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Thursday, April 5

A Tribute to Life Favorite: Brother Thầy

It was only four years ago that I first realized how incredible Thich Nhat Hanh (also known as Brother Thầy) is as a Buddhist figure.  This was totally by accident as I, so appropriately, returned home from an evening yoga class.  I had tuned into the local NPR station and happened to catch part of a program he recorded with Krista Tippet on the American Public Media program, On Being.  The program was titled, "Brother Thầy: A Radio Pilgrimage with Thich Nhat Hanh."   The feeling that accompanied that small bit of listening is almost indescribable, but the the strongest feeling was that of peace.  I immediately went to the NPR web site to search out the full recording in order to reap the benefits of listening to all of it.

Brother Thầy was born in Vietnam and entered a monestary at the young age of 16.  His humanitarian work began as he assisted the School of Youth for Social Services, a grassroots organization, in its efforts to rebuild and provide relief for Vietnam in lieu of the state of war.  Since then, he has done a tremendous amount of work worldwide, promoting peace and educating people from all sorts of backgrounds on the foundations of Buddhism and the importance of mindfulness.  In 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the best known civil rights activists to live, nominated Hanh for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Brother Thầy's work has been tireless, as he has opened up the world of Buddhism, meditation and mindfulness to the Western world.  He has educated through the establishment of the Order of Interbeing as well as more than one hundred books and frequent talks.  I have read at least a few of his books, including The Energy of Prayer, Peace is Every Step and You Are Here, and whether you're searching out a peaceful escape from a busy life or in need of some serious decompression from stress, these are incredibly insightful readings.  There are also several podcasts available on iTunes and audiobooks as well. 

Brother Thầy's perspective is unique to this modern-day world and encourages tolerance, understanding and non-violent solutions to conflict.  I think all of these are very admirable goals and can think of more than just a few instances in current world events in which they could all be very helpful.

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