Chan Phap Vu: Our World is a Manifestation of Our Mind

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I had an amazing opportunity the other day, when I bumped into senior Buddhist monastic Chan Phap Vu. And when I say “bumped into” what I really mean is “followed around until he agreed to speak to me for twenty minutes.”

Brother Phap Vu studied under Master Thich Nhat Hanh, and is an American monk of the Cinammon Tree Family in San Diego. He was ordained in 2003 at Plum Village monastery in France. 

During our conversation I learned something that seems obvious in retrospect – that many of the problems facing the world, in particular those caused by mankind, are the manifestation of a fear mindset. Fear drives right-wing politics. Fear fuels greed. Fear drives the destruction of the natural world. Fear drives racism, sexism, poverty, and inequality, and these things are all harmful. To us, those around us, and the world we inhabit.

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So how do we change things, I asked? 

The answer is through a state of mindfulness. By promoting compassion, empathy, kindness, and understanding. By promoting love, and letting go so that our egos don’t get in the way of all the hard work. And we do this one mind at a time, one person at a time, and one soul at a time.

When we let go, it doesn’t matter if takes a hundred years or a thousand years. Because, just like meditation, it’s the process that matters, not the end result. It’s the practice of all these things that matters, and not the end result.

Practice makes perfect, and I’m committed to practicing these things. What about you?

Take a listen to our conversation below and let me know what you think.

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If you’d like to find out more, visit http://www.plumvillage.org.