Page 9 - The.Miracle.of.Mindfulness
P. 9

and believed that both sides were but the reflec- 

tion of one reality, and the true enemies were not 

people, but ideology, hatred, and ignorance. 

Their stance threatened those engaged in the con- 

flict, and in the first years of the School, a series 

of attacks were carried out against the students. 

Several were kidnapped and murdered. As the 

war dragged on, even after the Paris Peace Ac- 

cords were signed in 1973, it seemed at times im- 

possible not to succumb to exhaustion and 

bitterness. Continuing to work in a spirit of love 

and understanding required great courage.

From exile in France, Thich Nhat Hanh wrote 

to Brother Quang to encourage the workers dur- 

ing this dark time. Thay Nhat Hanh ("Thay," the 

form of address for Vietnamese monks, means 

"teacher") wished to remind them of the essential 

discipline of following one's breath to nourish and 

maintain calm mindfulness, even in the midst of 

the most difficult circumstances. Because Brother 

Quang and the students were his colleagues and 

friends, the spirit of this long letter that became 

The Miracle of Mindfulness is personal and direct. 

When Thay speaks here of village paths, he 

speaks of paths he had actually walked with 

Brother Quang. When he mentions the bright eyes 

of a young child, he mentions the name of Brother 

Quang's own son.

I was living as an American volunteer with 

the Vietnamese Buddhist Peace Delegation in 

Paris when Thay was writing the letter. Thay 

headed the delegation, which served as an over-


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