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

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THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines NGUYEN THUY LINH AGAPE IN THE SELECTED WORKS OF THICH NHAT HANH: IMPLICATION ON VIETNAMESE STUDENTS’ VALUES Major: English Language and Literature Ph.D DISSERTATION SUMMARY OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE Thai Nguyen 2014 2 The Dissertation was completed in: THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Advisor: Dr. Maria Luisa A. Valdez Reviewer No.1: ............................................. Reviewer No.2: ............................................. Reviewer No.3: ............................................. The Dissertation will be evaluated at the State Council held at: ……………………………………………………………………….. At: hour ... date ... month ...year 2014 Dissertation can be found at the libraries: - National library of Vietnam; - Learning Resource Center - Thai Nguyen University; - Library of International Training and Development Center; - Library of Batangas State University, Philippines. 1 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. Nowadays, ethics and lifestyle of many people are depressed with many manifestations of strange lifestyle, contrary to the habits and customs of a community taking place 2 increasingly popular, especially in young people, pupils, students. So, before the development requirements of the country, to build a moral foundation - agape, new lifestyles towards the humanities, and sustainable progress for the younger generation of pupils, students is very necessary. Thus, the theme of “ Agape in the selected works of Thich Nhat Hanh: Implications on Vietnamese student values” is chosen to study. The structure of dissertation includes 5 chapters 3 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION BACKGROUND OF STUDY 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 lovingkindness. 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 4 pure life. Agape is valuable quality required of every man that Nhat Hanh mentioned in the typical work of this study. STATAMENT OF THE PROBLEM The study primarily aims to identify the 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 2.2 Being Peace? 3. How are the following virtues portrayed in the selected works in terms of: 3.1 respect; 3.2 peace and; 3.3 service? 4.What social issues particularly focusing on the youth are gleaned from the selections? 5. What are the implications of Thich Nhat Hanh’s agape on noted Vietnamese students’ values? 5 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY This study analyzes of agape as embodied in the selected literary pieces of Thich Nhat Hanh pointing out the events and situations which show the implications of the writer’s agape on noted Vietnamese students’ values. Likewise, this paper tries to present the historical beginnings of agape in the Buddhist tradition; the virtues of loving-kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity as the essence of agape; the virtues of peace, respect and service as portrayed in the selected works; the social issues particularly focused on the youth gleaned from the selections; and the implications of the writer’s agape on noted Vietnamese students’ values. This study employed the qualitative method of research in analyzing the Thich Nhat Hanh’s concept of agape in the representative literary works chosen. Likewise, this analysis made use of the sociological and philosophical approaches as the bases for analysis. Other approaches in literary criticism that may be employed in the analysis like the Formalist Criticism, Biographical Criticism, Historical Criticism, and Psychological Criticism are not part of this study. This paper 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 6 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. The following representative literary works of Thich Nhat Hanh were analyzed: Love Is Being There, Overcoming Pride, Interbeing, Meditation in Daily Life, Feelings and Perceptions, Working for Peace, Telephone Meditation, Everybody 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. The said selections were chosen because of the correlation between the aforementioned themes, literary devices, the social issues particularly focused on the youth gleaned from the selections, which helped in unveiling the implications of the writer’s agape on noted Vietnamese students’ values. SIGNIFICATION OF THE STUDY The relevance of literary analysis as an essential part of a research study is highlighted in terms of its significance to a number of individuals. Therefore, it is vital to expound how this study is beneficial to academic managers, working professionals, college 7 instructors of literature, students of literature, members of the community, and other researchers. Viet Nam’s Ministry of Education and Training and Educational Institutions: employ this study to ensure that the practice of agape can access the academe and spawn activities in the curricula that will educate pupils, students the traditional moral values of the Vietnamese people from social evils, environmental degradation, war, violence, social injustice and human rights abuses. Vietnamese students: can be utilized as the reference source for, and to help students to realize agape which is always seen as the very important factor in life. The value of true love, peace, respect and service for each other to create the atmosphere of peace and warmth for themselves and for society are performed by learners. The members of the community: can realize the value of agape or compassion while living, learning and working in every society or nation. The results of the study also shows that practicing four immeasurable minds brings a peace and happiness life for man. 8 CHAPTER II REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE This chapter is presented with the end view of identifying the constructs of the study. RESEARCH LITERATURE This section presents the published and unpublished researches that are related to the present study. SYNTHEIS OF LITERATURE REVIEWED This section justifies the direct bearing of the conceptual literature to the present study followed by the presentation of the similarities and differences of the cited research literature to the present study. CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK This section presents the central theme or the main thrust of the study. It serves as a guide in conducting the investigation. It is followed by a paradigm which is a diagrammatic representation of the conceptual framework. DEFINITION OF TERMS This section presents the terms defined conceptually and operationally for a better understanding and appreciation of concepts as they are used in the study. The following terms were defined: agape, compassion, content analysis, joy, equanimity, peace, respect, selected works of Thich Nhat Hanh, service, social issues, and Vietnamese values. 9 CHAPTER III RESEARCH METHODOLOGY This chapter presents the research methodology in terms of the research design and treatment of the materials studied. RESEARCH DESIGN This study employed the qualitative method of research in analyzing the tenets of agape in the representative literary works chosen. According to Suter (2012), qualitative research is directed by the philosophical premise that one must consider the multiple realities experienced by the participants themselves to understand a complex phenomenon. These multiple realities experienced by the participants can be reflected in various ways, including the literary genre called wisdom stories, meditations, anecdotes, life coaching advices, and poems. According to Ary, et. al. (2006), human experiences take their signification from social, cultural and political influences, and are therefore incapable of being separated to the said influences. Hence, in analyzing the representative literary works, the tenet of agape in the context of Buddhism in Vietnam are considered. These provided substantial and significant interpretations of the author’s and characters’ motivations as regards agape. Patton (2002) pointed out that the goal of qualitative data analysis is to uncover emerging themes, patterns, concepts, insights, and understanding. 10 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. TREATMENT OF MATERIALS The essential features in the treatment of materials were considered by the researcher in the conduct of this study. Literature, like all the other arts, has certain standards by which all selections can be measured for evaluation and analysis. In 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. According to him, these standards include: universal appeal, permanence, suggestiveness, intellectually valuable, spiritually valuable, style and artistry. Through his being and his works, Nhat Hanh invites readers into the reality of the present moment. Because he is a poet, his language has beauty, intimacy, and rich texture that illuminate the mind. Because he is courageous, he willingly pierces the reader’s great heart of compassion. Because he is wise, his simple words speak to the most obvious Dharma and to the truly profound levels of Buddha’s awakening, all at one time (Kornfield, 2005). 11 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 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. For over half a century, this revolutionary monk has spread the teachings of Being Peace (Kornfield, 2005) and True Love: A Practice of Awakening the Heart. From these literatures, readers will be able to see in them the seeds of all Thich Nhat Hanh’s most important teachings, and the seeds of man’s awakening as well. Likewise, they may draw on simple Buddhist teachings; wisdom stories from various traditions; guided meditation practices and experiences of practices; gentle anecdotes and life coaching advises and teachings of this reverend Zen master to illustrate how each individual can cultivate lovingkindness, compassion, joy and equanimity. These prose and poetry constituted the primary and twining sources of the study. They were chosen to parallel the criteria spelled out for the purpose. These works have been taken up in critical analysis far less frequently than the author’s most popular books entitled “The Heart of Buddha’s Teaching, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life, The Miracle of Mindfulness; and Happiness: Essential Mindfulness Practices, Call Me by my True Names, Old Path White Clouds: Walking in the Footsteps of Buddha, Living Buddha, Living Christ, You are Here: Discovering the Present of the Magic Moment, and Mindful Movements: Ten Exercises for Well-Being. 12 CHAPTER IV FINDINGS AND PRESENTATION FINDINGS The results of analysis and interpretation revealed that: 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 “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- 13 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. 2. The agape in the following works of Thich Nhat Hanh manifested 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. ThichNhatHanh (2011) and Ward and Ward (2008), called these teachings the four immeasurable namely: loving-kindness or maitri, compassion orkaruna, joy or mudita, and equanimity or 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 equanimity puts an end to hatred, aversion, and attachment in the heart of living beings. 14 3. The virtues as respect, peace 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 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. 15 4. The social issues particularly focusing on the youth are gleaned from the selections indented There are social issues particularly focused and have affected the youth. That poverty is still existed on man, and children has affected seriously. Gender equality and women's rights still occur in the new era. In most cultures, women often suffer injustice. The lives of human beings who have suffered oppression injustice, misery, poverty, separated. Women should never be as equal as men in society. In addition, environmental degradation is serious problem in society, water pollution, deforestation and animal and industrial wastes. It directly affects the health and lifestyles of the other people. While on the other hand, war, violence still occurs. For this reason, 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. 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 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. 16 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. 17 CHAPTER V SUMMARY, FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 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. This study employed the qualitative method of research in analyzing the tenets of agape in the representative literary works chosen. This study also this analysis made use of the sociological and philosophical approaches as the bases for analysis. 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 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. 18 FINDINGS The study yielded the following findings 1. The root of agape in the Buddhist religion started with the birth of Buddha Shakyamuni. 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. 2. 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 equanimity puts an end to hatred, aversion, and attachment in the heart of living beings. 3. From the selections, Nhat Hanh’s concepts of the virtues of peace, respect, and service were also portrayed. Nhat Hanh believes that all these qualities help a prosperous society, happiness, and less miserable. 4. There are social issues particularly focused and have affected the youth. These include poverty, environmental degradation, war,
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