RIP THICH NAT HAHN, A True Buddhist of Peace and Compassion to all sentient beings by living Vegan.

An amazing Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nat Hahn, recently died at age 95 on January 22nd. He walked with compassion for all of life. His recent death really struck my heart – to not only know we lost such a compassionate legend, but that he taught others that compassion to animals was a big part of spiritual life. Thây was the founder of the “Plum Village Monastery” in France and many other monasteries and spiritual centers. These monasteries taught many people the way of veganism.

“The food that is served in the communities that he founded is vegan. Thus he inspired thousands of longer time residents as well as day visitors to a vegan lifestyle.”

“To be vegan is not perfect but it helps reduce the suffering of animals. When you see the films of the suffering of chickens, the suffering of the cows, and so you would not like to eat chicken, to eat eggs, drink milk, eat cheese anymore. Because raising these animals creates a lot of suffering.”

He also talks and writes about eating animals and animal products in his books. His books spoke of deep listening as a non-violent solution to conflict and sought to raise awareness of the interconnectedness of all life. In his writings, “Sitting in the Autum Breeze,” the community statement that assumed legendary status in the global dharma community as the “Blue Cliff Letter.” From the delivery of this statement onward, all Order of Interbeing Centers have been vegan, a profound actualization of the foundational imperative of the buddhadharma to extend compassion to all sentient beings. (found in the comment section on his page)

The reason his death struck me so much, is that I have a yoga certification from “Baptiste Power Of Yoga.” In the Yoga philosophy it is taught to not cause harm to sentient beings and is a proponent of a Vegetarian Diet, which would now be vegan, because we know so much about the harmful affects in the production of milk/dairy to animals. The mother cows are pregnant for 9 months, and the baby calves are removed immediately and thrown into veal crates, or thrown into dead piles, some freeze to death or heat related deaths with no remorse from human greed. Unfortunately, yoga has been westernized and many no longer follow the philosophy of the caring of all sentient beings. You’ll find very few spiritual leaders, gurus or yoginis that follow the true peaceful path of Ahimsa. Thây was to be admired for knowing the true meaning of “May all beings be free from suffering,” and being a true spiritual leader.

Although I practice yoga at least 5 days a week and a meditation practice of 10-20 minutes, I am not claiming to be some spiritual leader, or perfect yoga practitioner. I myself, am constantly working on myself as I suffer from PTSD and depression. Perhaps this is why I defend animals, albeit a large part of my depression is seeing all the videos day in and day out. May we all study and learn to become better people as a divine example of Thây.

RIP Thich Nat Hahn. You will truly be missed, one of his calligraphy signs he wanted up at his memorial, was “Strolling Through the Ultimate.” He embraced his death as he did his life.

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