Tài liệu Agape in the selected works of thich nhat hanh implications on vietnamese students’ values

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i THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines AGAPE IN THE SELECTED WORKS OF THICH NHAT HANH: IMPLICATIONS ON VIETNAMESE STUDENTS’ VALUES A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School Batangas State University Batangas City, Philippines In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Doctor of Philosophy in English By Nguyen Thuy Linh (Link) December, 2014 ii THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines APPROVAL SHEET This dissertation entitled AGAPE IN THE SELECTED WORKS OF THICH NHAT HANH: IMPLICATIONS ON VIETNAMESE STUDENTS’ VALUES prepared and submitted by MA. NGUYEN THUY LINH in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree doctor of Philosophy in English has been examined and is recommended for oral Examination. LUISA A. VALDEZ Adviser PANEL OF EXAMINERS Approved by the Committee on Oral Examination with a grade of _____ Accepted and approved in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree doctor of Philosophy in English Language and Literature. iii THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines ABSTRACT Title : Agape in the Selected Works of Thich Nhat Hanh: Implications on Vietnamese Students’ Values Author : MA. Nguyen Thuy Linh Degree : Doctor of Philosophy Major : English Language and Literature Year : 2014 Adviser : Dr. Luisa A. Valdez Summary The study attempted to analyze Thich Nhat Hanh’s two selected works entitled True Love: A Practice of Awakening the Heart and Being Peace, pointing out events and situations on how the agape is reflected in these works. Likewise, this study tries to present how the selected works of Thich Nhat Hanh manifest the meaning of respect, peace, and service; and to show the social issues particularly focused on the youth; and to bring about from these works the implications of agape on Vietnamese students’ values. This dissertation was guided by the idea that literature can be a writer’s channel for conveying the philosophical dimension of agape. iv THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines This study employed the qualitative method of research in analyzing the tenets of agape in the representative literary works chosen. This study also involved content analysis, which is a systematic technique in analyzing message content and message handling. The data analysis in this research centered on pattern seeking and the extraction of meaning from Thich Nhat Hanh’s selected literary narrative or image data. Much effort was focused on the task of recording data or making notes through concepts and categories; altering or creating new codes or more subtle categories; linking and combining abstract concepts; extracting the essence; organizing meaning; creating theory from emerging themes; writing an understanding; and drawing conclusions. The essential features in the treatment of materials were considered by the researcher in the conduct of this study. The general rules cited by Stott (2014) as regards the seven standards a piece of literature should abide to in order to be considered literary guided in the selection of works under study. For the purpose of this study and to give philosophical credibility, the representative literary works were analyzed: Love Is Being There, Overcoming Pride, Interbeing, Meditation in Daily Life, Feelings and Perceptions, Working for Peace, Telephone Meditation, Everybody v THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines Should Practice Mindfulness, The Heart of Practice, and The Three Gems, which are all found in his masterpieces entitled True Love: A Practice of Awakening the Heart, and Being Peace. In subjecting the materials to internal and external criticism and analysis, the meaning and trustworthiness of the statements in the aforecited primary and secondary sources were carefully chartered and analyzed. Likewise, to attain congruency between the theories used in explaining the concept of agape, coding and categorization were conducted. Direct lines were lifted from the selections served as the primary and juxtaposed with the theoretical statements discussed. These passages from the chosen prose and poetry substantiated the theoretical basis of the study. Findings The study yielded the following findings: 1. The Historical Root of Agape in the Buddhist Tradition The root of agape in the Buddhist religion started with the birth of Buddha Shakyamuni as a royal prince in 624 BC in a place called Lumbini, which was originally in Northern India but is now part of Nepal. “Shakya” is the name of the royal family into which he was born, and vi THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines “Muni” means “Able One.” His parents gave him the name Siddharta and there were many wonderful predictions about his future. In his early years, he lived as a prince in his royal palace but when he was 29 years old, he retired to a forest where he followed a life of spiritual meditation. His intention in founding Buddhism was to lead living beings to permanent liberation from suffering because he realized that temporary liberation from suffering and difficulties is not enough. Motivated by love and compassion, his aim was to help living beings find lasting love or nirvana. Historically, agape is one of the basic founding principles of Buddhism. Motivated by love and compassion, the founder of Buddhism strived to help others find love. This clearly states the early stint of unselfish, unrequited love, agape love, in the early days of Buddhism. Buddhism, formed from the very beginning, has expressed relief of suffering and mental distress for men. In the teachings of the Buddha, people need to have agape - compassion and loving-kindness. This is a fundamental factor to help develop agape or compassion and relieve happiness suffering, leading to the orientation of Buddhist activities for people. Thus, one can already see the emergence of this virtue in the historical pages of Buddhism. vii THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines 2. The Manifestations of Agape in the Following Works of Thich Nhat Hanh In the Buddhist tradition, the teachings on agape or true love offered by the Buddha are called the four Brahmaviharas. The word “vihara” is used to refer to an abode or a dwelling place and the word “brahmavihara” means dwelling place of the God Brahma. Thich Nhat Hanh (2011) and Ward and Ward (2008), called these teachings the four immeasurable namely: loving-kindness (maitri), compassion (karuna), joy (mudita), and equanimity (upeksha). They are said to be the four aspects of true love within every man and everything. They are referred to as “immeasurable” because of the belief that if men practice these virtues, the love in their hearts will grow so much that it cannot be measured. From the selected literary pieces, readers can glean Thich Nhat Hanh’s portrayal of how the practice of the immeasurable mind of loving-kindness extinguishes anger in the hearts of living beings; the practice of the immeasurable mind of compassion eliminates all sorrows and anxieties in the hearts of living-beings; the practice of immeasurable mind of joy removes sadness and joylessness in the hearts of living beings; and the practice of immeasurable mind of viii THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines equanimity puts an end to hatred, aversion, and attachment in the heart of living beings. 3. The Virtues of Peace, Respect, and Service Portrayed in the Selected Works From the selections, Nhat Hanh’s concepts of the virtues of peace, respect, and service were also portrayed. This Zen Buddhist monk is convinced that everybody can practice mindfulness, inner peace, deep listening and loving speech not only for the sake of their own inner peace and happiness but for the other people as well. Another virtue which is portrayed in the selected works is respect or reverence. Such respect recognizes and honours the presence of the sacred in everything - the bodies, other people, animals, species, or nature. Respect is also an attitude men should have toward personal possessions, those of others, or things in the neighbourhood, village, community and surrounding landscape. The virtue of service is likewise portrayed in the identified works. Nhat Hanh believed that service does not start when people have something to give - it springs naturally when they have nothing left to take. They start to do their part - initially, by becoming mindful of the offerings and services they receive, then by feeling grateful for them, and finally by continuing to pay forward their blessings with a joyful heart. Service, for him means awareness or ix THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines knowing what is going on. Nhat Hanh emphasized that when a group of people manifest the virtues of peace, respect and perform a kind of service as a practice, it creates an ecosystem that holds a space, allowing value to emerge organically. All of these indirect values, the ripple effect, have space and time to add up, synergize with other ripples, and multiply into something completely unexpected. 4. The social issues particularly focusing on the youth are gleaned from the selections. In the context of this study, the term social issues are referred to as social problems or societal induced conditions that harm segments of the Vietnamese populace particularly the youth. These problems are also related to acts and conditions that violate the norms and values found in the society. Some of these common social issues particularly focused and have affected the youth which can be gleaned from the selected works of Nhat Hanh include poverty, environmental degradation, war, violence, equality or discrimination, social injustice, and suppression of human rights. 5. The Implications of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Agape on Noted Vietnamese Values. The gentle and simple tone of Thich Nhat Hanh’s literature is an embodiment of the Vietnamese culture and way of life as well. In the x THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines analysis of his writings, it can be gleaned that the central theme of agape, its facets, principles and related concepts, bore relation to noted Vietnamese values and customs as well. Nhat Hanh captured the true essence of agape in his selected works. The context of his works analyzed all showed the search of man for peace, compassion and love in a world where great changes are happening. In the same way, the world of Vietnamese people and their society is undergoing drastic changes too. Nhat Hanh’s agape, comprised of respect and peace, and service reflect the heart and soul of the Vietnamese people’s spirit. The unyielding attitude of these people against major challenges characterizes the compassion of the people for each other, concerned for the welfare of their kinsmen. Thus, through the selected works, the Vietnamese people, especially teenagers realize that agape or compassion plays an important role in life because it has left the depth of thought and become really ingrained moral lifestyle of the Vietnamese people. Concurrently, the practice of four immeasurable minds help men perfect moral personality, give them to altruism lifestyle, equality, charity. xi THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines Conclusions Based on the findings and interpretations of the study, the following conclusions are drawn: 1. The historical root of agape can be traced back to the early days of Buddhism and is manifested in many teachings of the said religion. 2. From the selected literary pieces, Thich Nhat Hanh elaborated on the Four Immeasurable Minds known as loving-kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity as concrete expressions of man’s deepest love. 3. Nhat Hanh emphasized that when a group of people manifest the virtues of peace, respect and perform a kind of service as a practice, it creates an ecosystem that holds a space, allowing value to emerge organically. All of these indirect values, the ripple effect, have space and time to add up, synergize with other ripples, and multiply into something completely unexpected. 4. There are social issues particularly focused and have affected the youth. These include poverty, environmental degradation, war, violence, equality or discrimination, social injustice, and suppression of human rights. It is very important for the youth to take part in engaged Buddhism to avoid social problems that violate the norms and values of the Vietnam society. xii THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines 5. Research has also shown that practicing four immeasurable minds daily to help people curb greed, hatred and delusion to have the peaceful mind. Recommendations further studies From the foregoing findings and conclusions, the researcher offers the following recommendations: - Further and wider research or expanding the scope of the study order to look at the philosophy comprehensively and the radical Buddhist ethics aim to initiate, user-friendly human. - The further development of this study about Buddhism is to propose solutions to eliminate social evils in society, especially the youth. xiii THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines ACKNOWLEDGMENT I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the many individuals who have supported me in my studies. I wish to acknowledge first and foremost the instruction and hard work of my dissertation advisor, Dean of Colleges, Head of the Graduate School and Visiting Professor, Prof. Maluh A.Valdez. I feel truly lucky to have had the opportunity to work with her closely. It was she who first inspired and interested me in the field of literature and in her gentle way she has acted as an excellent advisor from the very beginning when I started working with her up to the present. She has always provided a helpful direction, assistance and support for my dissertation whenever I needed it. Without her guidance and support, this dissertation would have been impossible. I am also grateful to the other members of my doctoral committees from the Batagas State University, Philippines, Prof. Matilda H.Dimaano, Prof. Amada Banaag, Prof.Lavage B. Labura for their valuable comments and suggestions. I would like to thank to Dr. Prof. Dang Kim Vui, the President of TNU, for the linkage between the Thai Nguyen University and the Batangas State University and Dr. Prof. Nguyen The Hung, Director for xiv THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines International Training Centre for his help so that the learners complete this course. Many thanks should also go to other related people for their academic supports towards the end of this research, Ms. Le Quynh Anh in International Training Center, College of Agriculture and Forestry, Thai Nguyen University. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to my family who are always there to cheer me up and stand by my side with the unquestioned support. Last, but not least, I am deeply indebted to my husband, for his patience and for his unlimited support and love. Without him, I would not have been able to complete this long journey. The Researcher xv THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines TABLE OF CONTENTS Page TITLE PAGE ……………………………………………………….. i Table of Contents ……………………………….……..……........... ii CHAPTER I THE PROBLEM Introduction ……………………………….……. 1 Statement of the Problem ………………….…. 4 Scope,Delimitation and Limitation of the 5 Significance of the Study …………………..….. 7 Study CHAPTER II CHAPTER III CHAPTER IV REVIEW OF LITERATURE Conceptual Literature …………………………. 9 Research Literature ……………………………. 35 Synthesis ……………………………….………. 40 Theoretical Framework ……………………….. 44 Conceptual Framework ……………………….. 49 Definition of Terms …………………………….. 52 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY Research Method ……………………………… 52 Treatment of Materials ………………………… 56 ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF DATA xvi THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines Analysis and Interpretation…………………… CHAPTER V 62 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Summary…………………………………….…... 138 Findings ………………………………………… 141 Conclusions …………………………………… 146 Recommendations ……………………….……. 147 BIBLIOGRAPHY CURRICULUM VITAE 1 THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines CHAPTER I THE PROBLEM Introduction Nowadays, while the human being strides on the path of development towards the knowledge society, opened society, the more "great risk" posed for the whole society, including the degradation of ethics, lifestyle becoming a global problem. Sadly, this situation occurs more frequently in young people, especially, in pupils, and students the future owners of the country. And Vietnam is one of the countries which need to give the alarm about morality and lifestyle. Facing requirements for sustainable development of the country, Vietnam is necessary to build a new moral foundation in order to be suitable for ages on the basis of inheriting the moral values, the good traditional of the nation. Born in India, spent nearly 20 centuries existence and development of the nation, Buddhism has left a deep commitment of thought and become really ingrained moral lifestyle of Vietnam people because Buddhism is always appreciated as compassion, charity. Since the transmission of Buddhism into Vietnam, the helping rescue the spirit of Buddha is widely promoted in a country where were affected by many war-torn, disasters. It is the important reasons to tie to Buddhism and be accompanied with the Vietnamese people through the long year. The philosophy of loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity encouraging human to live in a friendly and good way, it is easy for Buddhism to take part in the heart of human beings in order to perfect ethic personality, and create men to have lifestyle of altruism, equality, charity. It also has proved that Buddhism is in accordance with the ethics of Vietnamese people, and it has made a positive contribution 2 THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines for the construction and defense of the homeland. Today in the complex context of the political situation - the world cultural, the positive values of Buddhism are proven again. Men have made significant progress in science and technology, but it is likely that people never feel miserable and anxious as today. A series of complicated political situation of the world and the dark side of the industry make the natural ecological environment and humanistic environment be seriously polluted. Among these challenges, increasing income gap, poverty reduction, rampant corruption, and ethnic conflicts and growing religion have appeared. In addition, natural disasters and climate change, the inequality of women, and poor understanding of the law, and the potential threat to growth and development of Asia countries in the future more and more, and Vietnam also suffer more from these hazards. Thus, before this situation, Buddhism has an important role to contribute to support our country's security and to ensure social justice. Buddhism, formed from the very beginning, has expressed relief of suffering and mental distress for men. In the teachings of the Buddha, people need to have agape - compassion and loving-kindness. This is a fundamental factor to help develop agape or compassion and relieve happiness suffering, leading to the orientation of Buddhist activities for people. Thus, in the literature, there are many works born and honestly reflect these phenomena. And the writer named as Thich Nhat Hanh is mentioned. He has considered as the one who was enlightening for people to enjoy the pure life. Agape is valuable quality required of every man that Nhat Hanh mentioned in the typical work of this study. 3 THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist who now lives in France. Born Nguyễn Xuân Bảo, Nhat Hanh joined a Zen monastery at the age of 16, and studied Buddhism as a novitiate. Upon his ordination as a monk in 1949, he assumed the Dharma name Thich Nhat Hanh. Thích is an honorary family name used by all Vietnamese monks and nuns, meaning that they are part of the Shakya or the Shakyamuni Buddha clan. He is the leader of Buddhism influenced the second largest in the West only after the Dalai Lama (http://thichgvdevindia.blogspot.com/). He has left men the famous literature works and teachings all over the world. His literature works about the ways of life and principles of the Buddhist teachings to bring people living in peace and happiness. Agape was presented very clearly in prose and poetry of Thich Nhat hanh. With a gentle melody is reflected in the work, agape has affected to human beings in life. Moreover, Nhat Hanh’s works such as True Love: A Practical of Awakening the Heart, and Being Peace have reflected more clearly the concept of agape. Concurrently, these works help men recognize the valuable living principles, and the ways to solve the social problems and especially these focused on the youth all over the world in general and in Vietnam in particular. One of the most important teachings of Nhat Hanh is to emphasize respect, peace and service, combined with the practice of mindfulness in daily life. He said that the school directors help mankind to live deeply each moment of daily life, and treat the sadness and pain, and concurrently, men also know how to manipulate joy, happiness, and peace in their daily lives when going, standing, talking, 4 THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines laughing, working. From the perspective of the Bodhisattva practice, as often said in Beijing: "The ball is headed"; "Great compassion is fundamental. Without compassion, there is no Dharma because of Dharma developed on the basis of compassion. Through the teachings of Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese students will be able to contact their own values with the values shown in the Buddhist his work. Love, peace, respect, and service and the other values are defined as the core values of the Vietnamese people. While reading and analyzing of representative works of Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese people realize agape, is the origin of morality. Agape is nothing beyond human beings, not outside man. Each one cultivate his moral to improve human personality in order to contribute to building a civilized, good, peace and happiness society. With these thoughts in mind, the researcher who is an English teacher from the Thai Nguyen University of Information and Communication Technology deemed the necessary to analyze the literary works of Thich Nhat Hanh to gain honest implications of his virtue of agape on Vietnamese students’ values Statement of the Problem The study primarily aims to identify manifestations of agape in selected works of Thich Nhat Hanh and their implications on Vietnamese student values. Specifically, this study seeks answers to the following questions: 1. What is the historical root of agape in the Buddhist Tradition? 2. How is the agape in the following works of Thich Nhat Hanh manifested: 2.1 True Love: A Practical of Awakening the Heart; and
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