Chapter 1 Where Does Peace Begin?
Chapter 2 Peace, and War, Begins in the Mind
Chapter 3 What Do Humans Really Want?
Chapter 4 The Easiest Path to Happiness
Chapter 5 Great Master and Follower of Peace
Chapter 6 Dr.Michael Nobel’s Endorsement
Chapter 7 Speech of Luang Por Dhammajayo
Chapter 8 We Will Definitely Find True Peace…
About Dr. Michael Nobel
About Luang Por Dhammajayo
Basic Meditation Practice
The quest for world peace is a task that becomes more daunting with each passing year. We are surrounded by increasing levels of conflict, and much of humanity is struggling to find relief from the stress caused by such conflict. However, before we can achieve world peace, we need to achieve inner peace. If every human being can achieve peace within himself, world peace will be a natural consequence.
The wisdom of the Venerable Luang Por Dhammajayo and Dr. Michael Nobel, shared with us in the following pages, is simple to understand and implement, yet profound in its impact.
The incredible growth and influence of the Dhammakaya Foundation in the international arena is testament to its success, inspiring everyday people to search for the answers within this wisdom. Please join us in our quest for world peace!
Chapter 1 Where Does Peace Begin?
On any given day, we often find ourselves encountering various scenes of conflict. During a simple walk to the park, we may hear the noisy honks of impatient drivers; we may see a couple squabbling; we may even see aggressive dogs barking at each other.
Suppose there were several people taking the same route to the park. Although they may all encounter the same scenes, they do not necessarily all react in the same way. Someone may feel annoyance at the noisy dogs and decide to leave the park, another may feel sorry for the fighting couple. We can also imagine that there may be someone who is able to walk through these pockets of conflict and remain unaffected. Such a person can maintain a calm and peaceful mind irrespective of his surroundings, much like a cool oasis in a hot desert. If we can imagine such a person existing, we can start to imagine how to become that person.
A group of researchers set out to discover the source of inner peace. They carried out an experiment using two six-year-old boys, Johnny and Billy, with similar personalities and family backgrounds. They put the boys in two separate rooms for two hours and observed their behavior.
Johnny’s room contained many modern toys such as trains, robots and video games, while Billy’s room contained some dried grass and horse manure.
After two hours the boys were released. Johnny was throwing all the toys around the room, and when asked why he was crying he said that he missed his mom. When asked why he didn’t play with the toys he replied that he no longer wanted them; the train was noisy, the robot and video games were boring and he wanted to see his mum straight away. In the other room, Billy was happily singing to himself in the corner. When asked why he was not calling for his mum, he replied that his mum would pick him up soon, and when asked how he could stay in a room with just grass and horse manure, Billy replied, “Wow is that horse poop? That must mean there is a pony somewhere for me to play with.”
The researchers concluded that external factors have only a minor influence on an individual’s temperament. The root of peace and calm comes from within the mind, and it is this fact that ultimately causes one to have a good or bad temperament.
Knowing this, how do we then achieve a pure and contented mind? Once we know how to achieve this, we will find true happiness. Where there is true happiness, there is no conflict, and where there is no conflict, there is peace.
Chapter 2 Peace, and War, Begins in the Mind
A simple trip to the supermarket can provide an illustration of how the human mind is constantly at war within itself. Delicious junk food calls out to us from the shelves, enticing us to buy them and indulge our desires. Our conscience tells us no, tells us to resist the temptation, because such food is bad for us. Despite knowing this, we are still unable to silence the little voice within that whispers, just buy it…just eat it…
Our minds are capable of both positive and negative thoughts. To choose a nutritious food item over junk food is an example of positive thinking. To indulge our cravings despite recognizing that our bodies do not need it, is an example of negative thinking. Whether we choose to think positively or negatively, is entirely up to us.
If we are able to choose positive thoughts over negative ones, then we are directing ourselves towards the good virtues, and therefore will be more inclined to make better, balanced judgments in our lives.
In our daily lives, we have many decisions to make. Our thought process, be it positive or negative, will be actualized through our speech and physical actions. We are fortunate to be able to direct our minds to think positively, but it is unfortunate that much of the time, we choose instead to think negatively. Negative thoughts lead to negative actions, which ultimately lead to misery. Therefore, the pertinent question is this: given that our mind controls our actions, how do we direct our minds to always think and act positively, so that we will always have peace and happiness?
Conflict often begets more conflict, and much of it is often justified by claiming it was meant to address the problems caused by a prior conflict. For example, some may hold the position that wars are justifiable because they help to terminate the suffering of the oppressed. However, this is not the right way. Instead, we should find the root cause of the suffering and resolve it in a peaceful way. Peace begins in the mind. If we have a peaceful mind and think in a positive way, our actions are more likely to be good, peaceful and harmonious. If everyone is able to do this, world peace will naturally result.
Chapter 3 What do Humans Really Want?
For most people, the list of things they want can probably go on forever; in contrast, the list of things they need is probably quite short. We have a hard time limiting our wants because we do not know the limits of our satisfaction. We do not know what it means to be completely satisfied, and therefore we constantly strive to attain more.
We know what are the necessities in life, yet for most of us, having the necessities is not enough to be happy. Shelter is a necessity, so we buy a house. But having a house to satisfy the necessity of shelter is not enough. We want more things – things to entertain us when we are at home, things to beautify the house, things to impress others with. To want these non-essential things is not necessarily bad in itself, because it is unrealistic in our modern world to expect people to live in a bare house. The important point is to be aware that these are wants, not needs, and we must know how to curb our excessive wants, so that we do not overindulge in our desires.
Consider an art collector. He has run out of space in his home, so he buys a second house to store his collection. He puts in an alarm system to guard against thieves. He buys insurance to protect against floods and fires. He makes regular visits to the house to check on their condition. All of these add to his stress, which erodes the happiness he should be deriving from his collection.
The age-old question remains – what do people really want? An immediate answer for this is “happiness”. Other questions may follow. “What is real happiness?” Does happiness mean having a big house or a lot of money? Does it include travelling around the world or paying off one’s debts? “What do people really want?” is the question that has remained unanswered for a long time. Some search for happiness by hunting or fishing, and some enjoy the night life, drowning themselves in alcohol and ruining their health without even realizing it. They think that they are happy, but they are merely deluded. Their “happiness” can turn into misery in an instant, such as when their health fails. We all know that we want happiness, and we all try to look for it, but most of us are looking for happiness in the wrong places.
When we travel, we often encounter various obstacles. Sometimes the flight we want is fully booked. Sometimes we have excess baggage and insufficient funds. Sometimes bad weather ruins flight schedules. We can compare our lives to that of a traveler. Whether we reach our destination quickly or slowly depends on the number of obstacles in the way. Obstacles may be financial, physical or emotional. Obstacles may be external or internal. No matter what form they take, obstacles all do the same thing, they hinder our progress towards our goal. If we can find a way to overcome all obstacles, our path to true happiness will be much faster and smoother.
Chapter 4 The Easiest Path to Happiness
Fortunately for us, the easiest and fastest path to true happiness is, not far from us at all. But before we explore this path to true happiness, we need to understand more about the concept of true happiness.
All human beings love happiness and hate suffering. As mentioned in the previous chapter, many of us search for happiness, in a variety of ways. Some may say that one is happy when one is free from suffering, or when one has managed to escape from suffering. However, some forms of escape may result in even more suffering to oneself or others; for example, acts of suicide, or activities like hunting.
Therefore, true happiness is not just temporary pleasure or enjoyment. Instead, it is a happiness which does not cause problems for oneself or others, and will not revert back to suffering.
So what is suffering? The sufferings that we can easily identify are birth, aging, sickness, death, sorrow, grief, loss of material things and undesirable encounters. All of these are the basic sufferings of human beings, and there are many other types of anguish that we may experience as well. Now that we understand what is true happiness, we are ready to embark on the easiest path towards that goal – we must free our minds from the pressure of sufferings. This is easier said than done, because stilling one’s mind requires proper training and regular practice; without this, it is very difficult to free one’s mind from constant thoughts, worries and pressures.
Training to still our minds is a skill that we need to learn in order to achieve a peaceful and meditative state. Only when our mind has reached a calm state can we then fully utilize the inner strength within ourselves. When our inner strength is being used to its full potential, then inner happiness will arise. This inner happiness is the true happiness. It is permanent – it will not revert back to suffering – and it is constant – you will not need to find other sources of happiness to replace it.
At this point, some of you may wonder – can we really attain inner strength and happiness just by keeping the mind clear and still? To answer this question, consider the analogy of a house.
If you look at your house you will see that it comprises of a roof, pillars and walls. If you look at the pillars and walls, you may think that they are just staying still and not doing anything. In fact, they have a very important function, that is, to support the pressure of the roof. If the pillars and the walls are moving instead of staying still, then the roof will fall down due to its own weight and pressure. Therefore, when the pillars and walls are still, they will have the strength to support the weight of the roof, and bring stability to the house.
Our minds are no different; if they are not still, but are constantly worrying and thinking, we would not be able to hold ourselves up against all the pressures of life. We would feel overwhelmed by our problems, and cannot resolve them without creating further problems.
In contrast, if we were to keep our minds still, we will have the inner strength to support all the pressure and problems caused by the outside world, and we can remain calm and happy no matter how powerful the outside pressure is.
The easiest and fastest way, to still our minds is through meditation.
It has been accepted by many professionals that meditation is the best way to relax and build our spirit, but many do not realize that ongoing meditation training will also bring true happiness and peace. This is because, through meditation, true happiness and peace are achieved internally, without having to rely on external sources. Material objects, other people, drugs, alcohol, and even making trouble or war only have a limited and fleeting effect on our happiness and peace.
Therefore only when our minds are still and we have inner peace and happiness through meditation do we have the strength to solve and eradicate problems such as violence easily and effectively.
Chapter 5 Great Master and Follower of Peace
Regardless of our age, wealth or social status, we all need teachers if we want to become knowledgeable in some area. This is because it may not be possible to cover all the aspects of a subject through self- learning, or to learn how to apply that knowledge properly so that it is fully utilized in daily life. Therefore teachers are pivotal in transmitting intellectual traditions and technical skills into the real world. In order to be successful in anything, it is vital to have a good teacher.
This is no different in meditation, it is important to have good teachers or guidance to fully appreciate and achieve the benefits of meditation. Most people are aware that meditation can help in relaxation and relieving stress. However, meditation has been proven to have many more advantages. Those who regularly practice meditation will reach a state of peacefulness and calmness, which give them the strength to battle all the obstacles they are facing. Another important benefit of regular meditation is in helping one to find true happiness. Peace through meditation will help to resolve conflicts within communities, and once this occurs, world peace will be achievable.
Despite the long history of meditation, to find a true master who has self-discipline and is willing to impart his knowledge to others, is no easy task. Therefore, when a great teacher is found, this world becomes like a small child receiving a great gift; the teachings of the wise one will bring immense value to all humankind.
Phramongkolthepmuni (Sodh Candasaro) or Luang Pu Wat Paknam, was a Buddhist monk who rediscovered a method of meditation found by the Lord Buddha to attain Truth. On a full moon day of the 10th month 1916, at Boad Bon Temple, Nonthaburi Province, he swore by his life to search for such a method in order to find the purpose of life and true happiness. He thought to himself, “If I cannot search for the Truth of Life then I will remain still on this meditation seat,” and with that vow he attained Dhammakaya, the body of enlightenment. This discovery showed the way for all humans to achieve true peace, and stop all conflicts from the very roots permanently.
For more than 40 years after his enlightenment he spent all of his time teaching students in both Thailand and abroad so that they could find inner peace as he did. He taught a countless number of people to attain Dhammakaya and more than a million people found true inner peace using his meditation method.
A few days before his death, he gathered his devoted students and said, “Carry on all the work you have done, most importantly you must practice meditation. Stay and wait for someone to continue the work I have started.” He passed away in February 1959. One of his devoted students, a 55-year-old nun named Chand Khonnokyoong, (later her fellow students respectfully called her Master Nun Chand Khonnokyoong) followed the order of Luang Pu and waited for the one to carry on his mission.
In 1963, she met a 19-year-old university freshman who was keen to find out the Truth of Life. Eventually, this man found the happiness he had been searching for and he finally ordained as a Buddhist monk in 1969 after his graduation. Soon after, the largest and most disciplined Temple in Thailand was built. This monk was later called Luang Por Dhammajayo, the Abbot of Dhammakaya Temple (currently he is titled by H.M. the King to the monastic rank of Phrarajbhavanavisudh).
For over 40 years, Luang Por Dhammajayo has tirelessly dedicated his heart and soul to the teaching of meditation so that the whole world can find the true happiness. Regular meditation practice has transformed the lives of many people in all areas such as health, work and study. It can be applied in all aspects of our daily life to achieve success. Luang Por Dhammajayo has increased the number of Meditation Centers and currently there are more than 40 centers in 23 countries worldwide.
People from all walks of life have expressed their interest in meditation for their own inner peace including directors, entrepreneurs, students, laborers and the general public.
On 10th October 2008, Luang Por Dhammajayo led hundred and thousands of his fellow students to express their worship, gratitude, and veneration to Luang Pu, the Great Master of Dhammakaya Meditation, by casting a statue of him which is 1.5 times his actual life-size, consisting of 1 metric ton of pure gold, at Dhammakaya Temple.
Apart from the casting of Luang Pu’s image in solid gold, joy was brought to the crowd who were present when Dr. Michael Nobel, a 4th generation member of the Nobel family, attended the ceremony. He had previously learned meditation using the Dhammakaya technique that leads to true happiness and a peaceful path. Dr. Nobel gave a speech and it can be said that he is one of the most renowned supporter for bringing peace and happiness to the world. The speeches of Dr. Nobel and Luang Por Dhammajayo are included in the following chapters.
Chapter 6 Dr. Michael Nobel’s Endorsement
at the Dhammakaya Meditation Hall on 10th October 2008
Your holiness, your Excellencies, distinguished guests, dear friends, ladies and gentlemen.
I am very honored and grateful for the opportunity to meet all of you happy smiling people here today and to have the chance to speak about peace and conflict resolution, a subject dear to my heart.
I would like to begin by warmly thanking those individuals who have offered me this opportunity: first, of course, his holiness Luang Por Dhammajayo to whom I am greatly indebted. A very special thanks to Mr. Song Watcharasriroj for the outstanding generosity he has shown me and for having had the kindness to obtain an audience with his holiness and introduce me to the centre’s activities and philosophy. I would also like to warmly thank Mum Luang Rajadarasri for her kindness and friendship. I have myself some experience and background in working for peace, I was born and raised in Sweden and lived most of my life in Switzerland, two countries who have not had a conflict with their neighbors for hundreds of years. My great grandfather’s brother, Alfred Nobel, created the Nobel Peace Prize, and I spent 12 years of my recent past as head of a non-violence project which succeeded in reaching out to over 2 million young people around the globe to teach them non-violent behavior through various programs in schools. I sit today on several boards of conflict resolution foundations trying to make young urban children adopt a nonviolent lifestyle. Today, we are here on a very joyous occasion, the glorious event of the casting in solid gold of the statue of Phramongkolthepmuni.
Phramongkolthepmuni (Sodh Candasaro) dedicated his life in order to rediscover the wisdom of Dhammakaya, the key to the enlightenment of the Lord Buddha, for the benefit of Buddhists worldwide. He taught us how to practice bringing your mind to connect to the center of your body to attain Dhammakaya, the body of enlightenment of all mankind. In order that these teachings may once again announce to the world that the peaceful state of the mind is the secret of success.
A hundred years from now people will ask why the image of Phramongkolthepmuni was cast in solid gold. They will realize he must have been a very important person to receive such an honor and veneration. The casting of his gold image is not merely a material expression of gratitude for his compassion and sacrifice or a monument of love for the much-revered Bodhisattva. His gold image will also serve as historical evidence of his existence and the most important rediscovery, while his timely teachings will remain a precious legacy to the world and continue to bring peace and happiness to humankind.
In his best-selling book, AFRICAN GENESIS, Robert Ardrey postulated that Man is by nature a predator and prone to violence and all that normally prevents people from attacking each other physically is the training of parents, teachers, and other moderating influences and the fear of punishment or reprisal.
Man has done little enough to dispel his brutish image. His readiness to massacre millions of his fellow human beings – let alone obliterate whole species of the other creatures sharing this planet with him – hardly support the rosy view of him as a noble and compassionate animal.
And yet, there are too many truly good men and women in the world to dispute the horrendous view of humanity, too many examples of kindness and selflessness to simply accept violence as a natural human characteristic.
One only has to think of the millions of people whose lives are devoted to teaching children life skills, to fighting pain, disease and poverty, to protecting lives and property and to promoting ideals of morality and truth. We have a shining example here today, in the person of his holiness Luang Por Dhammajayo.
These, rather than barbaric exceptions, are surely the ones who reflect the true nature of man. These are our hope and salvation even if the good that they do is often over-shadowed in the media by the evil done by comparatively few others.
Let me come back to the practice of meditation. I have never practiced this method before I met his holiness and even if it was the first time in my life I still felt a strong feeling of inner peace and relaxation. Anyone with such inner peace cannot believe or engage in external violence. I am very grateful to Luang Por Dhammajayo for introducing meditation to me as a method to obtain this harmony and achieve a peaceful state of mind. I have as a consequence decided to join a retreat course organized by the center and learn more about how to obtain this state of bliss.
There is no doubt in my mind that if all of the statesmen of the world, the military, the politicians and the corporate leaders accepted the principle of meditation and agreed to assimilate the wisdom of Luang Por Dhammajayo, the world would surely become a haven of peace and tranquility.
I have looked with admiration upon the works of his holiness; the temple, the foundation and all its activities and the results obtained are truly impressive. Let me tell you about some of them.
Luang Por is dedicated to advocating world peace through inner peace via meditation to bridge and reconcile differences between people from different countries, religions and cultural backgrounds.
Luang Por’s teachings of peace, humanity, compassion and kindness have touched the lives of many, many people worldwide. His social and humanitarian work, as well as Buddhist teachings, has earned him many international awards and recognitions.
Luang Por’s meditation for inner peace has positively impacted the lives of people from all walks of life, and inspired many people to respect the sanctity of life and to practice peace.
Luang Por is a great teacher, an advocate of nonviolence and a very special kind of person with words that encourage and beautify the lives of others. His many contributions to the world peace process have been well recognized and accepted around the world. For instance, the “Path of Progress” – Ethics Quiz Contest – was honored as one of the “Programs of the Peace and Non-Violence of the Century” by UNESCO and awarded the First Place by His Majesty the King of Thailand.
The Program was chosen for presentation to 1,600 Non-Governmental Organizations at the “Future of Our Children” conference in Switzerland. Some 4.7 million people and about 20,000 educational institutes participated in the program that most schools in Thailand have incorporated it into their curriculum.
Its objectives are not only to promote ethics and morals but also to promote love and understanding within participating families. This is a testimony that Lung Por Dhammajayo has the right vision for creating world peace through ethics and moral development in our youth, an approach of great value to the world’s communities.
His humanitarian works include, among others, assisting victims of Tsunami and Flood, orphanages, and poor and destitute hill tribe people. His “no smoking” educative process and work that instill respect for life are also among his hallmarks. Luang Por Dhammajayo has initiated the televised program DMC that has brought immense benefits to many audiences around the world. Recently the DMC channel has received well-known international awards such as The Telly Awards.
And the best proof of the effectiveness of the power of meditation is shown here today in front of me, 300,000 people, all happy and smiling. Friendly faces everywhere; you see no aggression, no conflict. This clearly shows the beneficial results of the thoughts and teachings. As I mentioned, if this method was extended worldwide, a true peace and harmony would ensue.
So conferences and meetings such as this one are important but only as a part of the whole. Peace building, by its very nature, demands grassroots action on the part of many people. Each of us should know that we can and do make a difference. One of the most powerful tools would be to teach others in our surroundings how to acquire a peaceful personality through meditation. World peace through community building in the Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King tradition demands a global outreach to engage the empathy and understanding of ordinary people and to induce them to take action in the form of meditation.
Now, meditation is a truly wonderful tool. It requires no instruments, no drugs, no external assistance once the basics are acquired, and no baggage to carry around. You carry it with you inside your head and your heart wherever you go in the world. It is easily taught; you do not need years of practice to master it. Everyone in the world should learn to practice it. Peace, tranquility, contentment, happiness, self-confidence, are all positive values to be inspired by meditation.
How to do this feat? Well, this is where you people come in. It is your role and responsibility to expand these teachings, to the members of your family, to your friends, to your business associates. Like the waves from a stone thrown into the water, the teachings of the blessings of meditation will then sweep outwards and around the world and finally conquer violence, and that is my trust and hope.
So, thank you for coming today and sharing in this great occasion. But equally as important, thank you for taking part in this movement of meditation, which is the harbinger of true global peace.
Chapter 7 Speech of Luang Por Dhammajayo
The Abbot of Dhammakaya Temple
Good afternoon Dr. Michael Nobel, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Welcome to the Dhammakaya Temple. On behalf of the Dhammakaya Temple, the Dhammakaya Foundation and peace loving members from around the world, I wish to express our deepest appreciation for your presence and in taking time off from your busy schedule to join us at this auspicious gathering. We are very touched by your insightful speech Dr. Michael Nobel, and by your kind words about our humble work.
The prodigious work of your organization, the Nobel family and the Nobel Foundation needs no introduction. Your highly respected Nobel family has been working tirelessly in making significant contributions to world peace, humanity and many other fields that improve the quality and sanctity of life. Although the late Mr. Alfred Nobel left this world many decades ago, his great vision and his much admired work live on to this day because of the Nobel family and the Nobel Foundation. The Nobel name today serves as a hallmark of eminent achievements in peace, science and humanity. The Dhammakaya Temple and Dhammakaya Foundation share with your esteemed family our sincere happiness and joy in the extraordinary work that you all have achieved, and for keeping the vision of the founder so very much alive.
It is heartening that the work of the Nobel family, and that of the Dhammakaya Foundation, are so complementary and that we share the same objectives towards promoting world peace. We promote mindfulness in thought, speech and action, while respecting the pride of the human race. We mirror in our work promoting peace, non-violence, nonaggression, and valuing all human beings, regardless of their race, religion or creed.
Mankind has been searching for true peace for many generations. Despite many peace efforts, the world is still witnessing horrific disputes, conflicts and wars. There is not a single day that passes in which there is no demonstration of discontent and violence. These unfortunate events unfold from disputes borne of individual “minds”, minds that are not at peace. This lack of mindfulness in thought, speech and action, is the real cause of tensions. From conflict at the individual level, grief spreads quickly to the global community, drawing the world towards a serious predicament.
Therefore when our minds are at the right place, calm and at peace, our thoughts, speech and action will be right too. The cause of hostilities and conflicts will not arise if our minds are at peace. World peace begins within. It can start from a tiny spot of peace in each of us by first bringing our minds to a standstill – achieving inner peace and bliss within ourselves. Then expand to the community, society, and to the world as a whole. Peace from the pure mind of everyone will achieve the lasting peace.
To achieve world peace there is a need for a concerted effort. Peace cannot be realized through the work of one person or a single establishment. It is necessary to have cooperation from every peace loving individual and organization. In this regard, we humbly hope that the Dhammakaya Temple and the Dhammakaya Foundation may join in cooperation with the Nobel family to bring even greater peace to the world. We are ready to join hands to work, with humility, to contribute to peace on earth.
I wish all of you, the Nobel family and our honorable guest, Dr. Michael Nobel, true happiness, good health and prosperity. I also wish the Nobel family yet greater successes in pursuing lasting world peace for all mankind.
Chapter 8 We will Definitely Find True Peace...
We often talk about ‘peace’ after ‘wars’ have already started. No matter how often we talk about ‘peace’, it can never stop wars that have happened or are happening. It has been written that “even though over a million poems about peace have been written, wars are still raging; because this is the case then ‘peace’ is merely a word that appears in speeches, statements, poems and songs, and is just a word in religious texts to be repeatedly recited.” So where can real ‘peace’ come from?
Everyone wants peace. The poor want peace as they are still in need of basic necessities. The rich also want peace as they are afraid of losing all their possessions. In short, everyone demands peace. But is there anyone who knows where ‘True Peace’ starts?
The people from Cannibal Island in the Solomon Islands believe that white people are full of vitamins and protein, and hunting humans is the culture for them. This barbaric belief has separated them from the outside world. But with the arrival of Mr. Sungvien Khanchaiphoom, who has been practicing meditation learned from the Dhammakaya Temple, their violent past has been replaced by inner peace and happiness through meditation. He has taught meditation to his Solomon Islander colleagues, and when they reached inner happiness they also understood more about the truth of life. They even stopped killing and consuming alcohol and continued their search for inner happiness instead.
In Africa, tribal wars are a big, deeply rooted problem. Luckily for them they now have a chance to discover ‘True Peace’. His Reverence Luang Por Dhammajayo has sent Buddhist monks (missionaries) to light the way in South Africa and have successfully set up centers in Johannesburg and Cape Town. They have also brought peace and harmony to the continent of Africa with the introduction of ‘Middle Way’ program, (which is one of Luang Por Dhammajayo’s meditation projects.) The participants of the program all experienced happiness, which comes from the inside when the mind is still, and have all said that meditation is the only way to bring peace to South Africa and the whole continent of Africa. This has spawned the ‘Peace for Africa’ project and was featured on the front page of the Pretoria News on 20th October 2008 with the title “Give Peace a Chance”, which reported on the release of a thousand peace lanterns, a first for Africa.
After this big news the Peace for Africa project started to attract wider interest from the South African people. During the proceedings, the vision of Luang Por Dhammajayo for creating peace was mentioned as follows: “This project is part of a 40 year endeavor by the Abbot Dhammajayo Bhikkhu from Thailand to bring peace to the world by meditation. He wishes to see peace arising in all human beings.”
Therefore, ‘True Peace’ will definitely happen in our world, but it will not come about from reading, discussing, having seminars or even wars. ‘True Peace’ will occur once we still our minds. This effort must come not just from one person or a group of people, but collectively from all peace loving people and organizations worldwide.
For peace to have a wider influence, we must start from the smallest point (which is within each and every one of us) by meditating and putting our minds in the center of our bodies. When our minds are happy and at peace due to meditation, we will experience the dawn of peace in our hearts, and this dawn of peace will give us happiness, calmness, strength and a sense of security. When the mind is free from all worries, then the love and good wishes for all other beings will begin. Hatred, conflict and suspicion will melt away and then ‘True Peace’ will occur and expand into districts, countries and eventually our world.
Please join us to create peace on earth. Peace, which everyone is wishing for, will start from the easiest thing, which is sitting, closing your eyes gently and happily in the meditation posture…..
About Dr. Michael Nobel
Dr. Michael Nobel was born in Sweden and has been living in Switzerland for many years. He is a citizen of Sweden and Switzerland.
After studying in Sweden and America, Michael Nobel obtained a doctorate at the University of Lausanne in psycho-pedagogy in 1979. The thesis subject was the evaluation of the effectiveness of substance abuse prevention programs.
In the science field, Dr. Michael Nobel worked for seven years as a researcher in social sciences at the Institute for Mass Communication Research at the Lausanne University and at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine in the same city. Dr. Nobel has been a consultant to UNESCO in Paris and the United Nation’s Social Affairs Division in Geneva.
In the business world, Michael Nobel participated in the introduction of magnetic resonance imaging and developed a highly successful diagnostic imaging service company in Sweden with a quarter of a billion SEK in total revenues over a 15 year period.
Today, Dr. Michael Nobel is a chairman and board member of ten international companies. These involve diagnostics, treatment and information in the field of medicine; other areas include Internet service provisions, software development, investment banking, recreational facilities and management consulting.
In his idealistic work, Dr. Michael Nobel holds position in several nonprofit organizations in the fields of conflict resolution, youth education and development. He is also an executive chairman of the Nobel Charitable Trust, which gives awards to politicians, scientists and corporate leaders in the area of renewable energy and organizes conferences in the same field.
Michael Nobel sits on several prominent international prize committees. He has received a number of international citations and awards for his work in the fields of medicine and conflict resolution including an honorary doctorate from Soka University in Tokyo and an honorary professorship from the National Academy of Science of Azerbaijan. He is also an honorary member of two Rotary clubs, in Karlskoga and Miami and in 1997 Rotary International conferred on him the Paul Harris Fellowship Award.
In 2002, Michael Nobel was awarded the Gandhi, King, Ikeda Award from Morehouse College in Atlanta, earlier only given once, to Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan. In 2004, he became the Citation Recipient from the Midwest Research Institute of Kansas City. Previous recipients include Margaret Thatcher, Henry Kissinger, Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, Edward Teller, father of the H-bomb, and Henry Ford.
In 2004, Dr. Michael Nobel became a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences as well as receiving the UNESCO medal for outstanding contributions to the cultural dialogue between nations.
The same year in Jerusalem, Michael Nobel received the Albert Einstein Medal for Outstanding Achievements in Life Sciences and Technology and in 2006 the International Order of Perfection, First Class in Moscow.
Michael Nobel is presently a visiting professor at the Frontier Research Centre, Tokyo Institute of Technology, National University of Japan. The Tokyo institute of Technology is considered Japan’s equivalent of the MIT and Cal Tech in the US.
About Luang Por Dhammajayo
Luang Por Dhammajayo (The Most Venerable Dhammajayo Bhikkhu) was born in Singburi Province, Central Thailand, on April 22, 1944. He has been a self-taught Buddhist since childhood. He received his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Kasetsart University, Bangkok in 1969. In the same year as his graduation, he was ordained at Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen temple with His Holiness Somdet Phra Maharatchamongkhalachan, the present abbot of Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen, as his preceptor. Upon his ordination into the Sangha order, he was given the name ‘Dhammajayo’ which means ‘Victory through Dhamma’.
In 1970, he became the abbot of the new meditation center which later developed into the Dhammakaya Temple, Pathum Thani province, Thailand. Under his management the temple has served tens of thousands of people who join in the Buddhist ceremonies and meditation practices on a regular basis. He is also the founder and the president of the Dhammakaya Foundation (www.dhammakaya. net), an NGO member of the United Nations, and is very influential in both social and religious activities. Right now, the foundation has many branches in Thailand and also in many countries all over the world.
In the pursuit of perfection, Luang Por Dhammajayo has devoted himself over many decades to the practice of meditation, Dhamma study, and the promotion of world peace through inner peace. He focuses his teachings on the attainment of the Dhammakaya, which is the true nature of peace that everyone can attain within. To propagate Buddhism, he also hosts the Inner Dreams Kindergarten Program through the DMC channel which is broadcasted daily worldwide via satellite and the internet (www.dmc.tv/en). The program is rich in Buddhist philosophy and is aimed at providing knowledge and understanding of the truth of life.
The Venerable also received an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Buddhist Studies from the Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, the most famous and largest Buddhist educational institution in Thailand.
In recognition of his work, the Venerable received the World No Tobacco Day Award in 2004 from the World Health Organization for his successful smoke-free campaign among hundreds of Buddhist temples in Thailand. He was the first Thai Buddhist monk to receive the Mahatma Gandhi Peace Award from the All Gandhian Worker Society of India in 2005. He also received the Universal Peace Award from the World Buddhist Sangha Youth of Sri Lanka in 2006; the Atish Dipankar Peace Gold Award from Bangladesh Buddha Kristi Prachar Sangha in 2007; and the Telly Awards for his creative Dhamma Media Channel in 2007.
Basic Meditation Practice
To start meditating, sit cross-legged placing your right leg over your left leg and your right hand over your left hand with the palms facing upward. Have the tip of your right index finger touch the tip of your left thumb. If you cannot sit in this position you can sit on a chair or sofa, but it is very important to sit upright with your spine as straight as possible and your head up. Adjust your position until you find the posture that is comfortable and allows the blood to circulate freely. Remember, you may sit in this position for an hour or more without moving. Now close your eyes gently as if you are going to sleep.
Then, take a deep breath two or three times, allowing the breathing to reach as far as it will go inside, and then breathe out slowly. When you breathe in, feel as if all the cells in your body are experiencing happiness and joy, and when you breathe out, release the worry and sorrow inside you at the same time. Take your time to let go of all your thoughts and then return to regular breathing.
Gradually relax every part of your body from head to toe, ensuring that there is no sign of tension or stress. Evoke a feeling of happiness, purity, and emptiness in your mind. Think of the “emptiness” and free yourself from all thought. Feel as though you are sitting alone in a space filled with peace, void of all stress and imagine your body is an empty space without organs, as if it is hollow. When you become accustomed to this technique you may feel your body grow lighter and gradually disappear into the atmosphere around you.
Then gently focus your mind at the center of your body, two fingers-width above the navel level. Do not worry about the exact location of the center of body. Keep your mind in the abdomen and at the same time, relax your body and mind.
Once you are relaxed in body and mind, gently imagine a sphere as the focus of attention. Imagine the sphere as a shining sun of any size. It may be as bright as the sun at noon or it may be as soft as the moonlight on a full moon night. Use subtle effort to visualize it. Do not force yourself. It is fine not to see it clearly, just imagine it as best as you can. Allow your mind to come to rest. Continue imagining the shining sun. If you find that your mind wanders, you can bring your mind back by repeating the mantra “Samma Arahang” along with visualizing the sun. Repeat the mantra slowly and silently, as if the sound of the mantra is coming from the center of the sun inside your abdomen. “Samma Arahang” means if you purify your mind, you will be freed from suffering in this life. Alternatively you can repeat the phrase “clear and bright.” Keep repeating and visualizing it until your mind comes to a standstill. Eventually, the sound of the words will fade away.
If you have an experience that differs from seeing the shining sun, do not get excited or emotional. Treat it as though it is normal and simply accept it as your own personal experience. Observe the image without emotions. Eventually, your mind will become more refined and seated more firmly at the center of your body. It may move further inside to a place which is clean, pure, and bright. You will gradually access deeper happiness and more profound knowledge, going further into a succession of increasingly pure knowledge. Eventually you will reach the purest form, a universal form, which is inside every human being in this world.
“Now, meditation is a truly wonderful tool. It requires no instruments, no drugs, no external assistance once the basics are acquired, and no baggage to carry around. You carry it with you inside your head and your heart wherever you go in the world. It is easily taught; you do not need years of practice to master it. Everyone in the world should learn to practice it. Peace, tranquility, contentment, happiness, self- confidence, are all positive values to be inspired by meditation..”
Dr. Michael Nobel