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Buddhism in the News


Monday, September 28, 2009

Vietnamese Bat Nha Monastery Raid Update.

From Help Bat Nha Monastery: All the brothers and sisters have been shipped to a temple Chùa Phước Huệ (address: Đường Trần Phú, Bảo Lộc, Lâm Đồng, Việt Nam). Our Brothers Thay Phap Hoi, Phap Sy, and Phap Tu have been taken away to other areas unknown. For their safety, if anyone who is in Vietnam now or knows of anyone there, please gather at Phuoc Hue Temple to give them support and to show that we are united and have no fear. This invitation goes out to especially international practitioners who are there.

We can not be divided. When we are together, nothing can harm us. The temple Phuoc Hue is in Bao Loc on the National Road from HoChiMinh City leading to Dalat City (map). There is large statue of the Bodhisattva of Compassion on the side of the road. (photos of temple) Please be present there. Please help us get the word out through FaceBook, MySpace, or any other means at your disposal.

James: It is clear that the Vietnamese government is crushing the religious experiment in the Communist country instituted by long exiled Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. It is a dramatic turn-around of events since Nhat Hanh was allowed to return to his native Vietnam after nearly 4o years in exile. During his visit and another recent one in 2007 Nhat Hanh was welcomed by even the Communist authorities and lauded in the Communist state run media of all places. It was a sign by many that Vietnam was easing restrictions on religion.

"The Vietnamese government has won," said Sister Dang Nghiem, speaking by telephone Monday from a monastery in San Diego, California, where Nhat Hanh is visiting. "Their 'victory' is that Bat Nha is completely destroyed. Everything is smashed."

James: My heart aches deeply for not just the monastics and the loss of a foothold in Thich Nhat Hanh's home country for his tradition of Zen but I also grieve for the average people in Vietnam. It is always a great loss when the Dharma is crushed in this manner. That said, it is never fully lost as long as it lives in the hearts of those touched by it during the short time Nhat Hanh's tradition blessed the many seekers in that noble, proud country. I have confidence that the Dharma will return to Vietnam one day to flower into giving Vietnamese Buddhists a full, restoration of the Buddha's teachings. I say full restoration because while Buddhist monasteries are allowed to exist in Vietnam I have been told that they are severely limited in how purely they can practice the Dharma.

~Peace to all beings~

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Ambud said...

Thanks for posting this James. It's always heartbreaking to read this kind of news, but it's essential to get the word out. I truly believe that this kind of repression ultimately fails, even if it takes decades. Hopefully, it won't take anywhere near that long.

Ivan said...

I am an American Buddhist traveling in Asia and will be in Vietnam sometime in early 2010. What can I do when I arrive? I will certainly go to the Bat Nha Monastery to see the situation -- but please alert me if there is more I can do when I arrive. Bowing, Ivan

Marco said...

This is disgusting. This kind of repression should be stopped. Respect must prevail. hosting website

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