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.
put a man on a pedestal and hoped that being near him would somehow make me an enlightened being. I had forgotten that I’ve had the Buddha in me the whole time. I’d falsely assumed I could get that from him. For a period of time, I’d lost my way. Mornings started out with a beautiful Dharma talk aimed mostly toward the children for the first hour. Then they would head up to their program and the last hour was for us big kids. Children are treated so well there, always having a spot in the front
come from a wonderful book written by our teacher, Thay, Old Path White Clouds. I think it’s my favorite book, and if you haven’t read it, try to read it or ask your parents to read it to you. I usually give them a choice of different kinds of stories I can tell: either about me and their dad when we were little, or true stories of animals helping people. But invariably they always want to hear stories about the Buddha. So I just share story after story until they fall asleep. One night, I was so
a week longer!” So I think the quiet peace that we generate together is really what brings happiness and makes them content. It’s possible to be happy without doing anything. You don’t have to always have a game to play, or friends to talk to, or a place to go, or something to watch on the TV. In our daily life, we sometimes feel we must always be doing something, consuming something, taking something in with our eyes or our ears. At a retreat we have the chance to find a deeper happiness that
the apple too, just like the Buddha is in the bell. So let’s do an exercise. Here’s the apple. What else do you see in the apple? Sunshine, rain, hard work, water, soil, the farmer, trees, leaves, snow. (In Vietnam we can’t grow apples, it’s too hot!) What else do you see? Seeds, the universe, flowers. You see a lot of different things in the apple, and that is the insight of interbeing. This apple cannot be without all the things that we’ve mentioned. The apple cannot be without rain, without
Everyday Life by Alexis Roberts As in water, the glint of sunlight, or the silent seasons of the moon, our bodies carry memory. And longing. Whether the Aboriginal bull roarers swinging voices of the spirits or the trance dances of Bushmen, we look for the opening beyond ourselves that we might touch the four elements, bow to the four directions. Put down the stories you carry. They are not the stars burning through. Let go the territory of self or miss the single falling leaf.