The International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB) has announced a new upcoming episode in its “Thich Nhat Hanh Reflection Series” of online talks. Scheduled for 28 February, Japanese Buddhist priests Rev. Issho Fujita and Rev. Yoshiharu Tomatsu will share their personal reflections on the life and Dharmic legacy of the Vietnamese Zen master, known affectionately to his followers as Thay, who was a patron of INEB since its founding in 1989.*
“Rev. Yoshiharu Tomatsu is the abbot of Shinko-in, a Jodo Pure Land temple in Tokyo, and presently the chairperson of the Board of the Japan Buddhist Federation,” INEB shared in an announcement for the online event. “Studying at Harvard Divinity School in the early 1990s, he came in contact with Thay’s teachings and was deeply influenced in going on to become an important socially engaged Buddhist figure in Japan. In the mid-1990s, he was one of the leaders of a group who brought Thay to Japan for his first series of public talks and retreats.
“Rev. Issho Fujita studied educational psychology at Tokyo University before undergoing Zen monastic training at the age of 28. He lived in the US for more than 17 years, returning to Japan in 2005 and becoming director of the Soto Zen International Center from 2010–18. Together with Rev. Tomatsu, he was an important member of the organizing group of Thay’s first teachings to Japan, often acting as Thay’s translator. He continues this work teaching Zen and mindfulness in a wide variety of contexts in Japan.” (INEB)
“Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh Reflection Series: Mahayana” will go live on Zoom and Clubhouse at the following times:
Auckland: 11:30pm, Monday 28 February
Canberra: 9:30pm, Monday 28 February
Seoul, Tokyo: 7:30pm, Monday 28 February
Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei: 6:30pm, Monday 28 February
Bangkok, Jakarta: 5:30pm, Monday 28 February
New Delhi: 4pm, Monday 28 February
Moscow: 1:30pm, Monday 28 February
Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Stockholm: 11:30am, Monday 28 February
London: 10:30am, Monday 28 February
Montreal, New York: 5:30am, Monday 28 February
Los Angeles, Vancouver: 2:30am, Monday 28 February
Born in 1926 in Hue, central Vietnam, and ordained as a monk at the age of 16, Thich Nhat Hanh achieved global recognition for teaching the practice of mindfulness in the West and for propagating the philosophy and practice of engaged Buddhism, founded on the concept of interbeing. Over a lifetime dedicated to working for peace, the revered master succeeded in distilling the Buddhist teachings on compassion and the cessation of suffering for new generations of Buddhist practitioners. After suffering a severe stroke in 2014, Thich Nhat Hanh returned to Vietnam in 2018 to live out his final days at his root temple, of which he remained the abbot. He died on 22 January at the age of 95.
The International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB) was formed in 1989 by the prominent Thai academic, activist, and social critic Sulak Sivaraksa and a group of Buddhist and non-Buddhist thought leaders. Connecting engaged Buddhists around the world, INEB works promote understanding, cooperation, and networking among inter-Buddhist and inter-religious groups, and to actively address urgent global issues such as human rights, conflict resolution, and environmental crises. Headquartered Bangkok, INEB has established a wide range of projects and outreach programs aimed at overcoming suffering and empowering vulnerable communities through the practice of the Dharma and socially engaged Buddhism.
INEB’s members include monks, nuns, social workers, and academics from more than 25 countries in Asia, Australasia, Europe, and North America, working together under the umbrella of kalyana-mitrata.** While founded in and motivated by the Buddhadharma, INEB nevertheless welcomes members from all spiritual traditions and recognizes the importance of interfaith activities, stating: “INEB’s philosophy and practice is based on compassion, social justice, non-violence, and co-existence as put forth by Gautama the Buddha. The network’s core mission is to confront and end suffering using analysis and action guided by the Four Noble Truths.” (INEB)
** Kalyaṇa-mittata (Pali) kalyaṇa-mitrata (Skt.), the Buddhist concept of spiritual friendship.
International Network of Engaged Buddhists
INEB – International Network of Engaged Buddhists (Facebook)
Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh Reflection Series | Theravada with Phra. Woot Tongmun & Phra. Itthiyawat (YouTube)
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