The teachers’ situation is extremely difficult. This headline—the translation of the post title—is what drew me into a post on Pháp nạn Bát Nhã, which alerted me to current actions by the Vietnamese government to forcibly remove monks and nuns from Bát Nhã monastery. At the bottom of the page was a link to a list of YouTube videos that report directly on recent events.

Monks sitting in the rain after being forced outside by thugs.

Monks being forced outside by thugs.

Another video of monks being forced outside by thugs.Regardless of what you think of Thích Nhất Hạnh or Vietnamese people or Angry Asian Buddhists, this situation involves basic violations of human rights on many levels. Qui tacet consentit—if we do not speak out about this situation, we are effectively condoning the oppressive actions by the government in Vietnam, and by extension, those of governments elsewhere.

You can learn more about the situation of Bát Nhã monastery at the Help Bat Nha Monastery website, and also through recent posts on Shambhala Sun SpaceThe Buddhist Blog and Barbara’s Buddhism blog.

Birth of an Arizona Temple

The story of a Vietnamese temple in Chandler, Arizona is a simple illustration how many temples get started in the United States.

There’s not much to distinguish the temple from the surrounding neighborhood, besides a couple of Buddha statues in the front yard. Services began there in February 2006, when Sister Lien Thuy Ngo moved in to the home with two other nuns after they determined a need for a Buddhist temple in Chandler, Chuan said. The nuns previously resided at a sister temple in Tucson, he said.

Fortunately the neighborhood appears to be welcoming.