Vietnamese Zen Master, peace activist and poet, Thich Nhat Hanh is the most respected Buddhist teachers in the world today. His teachings are clear and simple, deceptively simple. During the Vietnam War, his work for peace inspired Martin Luther King Jr. to nominate him for the Nobel Peace prize in 1967.
In addition to his gentle social activism, Thich Nhat Hanh has also been instrumental in bringing Buddhism to the West, and engaging in Interreligious dialogue. He is also credited with coining the term “Engaged Buddhism.”
The Huffington Post has just published an exclusive interview with “Thay”, as he is affectionately called by his students. In the interview he says,
It’s plain to see that there’s too much violence, poverty and suffering all around us; but we think we’re too small and powerless to make any difference in these things. Maybe there’s suffering right here in our own family; maybe a family member is in so much pain that one day he or she will end up in a desperate situation of drug addiction or violent crime. We tell ourselves we don’t know how to help that person, and we have our own busy lives to lead.
What is it we’re so busy with, exactly?
“Busy”, by the way, is derived from Old English, besig, meaning “careful, anxious, busy, occupied.” According to Dictionary.com, in the 17 th century, busy was a euphemism for “sexually active.” The first use of “busy” in relation to the telephone was in 1893 and the term “busy work” was first coined in 1910.
Well, if you are not too busy right now, you can read the entire Huffington Post interview with Thich Nhat Hanh here.