Author: Jem Bendell

There is a Love Beyond Hope

In my decades working on environmental problems and social change, I was motivated by the hope that humanity would change everything in time to slow climate change and transition to a sustainable way of life. I even talked of it that way, without looking more closely at that idea of “hope.” What did I mean by that? Could I be motivated without such a hope? In my rush to achieve an impact in the world, I did not take the time to explore our shared cultural story about hope, despite being a part-time academic, where deeper inquiry is often expected. Eventually, evidence from the real world forced me to think again about hope and to ultimately free myself to live creatively in the face of societal disruption and collapse.1 I discovered there is a love beyond hope, a love which can guide active engagement in society without attachment to outcomes. Through that engagement, I met many people attempting to reduce harm and contribute to possibilities within our environmental predicament without ‘fairytales’ of success required to …

Thich Nhat Hanh’s Poetics of Care

This essay appears in the issue “Engaged Buddhism: Honoring Thich Nhat Hanh’s Life and Teachings (1926-2022)” (Volume 10, Number 1). Click here to subscribe and download the entire issue.  Subscribe to The Arrow Journal to read the complete issue, plus unlimited access to the only journal dedicated to investigating the meeting of contemplative wisdom and the systemic challenges facing our world. Already subscribed? Read the issue: Engaged Buddhism: Honoring Thich Nhat Hanh’s Life and Teachings (1926-2022) | Vol. 10, No. 1 | Spring 2023

A Cloud Never Dies: Thich Nhat Hanh’s Community Reflects on the Zen Master’s Continuation in the World

You have said that “Time is stilled in eternity, where love and the beloved are one.” Dear Thay, you are present here with us in this very moment, as we climb the hill of the 21st Century together. What you have not yet completed, we promise to complete for you. We would like to express our deep love and gratitude as we make the vow to carry your teachings, compassion, and insight far into the future. —Excerpt from eulogy written by disciples of Thich Nhat Hanh1 A FEW DAYS AFTER Thich Nhat Hanh’s death, following the morning meditation service at Deer Park Monastery in Escondido, California, a man walked up to Brother Pháp Dung, joined his palms, bowed to the monk, and asked if he could share a story. The man said that he had been watching the live-streamed ceremonies honoring Thay (“teacher” in Vietnamese) from his home, but then felt an over- powering urge to drive to Deer Park and be there in person. Not so he could be with other mourners, necessarily, but …