Thich Nhat Hanh is a Zen master, scholar, teacher, and peacemaker. During the Vietnam War, he formulated the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings of the Order of Interbeing, comprised of monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen. They set out to study, practice and observe this brand of engaged Buddhism. Thich Nhat Hanh states:

"Mindfulness trainings are practices, not prohibitions. They do not restrict our freedom. They protect us, guarantee our liberty, and prevent us from getting entangled in difficulties and confusion. When we fail, we lift ourselves up and try again to do our best. In fact, we can never succeed one hundred percent. The mindfulness trainings are like the North Star. If we want to travel north, we can use the North Star to guide us, but we never expect to arrive at the North Star."

Here is a list of the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings:

• Openness
• Nonattachment from Views
• Freedom of Thought
• Awareness of Suffering
• Simple Healthy Living
• Dealing with Anger
• Dwelling Happily in the Present Moment
• Community and Communication
• Truthful and Loving Speech
• Protecting the Sangha
• Right Livelihood
• Reverence for Life
• Generosity
• Right Conduct

Many of the practices elucidated here are designed to cultivate peace and harmony among people. Clinging fanatically to an ideology or doctrine creates bloody conflicts. Mindfulness and looking deeply can an transform anger and hatred before they arise. Communal discord can be averted by practicing reconciliation. The Buddhist training not to kill fosters a reverence for all living beings. Thich Nhat Hanh concludes:

"Studying and practicing the mindfulness trainings can help us understand the true nature of interbeing — we cannot just be by ourselves alone; we can only inter-be with everyone and everything else. To practice these trainings is to become aware of what is going on in our bodies, our minds, and the world. With awareness, we can live our lives happily, fully present in each moment we are alive, intelligently seeking solutions to the problems we face, and working for peace in small and large ways."