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How to deal with anger and despair as an activist?

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    (Bell)
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    (Bell)
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    Dear Thay, my name is Bob.
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    I live in Los Angeles.
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    I'd like to talk to you
    about the nutrients you spoke of.
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    In particular, a nutrient
    that I thought you left out,
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    and that was air as a nutrient.
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    In the travels that you have done
    throughout the world
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    perhaps you have looked at the skies
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    and you may have seen a spraying
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    that is coming
    from high altitude aircrafts.
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    White lines that are criss-crossing
    even over cities.
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    They are all over Los Angeles.
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    These chemtrails spread,
    they become artificial clouds.
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    There is an overcast
    that happens in Los Angeles
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    and we are getting less sunshine
    that we normally have had.
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    What disturbs me is that
    there has been independent scientists,
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    with integrity,
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    that have taken samples
    of this spraying, of this residue,
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    and they have found aluminum,
    barium and these are toxins,
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    toxins to our health.
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    We are consuming this air,
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    this is very dangerous.
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    My personal concern is
    that I have two fears.
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    One is that I am very frightened by it,
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    because it means
    that my health is threatened,
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    my loved ones' health is threatened
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    if we are ingesting
    this kind of toxic air.
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    Also I am angry,
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    I am angry that nothing is being done.
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    The mediums say nothing.
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    Politicians, senators
    are saying nothing about it
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    or they are denying that
    something is going on with our skies.
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    I have to cope with these two fears
    or two feelings in me daily.
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    I am involved with a group in Los Angeles
    to try to change it.
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    But we are getting nowhere
    because there is mostly silence.
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    I'm asking you:
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    What can I do as an activist in this area
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    to cope with these feelings
    of anger and fear that I carry?
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    Anger and despair
    are two kinds of pollution.
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    Pollution.
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    I wish it was only that.
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    The internal pollution.
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    If you have hate, anger, fear, despair
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    there is pollution inside
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    and that will not help
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    to reduce the pollution outside.
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    People have their idea of happiness.
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    They believe that
    without a lot of money, power,
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    they cannot be really happy.
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    People believe that
    happiness is the capacity of consuming.
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    When you have a lot of money
    you consume a lot
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    and you are happy.
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    So these notions of happiness
    are very dangerous.
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    Because we are destroying
    ourselves and the world
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    by that kind of notion,
    idea about happiness.
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    So the education system,
    there is something wrong in it.
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    We do not teach ourselves and our children
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    how to experience true happiness.
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    So if you want to be a true activist,
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    first of all you have to
    live your life in such a way
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    that can set an example
    to the people around.
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    Your life becomes your message.
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    With that kind of living example
    you can influence other people around you.
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    If you write a letter of protest,
    if you speak with anger or fear,
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    that will not help your cause.
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    That is why
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    look deeply and see the people who
    are victims of their notions of happiness,
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    their wrong views about happiness,
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    their way of life that destroys
    themselves and the ecosystem.
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    You see that they are
    the object of your compassion.
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    You are not angry at them anymore.
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    And you try to help them.
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    To write an angry letter of protest is not
    as effective as to write a love letter.
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    Because when you are able
    to write a love letter
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    you touch the best thing
    in the politician, in the leader.
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    You may wake them up
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    and the may change their course,
    their idea of happiness.
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    So we need a community, a Sangha,
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    in order to be able to do something.
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    Alone, even if you are
    a very talented person
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    you cannot do much.
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    Even a Buddha without a Sangha
    cannot do much.
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    So as an activist,
    if you want to change the world
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    you need a Sangha,
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    you need people
    who have the same kind of insight,
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    the same kind of purpose,
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    the same kind of motivation,
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    the same capacity to live a life
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    that can be an example for the world.
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    With such a Sangha
    you will be able to do something
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    to change.
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    Otherwise,
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    we cannot find a way out of the situation.
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    Thay is why, for me,
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    to practice mindful living,
    to build a Sangha
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    so that you have a collective
    energy supporting you
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    gives you a means to promote your insight
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    and offer to the people
    the way out,
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    save the planet and our own species.
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    (Bell)
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    (Bell)
Title:
How to deal with anger and despair as an activist?
Description:

Q&A with Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, Deer Park Monastery,California, October 2013

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Video Language:
English
Duration:
08:23

English subtitles

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