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Jun 11, 2009

Dear Friends,

The 21-Day Retreat is now underway in Plum Village. Thay offered this talk to the newly arrived retreatants, beginning with a sharing on his meetings with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and continuing on to discuss how we can support President Obama in his practice of using loving speech and deep listening.

"When Barack Obama manifested, I regretted a little bit, because Martin Luther King, Jr. was not there to witness the fruit of our efforts. ... But finally, I saw that we are the continuation of Martin Luther King. He is happy to know that everything he has done has borne fruit.

Obama is not an individual, Obama represents a Sangha. So our work is to keep the Sangha close to Obama, to offer our support. I offer this for you to reflect on it. There must be a way. Wherever there is a will there is a way."

Trish Palmer
almost fifteen years ago

Hello there - just wanted to thank you so much for this latest dharma talk from Thay, its very interesting and helpful, have been waiting for this for a long time! Hoping some more from this retreat will soon be available for us, is there any chance of a video from this retreat also? It would be lovely for those of us who are unable to get to retreats.

Many thanks also for the lovely talk from Sister Dang Nghiem, will be sending it to my son, am sure it will be helpful to him currently.

Just one more thing, is there any chance we could have a change of intro to the podcasts? Am referring to the chanting and Thay\'s words, it seems to me (as I sometimes send podcasts on CD to non-practitioners) maybe something more soothing, low-key, (such as NamoValokitesvara from PV CD) might be more appropriate - likewise re those words from Thay, it seems to me they are not easily understood by non-practitioners.

As ever, thank you for being where you are and doing what you are doing. (Trish - Wiltshire UK)

fourteen and a half years ago

With all due respect to Thich Nhat Hanh, I feel strongly that his endorsement of Obama was premature. Asking that we support President Obama in his practice of using \"loving speech and deep listening\" seems like strange advice given his behavior, which is far less like that of Martin Luther King and more with that of John F. Kennedy when he embroiled us in the war in Vietnam. The president does not need our encouragement to continue his present escalation of the suffering of Iraqis and Afghanis. As American Buddhists, we must be ready to engage our government through whatever means are most expedient in order to contain militarism, violence, suffering and murder. And Master Hanh is not helping by making unqualified endorsements or facile comparisons to Martin Luther King, to whom Obama bears no resemblance except through their shared African American heritage.