A message from LoAn Nguyen:
Dear Friends, Dear OI Members, Dear Dharma Teachers, Dear TNHF Board Members/Staff, Dear Beloved Monastics:
Thank you for sharing the impacts of the Cluster Bomb that is being considered by the U.S. government to supply Ukraine, and thank you for the ways you have called attention to this harm.
I just wrote to the White House. It was a simple process from this link provided by Susan Poulos. It took no time at all. I saved the message for possible resend elsewhere. I got a response and took a screenshot of it to use in my FB post next.
I wonder if this an opportunity to invite each of my friend, each OI Member, Dharma Teacher, Foundation Board Members/Staff, and Monastics to work closely with local Sangha/Monastery and organize a Half Day of Mindfulness where we all take turn to write to as many elected officials locally, state-level, and federal-level, including the White House, to bring attention to this atrocity to humankind, and to flood the media with our plea, include the images from Trish and other stories of our Viet families who had suffered directly and indirectly because of the use of this Cluster Bomb in Quang Tri province during the Viet Nam war, which was the ancestral ground of both my father and mother’s families.
I wonder if this idea could be fleshed out with more details and more Sangha eyes on how to map out a simple, direct, impactful outreach so the roadmap can be duplicated easily, and allow personal messages to be infused depending on the writers.
I wonder if there is anyone who would like to collaborate and cooperate with LoAn to get this idea uplifted, to please send me an email to email@example.com so we could begin to work with what we already have from the email responses here.
Additionally, here is the google doc to add your contact information along with what you are willing to offer support.
Sometimes life presents us with opportunities such as this calamity of the revival of the Cluster Bomb for us to apply the teaching of our Respected Venerable Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, our Beloved Thay, our Su Ông, in ways that are immediate and community oriented. Please excuse the missing accents on my keyboard.
In my remaining lifetime, if I could now mobilize efforts to make a difference in stopping generations of harm, trauma, and repeated cycle of killing on the land of Ukraine, then this is one of that lifetime chance to step in to offer my best effort. Please consider joining me via email, zoom meeting, and/or adding your contact info to the google doc provided.
Chân Quỳnh Uyển
True Compassionate Garden
TNH Foundation Board Member
Pronouns: Cô, She, Her, Hers
“You are like a candle. Imagine you are sending light out all around you. All your words, thoughts and actions are going in many directions. If you say something kind, your kind words go in many directions, and you yourself go with them.”
Background from Patricia Thompson:
Dear OI Family,
The gift of Cluster Bombs to Ukraine is totally morally reprehensible and painful to contemplate. That the US government has included these truly horrible bombs in the recent ‘package’ of weapons to support the war is an affront to our humanity.
I’ve had personal contact with the suffering caused by the Cluster Bomb ‘duds’ that failed to detonate when dropped on Quang Tri Province during the American War in Viet Nam. I’ve been there every year since 2005 when I first visited that area with our dear OI brother and veteran of that war, Jeff Nielsen. I’ve met with the families of the innocent farmers who have disturbed these small clods of earth while tilling their fields, with the mothers of the children who picked them up out of childish curiosity……all killed or severely maimed.
More than 100,000 Vietnamese people have been maimed or have been killed by Unexploded Live Ordnance (UXO) since the END OF THE WAR. This, inspite of the constant and on-going work of three major de-mining NGOs in the province.
Do you know that more than 100 nations signed a treaty in 2998 to ban the use of Cluster Bombs, and that of the major nations earth, only Russia and the US refused and have continued to refuse to sign the treaty?
I haven’t read that anyone is considering that Ukraine, with the use of these weapons, is inviting more extreme suffering onto its own people, since Russia also has a stockpile of the same devastating bomb.
This is not a ‘political issue’; this is not about Democrats or Republicans (ALL administrations have refused to sign the treaty, or to destroy our massive stockpile of this despicable weapon.).
This is about our practice of promoting peace; this is about our commitment to and practice of the 14 Mindfulness Trainings, specifically #12 ‘Reverence for Life’. The 12th MT asks us to “….dilligently practice deep looking with ouwar, and build pr Sangha to discover better ways to protect life, prevent war, and build peace.
With Love and Gratitude for our Community,
Chân An Đinh (True Concentration on Peace)
Dharma Teacher, Plum Blossom and Cedar Society Member
The Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism
Da Nang, Quang Nam, Viet Nam
Charleston, South Carolina USA