Thursday, March 11, 2010

Entering the Twenty-First Century

We need to use the suffering of the twentieth century as compost, so that together we can create flowers for the twenty-first century.  The flower of tolerance to see and appreciate cultural diversity is one flower we can cultivate for the children of the twenty-first century.  Another flower is the truth of suffering--these has been so much unnecessary suffering in our century.  If we are willing to work together and learn together, we can all be benefit from the mistakes of our time, and seeing with the eyes of compassion and understanding, we can offer the next century a beautiful garden and a clear path.
Peace is available in every moment, in every breath, in every step.
I have enjoyed our journey together.  I hope you have enjoyed it too.  We shall see each other again.
Wisdom from PEACE IS EVERY STEP - Thich Nhat Hanh

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Love in Action

During our journey together.  I have presented a number of practices to help us maintain mindfulness of what is going on inside us and immediately around us.  Now, as we make our way through the wider world, some additional guidelines can help and protect us.  We call them the fourteen precepts of the Order of Interbeing.
1. Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology.  All systems of thought are guiding means; they are not absolute truth.
2. Do not think that the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth.  Avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views.
3. Do not force other to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, propaganda, or even education.
4. Do no avoid contact with suffering or close your eyes before suffering.
5. Do not accumulate wealth while millions are hungry.  Live simply and share time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need.
6. Do not maintain anger or hatred.  Learn to penetrate and transform them while they are still seeds in your consciousness.  As soon as anger or hatred arise, turn your attention to your breathing in order to see and understand the nature of your anger or hatred and the nature of the persons who have caused your anger or hatred.
7. Do not love yourself in dispersion and in your surroundings.  Practice mindful breathing in order to come back to what is happening in the present moment.  Be in touch with what is wondrous, refreshing, and healing, both inside and around yourself.
8. Do not utter words that can create discord and cause the community to break.  Make every effort to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.
9.  Do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest or to impress people.  Do not utter words that cause division and hatred.  Do not spread news that you do not know to be certain.  Do not criticize or condemn things that you are not sure of.  Always speak truthfully and constructively.
10. Do not use the religious community for personal gain or profit, or transform your community into a political party.
11. Select a vocation that helps realize your ideal of compassion.
12. Do not kill.  Do not let others kill.  Find whatever means possible to protect life and prevent war.
13. Possess nothing that should belong to others.  Respect the property of others but prevent others from enriching themselves from human suffering or the suffering of other beings.
14. Do not mistreat your body.  Learn to handle it with respect. Respect the rights and commitments of others.
Wisdom from PEACE IS EVERY STEP - Thich Nhat Hanh

Friday, March 5, 2010

“Mandala Lights” appear around Jade Buddha


What can we do when we have hurt people and they consider us be be their enemy?  These people might be people in our family, in our community, or in another country.  The first thing is to take the time to say, "I am sorry, I hurt you out of my ignorance, out of my lack of mindfulness, out of my lack of skillfulness."  The second thing to do is to try to bring out the best part in ourselves to transform ourselves.  That is called "speaking with your life and not just with words."
Wisdom from PEACE IS EVERY STEP - Thich Nhat Hanh

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Quick tofu asparagus lasagna

A quick and fun way to serve a classic!

Box of lasagna sheets (cooked according to box instructions)
Prepare the following according to recipes:
toasted asparagus

1. In a plate, lay out a lasagna sheet, layering with marinara sauce, then 3 slices of tofu, another layer of sauce, 2 asparagus on each tofu, topped with another sheet of lasagna sheet, and a coating of sauce.
2. Repeat step 1 to add more layers (ađding as many as you like) to the plate. 
3. Microwave for 1 to 2 minutes.

Have fun and enjoy!

Toasted asparagus

This easy dish provides a healthy and tasty way to prepare asparagus.

1/3 pound asparagus
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt

1. Soak asparagus in water and 1 tsp of salt for 5 minutes.  This is the best way to clean it, since asparagus can be very sandy, the salt water helps release the sand.

2. Break each asparagus nearly at the end, wherever it breaks is where you should use, save the end to make vegetable broth.
3. Rub the asparagus with oil and salt, spread in single layer on tray.
4. Toast in the toaster oven on top brown two times.  (Turn the button to top brown, press toast, when it is done, press toast again).

Toasted tofu

Instead of frying, toasting is a healthier alternative. Tofu can be served in place of meat.

1 packet firm tofu
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil

1. Slice tofu about 1/4 inch thick, rub each slice with salt and oil (or your preferred sauce). 
2. Put a single layer of tofu to fit the tray, 6 slices at a time.
3. Toast on top brown 3 times, flip over, toast 2 more times.
4. Repeat step 2 and 3 for all slices of tofu.

Complain less - Give more