I sense a pureness in you, at least what I can see of you through 
your posts.  What I know of Thich Nhat Hanh is from reading one of 
his books, which I thought was only 'okay', and interacting with you 
on the Zen Forum.  It's my interaction with you on the Zen Forum that 
forms most of the basis for my respect of Thich Nhat Hanh.

I liked everything (again) you wrote in your post about your teacher, 
your aspirations and efforts to join his group, and your continued 
practice outside his monastic sangha.  I sense you are a serious and 
ernest student of zen.  Even the best zen master cannot guide a half-
hearted student to find his Buddha Nature, but a serious and ernest 
student can become enlightened under a poor zen master - even a fraud.

I'm not saying this to suggest in any way that Thich Nhat Hanh is not 
a good zen master.  I'm saying this to you to encourage you to 
continue to practice, even if the conditions are not the best and the 
disctractions you face seem insurmountable at times.  Your zen 
practice depends entirely on you, not Thich Nhat Hanh, although he 
can and obviously does provide encouragement, guidance and is an 
example for you to strive for.

Since you beleive in karma, I'll say the fact that you found Thich 
Nhat Hanh and that he seems to be such a well-suited teacher for you 
is your good karma.  Such good karma as that must have been built up 
over many lifetimes of living a pure life.  You deserve this 
opportunity and it sounds like you're making the best of it.

I wish you continued good luck in your practice.


--- In, "Mayka" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> Bill;
> I was very moved by the kindnest of this post of yours towards my 
> person.  I'm not very used to this kind of treatment from 
> in the net.  I was taken aback and blushed in shyness and 
> embarresment while I was reading it. However, I feel my 
> responsability to tell you that I'm just amongst the thousands of 
> anonymous officially direct disciples from Thich Nhat Hanh. It 
> wouldn't be fair on Thich Nhat Hanh saying that I'm representing 
> since my meetings with his monastic sangha have been just very few 
> alone the years. Though it's true that I'm very receptive to his 
> teaching.  When I first met him I told my sangha "That man is like 
> but in enlightened version.  The day my mind will be pure I'll be 
> like him but in a woman version. I must know how he has done to 
> become like this." And they all laugh because of my temper and 
> emotions....
>  Sadly, but enviromental conditiones were not right for me to join 
> the monastic sangha and spend enough time amongst them so that I 
> could  be be trained appropiately. And because of that I can not 
> you or anyone here see me as Thich Nhat Hanh representant.  My 
> training has been most of it by myself alone and just very 
> occassional retreats with them. I love and respect them too much to 
> pretend something I am not. 
> "Just This" and "Just That" didn't intend to give a sense of 
> but to lead you to the understanding in connection with karma, form 
> and not form that everything interbeing with each other.  The form 
> contains the non form and viceverse.  
> I understand karma as the action and the reaction of that action. 
> Even if you would be very mindful and deeply concentrated in 
> continuos alerteness to everything that is going on in the present 
> moment, still you create karma. Your karma here will be the energy 
> produced by your awareness.  Whatever we do is going to have a 
> reaction.  
> Thanks for being just as you are.  knowing that you are there 
> practicing I feel a little less lonely in the practice.
> Mayka
> --- In, "Bill Smart" <BillSmart@> wrote:
> >
> > Mayka,
> > 
> > Thank you for your very candid and profound post.  I appreciate 
> your 
> > sharing with the forum your admiration for Thich Nhat Hanh.  You 
> are 
> > representing him and his teachings very, very well.
> > 
> > Please remember that I don't get your posts in my email, and I 
> don't 
> > always check the website.  So, if you have a post you want to 
> direct 
> > specifically to me or to assure my awareness of the post, please 
> > email it to me directly as you have in the past.
> > 
> > My comments are embedded in your post below:
> > 
> > --- In, "Mayka" <flordeloto@> wrote:
> > >
> > > Bill;
> > > 
> > > I have no idea if Thich Nhat Hanh is a self proclaimed Buddhist 
> or 
> > > not.  Knowing him a little bit I can not see him doing any 
> > > proclamation about anything for he's a very wise, sweet, humble 
> > > profoundly peaceful man.  I know about him that he has turn 
> > the 
> > > dharma wheel and created a new way slightly different way 
> tradition 
> > > from the tradition he comes from.  This is natural, the dharma 
> > > something alive which comes first from guiding books and 
> education 
> > > and becames through daily direct experience practice a living 
> > dharma. 
> > > I can say for sure about him that whatever he teaches is 
> something 
> > > that he has experienced first by himself. He won't ever talk 
> about 
> > > something that he has not experienced first.  In fact one 
> > his 
> > > multi remarkable skills is to reduce to the minimum the use of 
> > words 
> > > that can create distraction in the mind and using words that 
> > very 
> > > simple but a smack to the intelectual mind, individualism and 
> ego. 
> > A 
> > > person who is looking for sophisticated discourses and candy 
> words 
> > > would find Thic Nhat Hanh tedious and boring.   Or on the other 
> > hand, 
> > > a perosn who can also be intelectual but has reached to 
> conclusion 
> > > that intelectuality can be a boundary when this is not used in 
> the 
> > > appropiate way, then that person, if receptive enough, would 
> > > Thich Nhat Hanh a very enlightened person. 
> > >
> > > My direct experience about him is that he is a living Buddha.  
> > can 
> > > sense, touch and see that in all his body language, his living 
> > > dharma, his energy, in each action he does.... When he pass on 
> his 
> > > dharma he doesn't pass on just words but also pass on his 
> > > experience about it!.  So the words become like something very 
> > lively 
> > > and real in him.  He never talks about something that he has 
> > > experiencing first by himself.
> > >
> >  
> > Thank you again for your vivid description of Thich Nhat Hanh and 
> > your impression of him.  He is honored to have you as a student.
> > 
> > One of the things you've said above rings especially true for 
> > forum: living dharma cannot be expressed by words alone - 
> especially 
> > in only written text.  It's only from face-to-face contact with 
> some  
> > as you describe that you can fully appreciate their total 
> absorption 
> > in the dharma.
> > 
> > > The tradition he teaches I'm not sure but I'm under the 
> > > that has its roots in Mahayana Buddhism.  
> > >
> > 
> > Zen Buddhism does have it's roots in Mahayana Buddhism.  Some 
> beleive 
> > Zen is a type of Mahayana Buddhism, and some beleive Zen is the 
> > evolution (culmination) of Mahayana Buddhim and is a branch of 
> > own.  I assum Thich Nhat Hanh being Vietnamese would have grown 
> > under the influence of Theravada Buddhism, but anyway Theravada 
> > not mutually exclusive from Mahayana Buddhsim.
> > 
> > As you and I both know and have said repeatedly, none of these 
> names 
> > or terms are really important.  I usually only bring these up in 
> > response to someone else's post referring to some specific type 
> > Buddhism.  I'm not really overly concerned with Buddhism.  All 
> > Buddhists can give it what ever names, and divide it up into 
> whatever 
> > categories you want.
> > 
> > > I have never hear before zen without the influence of buddhism 
> > > having as buddhism in its root. Interesting also the simplicity 
> you 
> > > seem to follow your own practice.
> > >
> > 
> > I know what you say is true.  Most people (99.9%?) inextricably 
> > assocaiate zen and Buddhism.  Some think it is just one of the 
> > branches of Buddhism.  Some, like the Vispassana Buddhists here 
> > Thailand, think Zen is not a part of Buddhism at all - more like 
> > cult, a derranged and impure psuedo-Buddhism.  Some think of Zen 
> > the culmination of all Buddhism - the most pure form.
> > 
> > I think of zen as pre-dating Buddhism, Hinduism, Judiasm, 
> > Christianity and all other religions.  I think of zen as the core 
> of 
> > most other religions, and these other religions, including 
> Buddhism, 
> > are zen with a lot of extra crap stuck all over it.  In a lot of 
> the 
> > religions the extra crap is so thick that the zen core is totally 
> > obsucured.  I do think that in Zen Buddhism, even with all the 
> > attached, at least the zen core is recognizable and accessible. 
> > 
> > >I like from it [Bill's zen practice] how direct is and 
> > > its simplicity.  I also like from it how open is to criticism, 
> and 
> > > the fact that one can talk  about positve things and negative 
> > things 
> > > happening to one in a very open way. In constrast to the 
> > > wisdom from Thich Nhat Hanh I have always found difficult to 
> relate 
> > > myself in the non monastic sanghas due to its kind of 
> > way 
> > > of doing. I certainly share with you that as a practicioner I 
> don't 
> > > like to wave but to deal with what it comes as it comes alone. 
> > > Though, I do lack of the mental stability over my emotions and 
> > > solidity you seem to have.  
> > >
> >  
> > I also feel a close connection with you, even though we often 
> > disagree, or at least seem to disagree.  I respect your 
> > and enjoy your posts.
> > 
> > > You say that you practice from the perspective "Just This".  
> > But "Just
> > > This" can not exist without "Just That".
> > >
> > 
> > Your statement above is actually true.  As soon as you 
say 'this', 
> > you imply there is a 'that'.  This is a good example of dualistic 
> > thinking, but something that is all but impossible to extract 
> > our language. Language ASSUMES and is based on dualism.  This is 
> why 
> > zen masters often refrain from giving language-based answers to 
> > questions like 'What is Buddha Nature?'.  As soon as you open 
> > mouth to speak, you're lost.  So what do they do?
> > 
> > Sometimes they do use language, but in such a non-ordinary way 
> > the listener cannot take their reponose literaly.  Examples of 
> these 
> > are 'mu', or 'the cypress tree in the garden', or 'dried shit on 
> > stick'.  Sometimes they just yell something that is not a word at 
> > all, like 'Katz!' or 'Wah!'.  Since these are not words they 
> > be misunderstood.  Sometimes they don't speak but just slap the 
> > floor, or turn around and walk away.  They do avoid using 
> > langauage if at all possible.
> > 
> > If you and I were face-to-face and your were to ask me about 
> > Nature I would not say 'Just THIS!'.  I would demostrate Buddha 
> > Nature.  The best way I figured out how to do this in writing 
> on 
> > this forum is to type Just THIS!
> >  
> > > zen or buddhism are not bigger or smaller.  They may be 
> > > ways in which the dharma is transmitted and nothing else.
> > >
> > 
> > When I say zen is smaller than Buddhism, I mean zen is the core 
> > Buddhism (or Hinduism or Christianity) is the packaging.  Like 
> is 
> > the marrow and Buddhsim is the bone which contains but hides the 
> > marrow, or maybe even Buddhism is the entire body.  It's hard to 
> get 
> > to the marrow if you have to hack through the body and the bone.
> >  
> > > I'm truly happy to see you active in the list.  Sorry if we 
> > > help oneselves by letting you lurking.  I suppose we all miss 
> > > very much.  The zen forum is not the same without you, JM, 
> > > Edgar....
> > > 
> > > A respectuos bow to you
> > > Mayka
> > >
> >  
> > El gusto es mio...
> > 
> > ...Bill!
> >


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