Thich Nhat Hanh

Zen Buddhist monk, poet and author of many books (more than 130, including Vietnam: a lotus in a sea of fire; There is neither death nor fear; The Fullness of the moment, living in full consciousness; Peace in itself, peace on the move.), Thich Nhat Hanh is a tireless peace activist who traveled the world and founded many religious and social institutions.

He is affectionately nicknamed Thay, which means “teacher” in Vietnamese.

Thich Nhat Hanh in 2007 in Vietnam

Youth and ordination

Born in French Indochina (now Vietnam) in 1926, Thich Nhat Hanh has been a Zen Buddhist monk since 1942, when he was 16 years old.

In his youth, he befriended a French soldier who wondered about the usefulness of war. Thich Naht Han was against the Vietnam War and did not want to take sides.

Vietnam War and exile

In 1961, he went to study at Princeton University in the USA, in 1963 he returned to his country and founded a non-violent resistance movement to war.

Accused of communist propaganda, he was forced into exile from 1967. He obtained the right of asylum in France.

Also in 1967, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King, but the prize was not awarded that year.

Martin Luther King born in Georgia (USA) in 1929 and assassinated in 1968
is a nonviolent activist for the civil rights movement

Plum village in France

In 1982, he settled in the southwest of France, and founded Plum village, the largest Buddhist monastery in the West.

In this Buddhist community, which has 200 resident members and welcomes 10,000 visitors a year, many practices are taught: the art of mindful living, meditation, inner smiling and conscious breathing.

End of life of Thich Nhat Hanh

In 2005 he returned to Vietnam, to the temple of Tu Hieu in Huê, where he had begun his career as a monk, and he died there in 2022 at the age of 95.

Some quotes from Thay, Thich Nhat Hanh

“The miracle is not walking on water, it is walking green Earth in the present moment and appreciating the beauty and peace that is available now.”

“It is very important to know how to listen with compassion. To listen with compassion is to listen with the will to relieve the other of his suffering, without judging him or seeking argument.

“Meditation is not escaping from society, but coming back to ourselves and seeing what is happening. Once you see, you have to act. With mindfulness, we know what to do and what not to do to help.”

“Christians are my brothers. I don’t want to make them new Buddhists. I want to help them deepen their own tradition. »

Bhumibol, King of Thaïland

The death of King of Thailand plunged the country into uncertainty.

The king of Thailand RAMA IX aka Bhumibol Adulyadej, was born on December 5, 1927 and died on Thursday, October 13, 2016. He ruled over Thailand for 70 years. His dynasty, the Rama dynasty, succeeded the dynasty of the kings of Ayutthaya and Bangkok was established as the capital of the kingdom in 1782.

Bhumibol is revered like a demigod and his portrait is omnipresent in all homes. 90% of the population had only him as a ruler, he held a central role in the unification of the country.

The designated successor is his only son Maha Vajiralongkorn. He is not very popular because of his erratic personality and lack of commitment. Most Thai people would prefer to see his sister,Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, on the throne

The troubled political context of the country:

After a strong economic growth in the 85’s -95’s, Thailand was among the four dragons of South East Asia, nowadays the country is experiencing a troubled politicalclimate.

The relations between the army, the royalist “yellow shirts” and the pro-democratic “red shirts” are often violent. The country is plagued by coups, internet censorship and the imprisonment of journalists and opponents.

Any unfavorable opinion towards the king or his family is punished as a crime of lese majesty according to the Thai constitution. Its authority and legitimacy are truly immutable. The King is the symbolic father of all Thai people.

By tradition, Father’s Day is set on the king’s birthday (therefore on December 5 since 1946) and it is the same for Mother’s Day.

Following the death of the king, the entire country was grieving. A mourning period of one year was declared after which the new sovereign will be crowned.

I convey my condolences to the Thai people for this difficult moment in their history, which I am sure they will be able to face with the wisdom that characterizes them.

The significance of the lotus

Brahma , the creator , was born in a lotus , a symbol of the origin of the event.

The lotus ( Padma in Sanskrit) is the sacred flower of Buddhism and Hinduism.

Out of the mud , it rises towards the light and represents the elevation and spiritual realization .

It serves as a throne to the deities .

symbol of beauty , purity and elegance, it is also the national flower of India .

The Lotus Temple in New Delhi, India, is an architectural curiosity lotus flower shape about to hatch. The temple is to be universal and open to all religions . People don’t necessarily  perform a particular ritual , there often come just meditate in silence and an open their heart.

The lotus symbolizes the heart or the divine office and the chakras, which are also called the lotus, or wheels. The wheel is a stylized lotus , or from the center and returns to the center .

In yoga, the position of the lotus (padmasana) is a symbol of meditation and enlightenment.

The teachings of Buddhism

“My mind is either my worst enemy or my best friend”

Take control of your mind by meditating to deprogram yourself.

Get rid of negativity in the form of anxiety, discomfiture, greed, hatred, ignorance, fear, or anger by familiarizing yourself with positive states of mind: contentment, patience, kindness and wisdom.

Stay calm and accept the events that you have no control of, and eventually you will be in harmony with the universe.

A fundamental concept that teaches Buddhism is the impermanence of all things and itt is therefore important to not get too attached to anyone or anything

“Do not want what you already have! ”

Know yourself more through the spiritual development and you can look inside you and know who you really are.

“He who is a master of himself is greater than he who masters the world. ”

More information, and Buda statues for sale on my webshop Arasia.
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The Happy Buddha, buddha of prosperity

The Buddha of prosperity or the Happy Buddha is not to be confused with Siddhartha Gautama, who is also called the Thai Buddha or the historical Buddha!

Its origin dates back to the tenth century in China , during the Liang dynasty where a Buddhist monk named Budai (pronounced boudaye ) was appointed as an incarnation of Maitreya , the Buddha of the future.

Budai was paunchy, jovial, kind and generous. He is often depicted with a bag of valuables or with a jar full of wine!

Nowadays it is found in almost all Oriental homes, and it is considered a lucky charm, both material and spiritual prosperity. It is said that rubbing his belly brings richness and fulfillment.

His blessed nature, pudgy physique and his eternal smile has made him the quintessential god of abundance and happiness!

The Buddha of prosperity in hand-carved wood by Balinese artisans is available at Arasia.

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