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illustration by Brother Phap Ban

Thank you for sending me a copy of your magazine. Although I am a prisoner and my funds are limited, I would at least like to offer a submission of some writings and such that I do in my spare time at my prison job at PRIDE North Florida Graphics.

I love your magazine, and I especially enjoy the writings of Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh.

Thank you again and please let me know if there is anything else I can do in my limited capacity as an innate.

Respectfully in the Dharma,

Robert “Bobby” Bonia

The ABC’s of Buddhism

Awakening to reality and the end of suffering is the “goal”
Breathe in – Breathe out, notice both mindfully
Consequences for actions are inevitable; good or bad = karma
Don’t take anyone’s word, come try it for yourself
Experience life NOW; yesterday’s gone, and tomorrow doesn’t exist
Four Noble Truths are the foundation
Generosity – give more than you plan to
Hold on to your mind, let go of your desires
Ignorance is lack of understanding
Just sit and meditate – don’t think, don’t grasp
Keep yourself from pleasurable excesses
Love yourself first; compassion for others will follow
Moderation is the key – control yourself
Never kill, lie, or steal; always strike a fair deal
Open your eyes and see things as they truly are
Practice diligently – follow the “Middle Path”
Quit unskillful thought, speech, and actions; live skillfully
Reform sincerely; correct your mistakes
Sever all selfishness; practice generosity
Take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha
Understand the impermanence of all phenomena
Vicissitudes (changes) are inevitable
Wisdom is following the Noble Eightfold Path to awakening
X out hatred with love
You alone are your only savior
Zero attachments – zero disappointments

In the spirit of peace and honesty in combating racism in our American culture, I had to write and express my frustration and disappointment at the use of the term “redneck” in John Bell’s article “Seven Ways to Help End Racism” in the Summer 2018 issue. Because it is an article targeted at compassion for different types of people who live in America, I was surprised to find such derogatory term in an article. I look to the Mindfulness Bell as a standard for compassionate and inclusive language, and I don't think I need to elaborate on how the phrase “redneck Trump supporters in the Louisiana Bayous” comes off as neither of those things. Please consider printing a clarification or note from the author in a follow-up issue as I cannot imagine I am the only one who found such language divisive and troubling. 

Thank you, 
Sarah Franz

True Happiness of the Heart

Dear Sister, 

Thank you for your caring concern for Right Speech and compassion. I regret that my unskillful writing caused you and no doubt other readers frustration and disappointment. I intended to convey compassion but now I see that I have to be more careful.

I can now see how the use of a stereotyping term served to reinforce misunderstanding rather than create empathy. Although I didn't intend to repeat insults or perpetuate division, my words obviously did. I shall practice the Fourth Mindfulness Training on right speech more diligently. Thank you for taking the time to write and for caring about skillful communication. Your action helps me be more mindful. You are practicing for the whole Sangha. 

A deep bow of gratitude,

John Bell

True Wonderful Wisdom

Dear Readers of the Mindfulness Bell,

Please allow us as editors of the Mindfulness Bell to express our sincere apologies to our readers. We are aware that as editors, we should remove any offensive or unmindful speech from articles, and we did not do this in the case of John Bell’s article “Seven Ways to Help End Racism” in the Summer 2018 issue.

Please be sure of our commitment not to allow this to happen again.

With gratitude and respect,

Sister True Virtue (Sister Annabel)

Adviser and Editor


Managing Editor

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What is Mindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

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