James is away this week on a Thích Nhất Hạnh meditation retreat at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. It’s a special retreat focused on educators (though it is opened to all), and includes international guest speakers from the field of mindfulness and education.
For the past four or five years James has been immersing himself in Buddhist teachings, taking courses, meditating daily, reading many Buddhist texts and the Pāli Canon.
He’s been looking forward to this retreat for many months, and I know he is going to have a peaceful and educational time there 🙂
To give a bit of background about Thích Nhất Hạnh, he is a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist Monk, author and peace activist who travels internationally to give retreats and talks. He studied comparative religion at Princeton University, and later was appointed lecturer in Buddhism at Columbia University. After visiting the U.S. and Europe in 1966 on a peace mission, he was banned from returning to Vietnam. He made the case for peace to Federal and Pentagon officials, persuaded Martin Luther King Jr. to publicly oppose the Vietnam War, and so helped to galvanize the peace movement. The following year King nominated Hạnh for the Nobel Peace Prize.
When James returns, we are headed to one of Thích Nhất Hạnh’s public talks, “The Present Moment: Wisdom for Global Peace and Happiness” at the Sony Centre in Toronto.
Update: Unfortunately I came down with the flu this past week and was unable to go to the talk with James. He decided to invite his Mom, and I think she enjoyed herself very much 🙂