2.9 A meditation on Thich Nhat Hanh’s teaching
Materials required: a listing of the 13 expressions of the Golden Rule. To access this listing, click here. To avoid printing all five available languages, select only the language you need.
- Prepare yourself
Prepare yourself for meditation by any means that you find to be effective. You may want to consider Appendix 4: Tips for preparing for meditation and reflection.
- The Golden Rule
In a slow and reflective fashion, read the 13 expressions of the Golden Rule. Take as much time as you need with these writings.
- Prepare yourself
- Reflecting on “separateness” and “interconnectedness”“We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness…”Spend some time reflecting on these words of Thich Nhat Hanh. Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and a renowned teacher, writer and peace activist. His efforts in resisting the Vietnam War inspired Martin Luther King Jr. to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize. He has championed a movement called “engaged Buddhism” which seeks to integrate traditional meditative practices with social justice activity.The Buddha taught that all things are interdependent. Accordingly, the Buddhist path involves an awakening to a consciousness of this interconnectedness. From a Buddhist perspective, this involves an awakening from the illusion that we, as individuals, are independent and separate from other facets of reality (including other beings).Take as much time as you need to reflect on this statement by Thich Nhat Hanh.
- Interacting wisdom statements
You have had some time to reflect on both Thich Nhat Hanh’s statement and the 13 expressions of the Golden Rule. How do these two interact for you? To aid your reflection, consider one or more of the following questions:
- Do these words of Thich Nhat Hanh give added meaning to the 13 expressions of the Golden Rule? If so, how do they add meaning? Conversely, do the 13 expressions of the Golden Rule give added meaning to this Buddhist monk’s words? Explain.
- Which of the 13 statements of the Golden Rule relate most directly to Thich Nhat Hanh’s words? Explain.
- Are there ways in which these words of Thich Nhat Hanh do not relate to the 13 expressions of the Golden Rule? Explain.
- In your own words
In your own words, re-write Thich Nhat Hahn’s statement, incorporating any new insights that you have garnered from your reflection thus far.
- Going deeper
Read the written reflections you have made throughout this meditation. To deepen your reflection, consider one or more of the following questions:
- What was it like for me to do this meditation exercise?
- At what points during this period of reflection was I moved? Inspired? Challenged?
- What questions or issues have been raised for me?
- What new insights have I gained in this process?
- What did I learn about myself?
- As a result of this meditation, what aspects of my life might I consider changing?
- As a result of this meditation, I feel moved to……
- What did I learn about the Golden Rule? About the world we live in?
- Record your thoughts
In your journal, record any thoughts, reflections or insights garnered in Step #6 and in the entire process.
- A group experience
For instructions on how to adapt this meditation for a group experience, see Appendix 3: Application to a group experience.