Veterans Vietnam Restoration Project Art James and John Baca, two Vietnam veterans who attended the 1989 retreat in Santa Barbara with Thich Nhat Hanh, have been working actively with a project to help reconcile themselves and other Vietnam veterans with the people and places of past destruction. The VVRP has now sent three teams of veterans to Vietnam.
The first went to Yung Tau in southern Vietnam in February 1990. There, team members worked with the Vietnamese in constructing a 2,500 square foot health clinic, which now serves up to 100 patients a day. The second team went to Vinh, a city in northern Vietnam that was virtually destroyed by U.S. bombing raids. Its members have helped the Vietnamese build a 4,000-square-foot wing on a children's hospital.
The nine men and women who make up VVRP Team III departed for Vietnam in September to work alongside the Vietnamese - both former enemies and allies - in constructing a medical clinic at Yen Vien, just six miles from Hanoi. This clinic will replace one destroyed by U.S. carpet bombing and will serve over 100,000 people.
Filmmakers Ken Green and Gaetano Maida are documenting Thich Nhat Hanh's work for peace and reconciliation worldwide in a film tentatively entitled Peace Is Every Step! Healing the Wounds of War. Filming began at Plum Village last summer and includes footage of the "peace walk" at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial last November and a number of the retreats and public lectures in North America this Spring, including those with veterans, refugees, environmentalists, helping professionals, and young people.
This project needs financial support. If you can help, please send tax-deductible contributions or loans to be paid back from ongoing fund raising efforts to: Japanese Cultural Arts Center, 2030 Fifth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710, earmarked for "Peace Is Every Step Production." For further information, please call Gaetano Maida at (415) 525-7594.
Gaia Education Outreach Institute
GEO is planning a five and a half month Overseas Apprentice Program for a small group of seventeen to twenty-year-olds beginning in September, 1991. "We seek to increase our understandings and practical skills for building sustainable lifestyles and harmonious communities that will allow our natural environments to flourish." The journey will include two weeks at the Findhom Community, a retreat at Plum Village, two weeks in the Soviet Union, and two months in Auroville, India. For further information, contact: Gaia Education Outreach, Derbyshire Farm, Temple, NH 03084, (603) 654-2523.
Pilgrimage in the Footsteps of the Buddha
From December 21, 1991, through January 5, 1992, Shantum Seth, a student of Thich Nhat Hanh, will lead a group to visit the many sites of the Buddha's life, including Vaishali, Rajgir, Bodh Gaya, Varanasi, Sarnath, Kushinagar, and Lumbini. Going slower than tourists usually do, the group will practice sitting and walking meditation and cultivate an atmosphere of mindfulness.
Shamtum Seth has organized three similar pilgrimages, including the 1988 visit of Thich Nhat Hanh with forty students from ten countries. While Shantum has lived in England and the United States for twelve years, he was brought up in India and speaks the languages of the areas to be visited. He is skilled at explaining the underlying subtleties of Indian life and can help to ease the way for those not familiar with the country and society.
For further information, please contact:
Seth Consultants Ltd. 40-42 Janpath (First Floor) Pearcylal BuildingNew Delhi 110 001, India
Aradhana Seth 5135 Mass Ave. N.W. Friendship Hgts., MD 20816 (301) 229-5224