A Day in the Moment of a Modern Zen Monk

Zen’s ancient teachings seem a mystery to many. But actually, Zen is very simple: Zen means attaining my true self — “What am I?” In this revolutionary film by acclaimed filmmaker Christine Schmitthenner, we see a Western Zen monk in his daily activities in the world: chanting, meditating, preparing breakfast, riding public transport, meeting with friends, even shaving his head — from moment to moment, not attached to conceptual thinking, everything is Zen, which just means everything is “moment.” The subject of this unusual film, Hyon Gak Sunim, allowed filmmakers to follow his daily living and teaching activities for a week as he met with students and organized his daily activities. Sunim is widely recognized as one of the most influential Zen monks in modern Korean Buddhist history, a graduate of Yale and Harvard who entered the monastic life in 1992 and has done over 20 years of intensive Zen training in the ancient Zen temples of Korea. His enlightenment was certified (“inka”) in a public ceremony in 2001 by his teacher, the legendary Zen Master Seung Sahn (1927-2004). Now based in the West, he wanders the world, teaching wherever invited.

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Archbishop Tutu on “The Jewels of Happiness” by Sri Chinmoy

The Jewels of Happiness is a book by Sri Chinmoy, full of inspiring wisdom and sayings to help us lead a better life. Recently, several distinguished public figures have read different chapters for a new audio book. In this video, Desmond Tutu offers an enthusiastic and warm introduction to the book and how it can help us all in our journey of personal transformation. As Desmond Tutu says:

“…The Jewels of happiness will inspire you to become who you truly are – a shining child in God’s big family. In sweet and heartfelt words, Sri Chinmoy tells us that we are made for togetherness for fellowship, for oneness and for peace. These chapters fill us with indomitable hope  and enthusiasm for life…”

Bells of Mindfulness with Vietnamese Nun

Sister Dang Nhiem is a nun at Deer Park Monastery in Escondido, CA. She practices Zen Buddhism in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. Sister D shows us the proper way to invite the sound of the bell. She also teaches us how to cultivate that peacefulness when we hear noises that might otherwise cause stress.

What will happen on 21st December 2012?

Ac Tah, of the Mayan people, gave a talk in Santa Monica last month. In this exert he speaks about what is happening around December 21st 2012 and it’s significance to the world. His heritage is authentic.

2012 Spiritual Planetary Summit in Mexico

The 2012 Spiritual Planetary Summit (December 18-23) in Yucatan, Mexico, is the celebration of the closure of the Long Mayan Count, and with this, the end of a cycle where the learning was held by the means of fear and its effects: sorrow, disease and death. It is the end of a long learning of humanity’s soul. It is the celebration of the beginning of a New Planetary Time, where the learning through love shall emerge, and with this, freedom, plenitude, regeneration and life. During the Winter Solstice of 2012, key date of Mayan Wisdom, where the perfect galactic alignment projected powerful rays of christic golden light, transforming rays that penetrate the Planet Earth in order to elevate its vibrational frequency and impulse this humanity and the whole planet into a New Spiral in Time/Space.

The organizers are motivated to generate an authentic spiritual space, where different lines, traditions, schools or leaders of diverse spiritual sides of the world will converge. All within a respectful, loving and integrative coexistence. They wish to contribute with the creation of a more harmonic world, with the instauration of a culture of peace that allows us all to experience the joy of living. We are driven by the creation of a New Humanity, in a better connection with its spiritual essence; in order to inaugurate a New Planetary Time, the Golden Ages.The Spiritual Planetary Summit has the mission of generating an encounter of soaring Spiritual Level in order to generate a vortex of authentic light able to expand the transforming energy of the New Planetary Times. The purpose is of shaping an event of marvelous ecumenical and universal spirituality, on the sacred space where Ancient Maya, in the predestined times to open the gates into a New Age, the Golden Time of Humanity.

In the Spiritual Planetary Summit, a great energy which does emerge a powerful vibrational field where all the participants were to be connected with their divine essence and be capable of absorbing the waves of galactic shines that are currently reaching the Earth. And thereby, we all together achieve to generate a sacred space where the divine light can be present and, from this center, expand it towards every corner of the Earth. The 21st December Ceremony to be held in Uxmal, Yucatan will be performed during the winter solstice with the purpose of being in a mystic synchronization with the mighty galactic rays that enter primarily through the pyramid of AK-HE-NAH-TÚN: spot of maximum injection of galactic energy for Planet Earth. The objectives of the Conference are:

* Setting up the codes of the New Time.
* Creating a powerful space of genuine transformation.
* Bringing the spiritual values to maintain a Consciousness of Unity.

And finally elevating the spiritual consciousness of humanity in order for every human being to be tuned in with its self-Divine Essence and to experience life with harmony, happiness, sake and peace. Within a new respectful peaceful coexistence. This, without any doubt, would take human experience into an upper sphere of existence, where LIFE is a sublime space of harmonic creation and recreation. More info and registration: 2012spiritualplanetarysummit.com.

Save Mess Aynak from destruction by signining this petition

The clock is ticking, imminent destruction scheduled to begin December 2012! We the undersigned bring to your attention that, when one talks about the protection of world heritage one cannot help to think of UNESCO and its commitment and responsibility to find prompt solutions for the safeguard and protection of endangered sites. After 30 years of armed conflicts Afghanistan has suffered the loss and desecration of thousands of objects and hundreds of sites such as the city of Ai Khanum and Bamiyan, a site that would eventually be enlisted as a site to be protected but too late. Let us NOT repeat the same mistake and ACT now for: the Heritage of Afghanistan is once again faced with violation and inpending loss, this time in the case of the immense Buddhist  site of Mess Aynak (see picture). We believe that while economical development through the mining of precious minerals, is necessary, it cannot become an additional tool or exscuse for further destruction of an already weakened Heritage. We the undersigned ask of UNESCO that the site of Mess Aynak, Afghanistan be enlisted immediatly on the List of Endangered Sites and the World Heritage List thus giving UNESCO the opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to the protection and safeguard of our World’s Heritage.

Archaeologists from around the world are fighting to save a 2,600-year-old Buddhist city, called one of the most important archaeological discoveries in Asia, from imminent destruction by a Chinese mining company in volatile Logar province, Afghanistan. Sign the petition to save the ancient city of Mes Aynak from needless destruction while preventing irreversible environmental harm to Kabul watershed and the Afghan people.This ancient location, is in crisis because it will become a copper mine this coming December. Help us save this ancient site, containing thousands of years of history from being destroyed for commercial benefits. Signing the petition will take less than 2 minutes to do!

And here is the Link to the Petition

Special message from Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Archbishop Desmond Tutu offered a special video address that was featured at “A Moment’s Peace”, 28 July 2012. Renowned Olympians, peace leaders, artists and musicians came together at University College London’s Olympic Centre to celebrate the Olympic spirit of peace and universal friendship at a special event entitled “A Moment’s Peace.”

Beautiful Buddha Statue attracts Vietnam visitors


The Long Son Pagoda was previously known as Đăng Long Tự and it is located at 22 October 23 Street. It is located in the ward of Phương Sơn, and sits at the foot of Trại Thủy mountain, in city of Nha Trang (Southern Vietnam), just 400 m west of the railway station. Long Son Pagoda was erected on another hill in 1886 under the abbotship of Thích Ngộ Chí (1856–1935), who hailed from the district of Vinh Xuong in Khanh Hoa Province. Before joining the sangha, he was a participant in anti-French resistance forces that attempted to regain Vietnamese independence. In 1900, after a large cyclone, the temple was destroyed and had to be moved from the hill to its current location. In 1936, the Buddhist Studies Association made the temple the headquarters of the Buddhist Association in Khanh Hoa Province. In 1940, the temple was renovated and expanded under the leadership of Thích Tôn Thất Quyền and a lay Buddhist by the named of Võ Đình Thụy. In 1968, the temple was heavily damaged during the Vietnam War, in particular the tiled roof. In 1971, Thích Thiện Bình organised for the capital works program to restore the temple, which was around 60% complete in accordance with the plans of the architect Võ Đình Diệp when it was interrupted by the Fall of Saigon and the communist victory over South Vietnam. Since its construction, the temple has had a stable leadership, with only three abbots in over 120 years: Thích Ngộ Chí (1886–1935), Thích Chánh Hóa (1936–1957) and Thích Chí Tín (1957–).

From the Long Son Pagoda, there is a large road leading up to Hai Duc Pagoda along the crest of the hill, where there is a large white concrete statue of Gautama Buddha. The statue was built on the site of the original temple and the statue was cast in 1964 before being installed the following year, under the auspices of Thích Đức Minh, who was the Head of the Buddhist Association of Khanh Hoa Province. The sculpture of the statue was by Kim Điền. From the ground up, the statues is 24 m, and from the base of the statue, it is 21 m. The figure of the Buddha is 14 m while the lotus blossom comprises 7 m. Around the statue are statues of seven arahants. In front of the statue are a pair of dragons, which are 7.20 m long. The statue is visible from afar as one enters the city, from either the national highway or by train. The temple grounds also includes a garden. The entrance and roofs are decorated with dragon mosaics which are built from glass and ceramic tiles. The main ceremonial hall is adorned with modern interpretations of classical motifs. The nasal hairs of the dragons are wrapped around the pillars on either side of the main altar. The main statue in 152 stone steps up from the entrance of the pagoda, and is often used as a vantage point to look over the city of Nha Trang.

Gigantic Buddhist Rose Ceremony for the New Year in Thailand

Let’s open the 2012’s calendar with something different from typical celebration! What about the idea of rose? Universally, rose symbolizes love. Universal love is limitless. Limitless love can be love given to the religion and to all beings which it’s called loving kindness. If we could love all beings, our path of life would be paved by roses. So lets create a rose way to make a new rose year in 2012. At every special occasion, people are looking for special things to celebrate. Look at the beauty of roses, let the floral freshness quench our mind to be clean and beautiful, not allow it tainted by any old unwholesome memories in this auspicious season. Rip the rose petals and keep them fresh to add more auspiciousness. 127 Buddhist monks will walk on pilgrim on a length of 365 kilometer to bless people on this worldly greetings season. The entire 365 k route will be scattered by multicolored rose petals to unbrokenly pave the rose way for the righteous pilgrim monks to walk on. The event indicates that the 365 days of the New Year, the participants’ life will fill with happiness and success without difficulty. Thousands of people and school students take part in this joyous and sacred activity.

At the same time, the act of pilgrimage is one of the 13 Dhutanga practices of the Taravatta Buddhist monks. In the Buddhist society, after the Rains Retreat, monks are offered the Kathina Robe before they are preparing for Dhautanga. In the old days, this austere practice was emphasizing on the journey within the secluded forests. In modern days, the practice has been adjusted. The 1,127 monks will walk pass through 6 recently inundated provinces around the central part of Thailand. Their performance intends to nurture the wrecked mind of the flood disaster with the power of their loving kindness. The purity power of their cultivated mind serves as a big spiritual cleaning to all. The pilgrim route covers the provinces of Ayuthaya, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Nakornpathom, Supanburi and Bangkok. Yet, it contains another essence related to the Great Meditation Teacher of Vijja Dhammakaya named Phra Mongkolthepmuni. The designed route tracks back his life history. This noble journey commenced on 2nd of January and will last till 25th of the month – a total of 24 consecutive days. The starting point is Dhammakaya Temple in Pathum Thani Province.

Everyone is invited to participate and witness this spectacular scene and to give the chance to be blessed. This ‘Rose Way’ exhibits a great lesson that hope still exists as long as we still can breathe. After the event we may be more aware of the benefit of keeping ourselves expose as many as possible to wholesome environment amid life’s adversity. We will be able to find happiness in any situation and transform miseries into bliss. Our mind will regain its equilibrium, vigilance and the ability to handle things with fright-free manner. Then the ‘Rose Way’ will truly pave the ‘Rose Year’ ahead for us. – Elsbeth Maurer, Zurich/Bangkok

Song-Tour through the churches of Iceland

In July 2011 twelve singers from around the world performed devotional songs on peace, harmony and Christ, written by peace advocate Sri Chinmoy (1931-2007) who devoted all his live to the cause of peace and also visited Iceland many times offering concerts and met with members of the Parliament. They first visited the church in the National Park of Thingvellir, which is around 50 km from Reykjavik. Then followed concerts in the churches of Þingvallakirkja, Strandarkirkja, Hallgrímskirkja, Borgarkirkja, Hellnakirkja, Möðruvallakirkja, Húsavíkurkirkja, Skútustaðakirkja and Fríkirkjan in Reykjavík. Be inspired by the devotion and of these peace lovers! Length: 13:55 min.