On December 1, 2000, Thich Nhat Hanh gave a Dharma talk at the White House in Washington, D.C., during a conference on AIDS. Thay is deeply aware of the suffering caused by AIDS, and offered teachings to encourage those present to respond to that suffering and to conduct themselves in ways that would bring relief to themselves, their families, and society. In this issue of The Mindfulness Bell, Thay shares this talk with readers, and encourages us to also practice in ways that protect life and prevent suffering. The theme articles in this issue focus on mindful consumption. Shakyamuni Buddha taught us to be aware of what we consume-through eating, through our senses, through our minds, and through our volition. Dharma teacher Jack Lawlor invites us to look at the habit energies present in our daily consumption. Peggy Rowe and Tracy Sarriugarte offer practices that cultivate consumption of nourishing and healing nutriments. And Patrecia Lenore and Toni Carlucci share reflections on the practice of mindful eating. We hope that these articles will nourish seeds of positive energy in your daily practice.
Other articles examine mindfulness practice in social action and daily practice. Pamela Overeynder shares the efforts of a Texas Sangha to encourage peace and address the problem of unexploded land mines left by wars. In the Daily Practice section, Sister Annabel invites us to touch the Pure Land in our daily lives; Bruce Kantner reports on building a lay residential practice center; and Paul Tingen shares mindful speech practice. And there is more! Please enjoy every bit of this issue!
On a more personal note: For over four years, I have enjoyed the great privilege of serving the Sangha by helping edit The Mindfulness Bell-as Family Practice editor and then, beginning in 1997, as Editor of the whole journal. I have benefited greatly from this opportunity to work with the teachings and to be in touch with many fellow practitioners. With this issue, I close my term as Editor and offer this rich opportunity to someone else.
Before I depart, I want to express my thanks. With gratitude as deep as the ocean, I bow to Thich Nhat Hanh, whose teaching breathed life into my practice and from whom I continue to learn. I offer deep thanks to Sister Chan Khong, whose unflagging energy and encouragement has provided such strong support to my work and my practice. And I offer heartfelt thanks to Arnie Kotler and Therese Fitzgerald who, when they were Senior Editors, took a chance on having an editor on the other side of the country, and from whom I learned so much. Finally, I thank you, the readers, for every Email, letter, and telephone call.
I hope to continue to support The Mindfulness Bell in a different way, to share the teachings, and to practice deeply and wholeheartedly with the Sangha.
A lotus for you, a buddha to be,