One Buddha is Not Enough: A Story of Collective Awakening
Thich Nhat Hanh
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How do we learn to believe in ourselves and not just rely on our spiritual teachers? This question often directly posed to Thich Nhat Hanh as "Who will be your successor?" was answered in August of 2009 when over a thousand people came to Colorado to spend a week with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh only to find he was in the hospital and wouldn’t be able to lead the retreat. The result of this event is One Buddha Is Not Enough, a book on how to become your own teacher and create your own community where you might least expect it.
One Buddha Is Not Enough offers fresh and original insight from emerging Buddhist teachers on topics such as how to handle grief, strengthen our relationships, deal with anger and other strong emotions, and find happiness in the present moment. Through letters, stories, poems, calligraphies, and photographs, Thich Nhat Hanh shares his unique insights on illness, health, and different healing modalities.
Far-reaching in its implication and tremendously encouraging, One Buddha Is Not Enough is a true expression of American Buddhism: We all already contain all the insight and wisdom we need. We are surrounded by the people who can help us on our journey. Sometimes all it takes is a wake up call to remind us of what we are capable of.
more than enough conditions of happiness present.” “Look deeply for the source of ill-being.” Make a personal diagnosis and taste the truth cultivated with mindful awareness, concentration, and insight. As our teacher responsibly accepted his diagnosis and received a full course of antibiotics, monastic friends offered insightful talks and lessons with words of joy, hope, and healing. We experienced Thay through his continuation, his students. Perhaps it was the thin, high-altitude air that also
ourselves from there. Go to our room. We can say, “I need to take a break, because I’m going to get very angry.” This is one thing I wish all young people would learn, how to handle their feelings. Sometimes when we’re feeling sad, we can do that. We can take care of it. Go sit and belly breathe. In, out. In, out. Another gift I’d like to share with you involves our two hands. We can do this when our mom and dad come home. With our joined palms we make a flower that’s blooming. So when we greet
But I sure wasn’t. Within a microsecond of my mind comprehending the impossible—Thich Nhat Hanh not here!—the following flashed through my head, in no particular order: WHAT!!!???? He’s not HERE? What the heck? What is going on? He’s not coming to the RETREAT? And what are we supposed to DO? He’s the only reason I came! NOW what? He’s not HERE!? And so on. It doesn’t take much to conjure up the vastness and intensity of complaint. Talk about your monkey mind. It was a jungle in there—in my head,
Sister Chau Nghiem: The feeling of missing someone can be a nice feeling. If someone has died before we were born and we didn’t get to know them, we can still feel connected to them. We can even miss them. Maybe people share with us what they knew about that person and pass on what they loved about that person to us. Then we have the same memories, we can picture that person, and we love them through the love our mother and our father or other family members have for that person. My mother’s
suffering, we can also help them to heal that in our own life through our own peaceful practice of breathing and walking. If we feel we missed something because we didn’t get to meet that person, we can talk to them about that. We can make a vase of flowers and offer it as a gift to that person, because that person’s always there in us. Question: I recently had a conversation with a woman police officer who spoke about her frustration with being unable to change the culture at her work.