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Thich Nhat Hanh

Program 55 • 29 mins

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In this episode of Humankind, David Freudberg travels to a Buddhist Monastery in rural Vermont, to hear the profound wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh, a soft-spoken Vietnamese monk, who tries to cool the fires of global conflict by advocating compassion, loving speech, and deep listening. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King Jr. for his efforts to make peace in his war-torn homeland. Hanh feels that much of the turmoil between people at war comes from basic misunderstandings that can be clarified through careful listening. Only when both sides listen to the other and try to understand, can we transform from conflict to peace.

Themes

  • How can we listen and look deeply into someone else’s suffering?
  • How can we reach a person who is consumed by anger and vengeance?
  • How is it possible to remain calm amidst the horror and fear of war?
  • Why is it important to be aware of the impermanence of life?

Peace is always there, to some extent. And if you know how to practice, then you can always be in touch with peace, to some degree, for your nourishment and healing. And then you’ll be strong enough to face, to deal with, the opposite side, the negative side.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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