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For a Future To Be Possible: Commentaries on the Five Mindfulness Trainings Paperback – October 1, 1993
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The Buddha, through Thich Nhat Hanh, may be seen as having provided a blueprint for engaging with the root causes of all ecological and social problems through these trainings. Following the author's guidelines on the practice of the Five Mindfulness Trainings does not denote the abandonment of action aimed at social and environmental justice, but rather reinforces the foundations upon which such action can be based, namely compassion and a broad view, rather than a narrow dichotomy placing ideas and issues in categories of `right' and `wrong', `good' and `bad.' In fact, all of the trainings have an outward looking perspective that entails the empowerment of the individual. Importantly, the author focuses on an often-neglected aspect of debate on social and environmental issues: the mind. In some ways, the author can be seen to outline the pathology of ignorant action causing destruction and suffering, and can be seen as providing an insight into a potential remedy for such ignorance. Thich Nhat Hanh does not claim to provide an image of an alternative reality to the present situation, but simply provides an alternative path to make the journey more compassionate and kind. Most importantly, Thich Nhat Hanh highlights that our tendency to reduce systems and problems to their parts has not helped to stem the decline of life systems: we are not just human beings, but humans interbeing.