 580, an Indian monk named Vinītaruci (Vietnamese: Tì-ni-đa-lưu-chi) traveled to Vietnam after completing his studies with Sengcan, the third patriarch of Chinese Chán. This, then, would be the first appearance of Vietnamese Thiền Buddhism." - wikipedia. Vinītaruci was Indian from the Swat Valley of whats now Afghnistan.

The sitting meditation used is from Anpanasati Sutta (Theravada style) and Ekottara Agama - "In the second century, the Buddhist monk An Shigao came from Northwest India to China and became one of the first translators of Buddhist scriptures into Chinese. He translated a version of the Ānāpānasmṛti Sūtra between 148 and 170 CE. This version is a significantly longer text than what appears in the Ekottara Āgama, and is entitled, "The Great Ānāpānasmṛti Sūtra" (Ch. 大安般守意經) (Taishō Tripiṭaka 602)."

He was expelled from Vietnam for his efforts to encourage diplomacy. He has a longish activist record as a peace-maker and engaged Buddhist. He coined the term "engaged" after John Paul Sartre's usage of the term.

He translates from Chinese directly, but draws from other language sources as well.

He was one of the two teachers of Jon Kabat Zinn, who was the first to develop the system called "Mindfulness Meditation." Kabat-Zinn's other teacher was the founder of Kwan Um. Thich Naht Hanh teaches Mindfulness in a non-sectarian Buddhist fashion. It's not secular.

He is perhaps closer to Ch'an than he is to Zen, there's not a lot of Japanese influence. However, he uses Zen in book titles in the vernacular sense of the word, which i think is a valid use.

It's not really "all over the map" as much as it's "broad and varied," typical of Buddhism from Buddhist countries.

And it's one one community amongst many from Vietnam, its worth exploring the others for compare/contrast

yours,
Eric "Peaceful Contentment" Hansen
"We are magical animals that roam" ~ Roam

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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: Thich Nhat Hanh

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:19 pm

Just a side note that Thich Nhat Hanh's book on Pure Land is in some ways at odds with Pure Land schools in general, or even a Thien approach as exemplified by other teachers like Thich Thien Tam.
It's his own broad base approach like Living Buddha Living Christ where he interprets a school in line with his own broad approach.

That seems to be the tricky point with TNH. He has a wide appeal because his books are a bit general, which can be frustrating if you're hoping to delve into a teaching or practice in-depth.

SunWuKong
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Re: Thich Nhat Hanh

Post by SunWuKong » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:46 pm

Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:19 pm
Just a side note that Thich Nhat Hanh's book on Pure Land is in some ways at odds with Pure Land schools in general, or even a Thien approach as exemplified by other teachers like Thich Thien Tam.
It's his own broad base approach like Living Buddha Living Christ where he interprets a school in line with his own broad approach.

That seems to be the tricky point with TNH. He has a wide appeal because his books are a bit general, which can be frustrating if you're hoping to delve into a teaching or practice in-depth.
Yep, he has his own opinions like we all do.

He is also one of the originators of Mindfulness Meditation, in collaboration with John-Kabat Zinn who was researching at MIT. This spread to Insight Meditation Society when they landed fresh off the boat with freshly minted papers from Sayadaws in Burma.

His application and development of Mindfulness Practices is uniquely Thich Naht Hahn too, stressing very soft and slow positive energy sitting, guided meditation, body scan, walking meditation, qigong, mindful eating, washing dishes etc.

just a FYII
"We are magical animals that roam" ~ Roam

Sentient Light
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Re: Thich Nhat Hanh

Post by Sentient Light » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:42 pm

I think it's worth mentioning that the way TNH teaches in English is very different from the way he teaches in Vietnamese. When he teaches in English, I think he's always considering his reach and potential audience. So he words things in very interesting ways that can sound pretty misleading.

The interesting thing is that when you listen to his advanced students give teachings, they're mostly very traditional, and are capable of teaching and discussing very complex subjects on abhidharma, sravakayana doctrine, koans, and so forth.

I've heard him speak of both Amitabha Buddha and Quan Am Bo Tat very matter-of-factly, and while he does tend to favor teaching the Pure Land as manifest of a purified mind in the manner of other "purely" Thien teachers, he also doesn't hesitate to speak about rebirth in the Pure Land, training under the bodhisattvas in the next life, etc.
:buddha1: Nam mô A di đà Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Quan Thế Âm Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Đại Thế Chi Bồ Tát :bow:

:buddha1: Nam mô Bổn sư Thích ca mâu ni Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Di lặc Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Địa tạng vương Bồ tát :bow:

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