"America had produced a King (enlightened being) but were not able to sustain this idea."
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Thich Nhat Hanh and Martin Luther King, Jr. met during the Civil Rights movement. He came to American to meet with Martin during those turbulent times. While many of our parents and grand-parents were fighting for the right to be acknowledged.
The Vietnam War was waging, Buddhist monks were setting themselves ablaze to be heard. They were against the Vietcong idea of "fighting to the death" sacrificing everything to in order to win. The Spiritual leaders of Vietnam believed non-violence and reconciliation was the way to proceed. They too found common ground and a hero in Martin Luther King, Jr.
So when Thich Nhat Hanh came to America he explained to Martin that when the monks in Vietnam were sacrificing themselves it was an act of love, not suicide. This completely fueled Martin's desire to expand his territory.
It was after this monumental meeting of the hearts of enlightened men, that propelled Martin to denounce the Vietnam War in American. This along with the his vision of bringing all suffering Americans together were probably two of the three acts that took him to the mountain top.
"America had produced a King (enlighten being), but were not able to sustain this idea."
Perhaps our memory of the cycles of life has not allowed us enough resonance (collective energy) yet to maintain such an idea as a modern day Bodhisattva.
However, I am always hopeful and filled with faith and believe we have begun to hold this idea to be self evident. Like tiny grains of salt, we are gathering the wisdom needed to transform our collective conscience as a nation among nations.
When we remember Martin Luther King, Jr. it should call to order the responsibility each of us have in the world's community to bring about small expansions in our compassion towards one another. When we pray and meditate start right where you are and envision the Sacred Heart of Christ. This sacred heart represents the sacrifice and suffering endured so that the world may still exist.
Many enlightened beings have bore this enormous suffering to keep in balance the human condition. Martin is one among them. In honoring our American Saint, Thich Nhat Hanh says, "look to the clouds for understanding the divine in each of us. We are present in spirit even when we can not be seen by the eye."
"Our force of life is always here, their, even after we seem to no longer be present among the living."
In this spirit, we say Namaste! Martin, enlightened being, Bodhisattva.