Books – free to download
To acknowledge the deep suffering now present across the world, Parallax Press is making the following 3 titles freely available in ebook format for the month of November. May these books be a source of comfort and support in these difficult times:
In order to download these ebooks, please add them to your cart on parallax.org and use the coupon code PEACE at the checkout. Your total for these ebooks will be $0.00 and you can complete the order with no other purchase necessary.
Please share this coupon code and link with others to offer these resources widely to anyone who would like them.
Below are more free offerings from the International Plum Village Community of Zen Master Thích Nhất Hạnh, which can also be found at plumvillage.org.
An Invitation to Sit Together for Peace
In response to the current situation in the Middle East, Plum Village monastics share an open letter, a guided meditation, and a letter to the President of the United States. Learn more here.
A guided meditation to cultivate stability and radiate compassion
At this painful time for the world, we offer a meditation to help us cultivate solidity and stability, so we may open our hearts, radiate compassion, and support all who suffer from war and other disasters. The great energy of compassion can cool down anger, hatred, and violence.
Breathing in, I allow energy in my body to sink to the lower abdomen.
Breathing out, I visualize roots extending beneath, into the Earth.
Breathing in, I feel deeply connected to the Earth.
Breathing out, I allow the energy to sink deeper into the Earth.
Feeling stable, solid, peaceful, I invite all who are suffering in the war zone to sit with us.
I invite all Israelis and Palestinians to sit with us in stability.
We take root deeply into the Earth, so that anger, hatred, sadness, depression, and hopelessness cannot move us.
With solidity, we do not let this war carry us away or turn us into its victims.
I am deeply connected to the Earth, stable and solid.
I now invite friends from Ukraine, Russia, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and all troubled places on Earth, to sit with us.
I invite friends from places destroyed by earthquakes, fires, floods, and other disasters to sit with us.
Sitting together solidly and stably, our roots connected deeply into the Earth, so the difficulties cannot carry us away or make us victims.
Solid as a mountain, free from all hatred, free from all violence.
I allow the energy of compassion to flow out to embrace myself and all who are going through trauma, violence, and death.
May the energy of compassion embrace us all on Earth, help us heal and transform our difficulties.
May the energy of compassion help to cool the hatred, anger, and violence, so that all beings in war zones may be protected.
Buddha taught: “Hatred cannot respond to hatred; only love and compassion can respond to hatred. ”
It is always possible to live together.
It is always possible to sit down and discuss reconciliation so that a solution can be found.
May everyone on Earth open their heart, so that everyone can see the light of goodness, of beauty, and of truth.
The only way out is our peace, solidity, stability.
With this energy, we help those in the depth of suffering.
We embrace them with all the compassion in our hearts.
A letter to the President of the United States of America
The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
President of the United States of America
Your Middle East Mission
An Open Letter from the International Plum Village Community of
Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh
19 October 2023
Dear Mr President,
At this time of war, the world looks to the United States to use its influence in the Middle East to bring about an immediate halt to the killing and violence there, and to speed the flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza.
From long experience, Mr President, you know that conflicts – no matter how
intractable – are best resolved when peace negotiations – no matter how complex – can move forward. There can be no end to the suffering in the Middle East if things continue as they are.
It is our belief that, as the Buddha said, hatred cannot respond to hatred; only love and compassion can respond to hatred. And as our teacher Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh said in a lifetime of peace advocacy during and after the Vietnam War: “There is no way to peace, peace is the way.”
During a historic visit to Vietnam in 2016, President Obama hailed how the former enemies had transformed their relationship, quoting the words of our teacher: “In true dialogue, both sides are willing to change.” Vietnam and the US are proof of that, as reinforced by your recent visit to Hanoi.
As Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh’s students, today we issue an open invitation for people to sit together for peace in the Middle East, Ukraine, and other war zones. We also offer a meditation, teachings, practice and prayers to support all who wish to cultivate understanding, compassion, tolerance and peace in
themselves, their families, their communities, and nations.
We respectfully invite you, Secretary Blinken, and your entire team to sit with us whenever, wherever you can as there is no time to lose. It is our fervent hope that you will succeed in initiating true dialogue in the Middle East between all who yearn for peace and are willing to change.
Additional Resources from the International Plum Village Community
Original version of all documents