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The University Buddhist Association of UCLA is an organization of students, faculty, and community members who come together to learn about and practice Buddhism. We're a non-sectarian Buddhist group that welcomes all Buddhists and non-Buddhist of all faiths and traditions.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Thich Huyen Quang

I stumbled upon an article about Vietnam's leading religious dissident against Vietnam's Communist Party (VCP) and made me think about how unique every individual's experience with a religion can be. Thich Huyen Quang committed his life to saving Buddhism from being eliminated by the VCP. He later assumed the role as the leader of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam and wrote a series of articles calling for religious freedom and an end to Communism.

"IN 1981, Vietnam's ruling Communist party, the VCP, presented a choice to the country's Buddhist monks. They could affiliate with a state-controlled "patriotic" Buddhist church, or remain independent and face the consequences.

Many accepted, but not Thich Huyen Quang, a leader of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV), who has died at a monastery in Binh Dinh, aged 87. He suffered harassment, imprisonment and internal exile, but gained international backing as a moral leader of the Vietnamese opposition."

"Two months before his death, Quang told his followers: 'Buddhism does not turn its back on society.' Earlier, he had said of himself: 'I have lived without a home, will die without a grave, I walk without a path and am imprisoned without a crime.'"

Thich Huyen Quang's journey in life and Buddhism has been about struggle, resistance, and hope. His story made me reflect upon my own experiences with Buddhism. Though mine certainly is not be as significant, his experiences reminds me that we all take different paths even within the same religion, no matter what religion you follow.

1 comment:

Thao said...

I love what he said at the end. It's very touching..

Hm...Communism =/ (sigh)