DVA’s Vietnam Project

DVA Launches Vietnam Project

3rd Asian Buddhist AR Conference
3rd Asian Buddhist AR Conference

The Director of DVA’s Vietnam Project is the Venerable Thich Thah Huan. (See profile below). On Sunday, September 23, 2018, DVA co-hosted with the Venerable, his Phap Van Pagoda, and VBS (Vietnamese Buddhist Sangha) which oversees Buddhism in the county, DVA’s Third Annual Asian Buddhist Animal Rights Conference, at the 1,000-year-old Phap Van Pagoda in Hanoi where the Venerable is the abbot.

The buffet at DVA’s Third Annual Asian Buddhist Animal Rights Conference
The buffet at DVA’s Third Annual Asian Buddhist Animal Rights Conference

Over 500 Vietnamese and the press attended our Conference at which the Venerable, Bob Isaacson, DVA’s President, medical doctors, nutritionists, and other monastics spoke about the benefits of a plant-based diet. A delicious plant-based lunch was served.

After the conference, Bob and the Venerable met the press to discuss our Vietnam Project.


DVA’s Vietnam Project Hits the Ground Running

3rd Asian Buddhist AR Conference Talk
DVA President Bob Isaacson giving the keynote address at the 3rd Annual Asian Buddhist AR Conference.

DVA’s Vietnam Project connects with Pagodas (Vietnamese Buddhist temples) as our main operation. The Director of our Project, the Venerable Thich Thanh Huan, Ph D., has put together a team of volunteers to help spread the message for plant-based diets at the 15,000 Pagodas in Vietnam. Our DVA team is supporting individual Pagodas to hold events every three months, which include offering a Dharma talk on the benefits of a compassionate diet, screening of our new film TỪNG BƯỚC CHÂN AN LẠC (Each Step of Peace and Bliss) with English subtitles, followed by a discussion, and the offering of a free plant-based lunch to all participants. We are currently working with two major Pagodas: Tiên Tích Hà Nội and Linh Tiên – Hải Phòng.

TỪNG BƯỚC CHÂN AN LẠC (Each Step of Peace and Bliss)
TỪNG BƯỚC CHÂN AN LẠC (Each Step of Peace and Bliss)

One of the ways we plan to use our funds for our Vietnam Project is to help pay for the magnificent lunches served during our events. When a Pagoda cannot afford to pay to feed all of the participants, DVA donates the cost of $1 per person for the plant-based feast.

DVA’s Project team plans to show our film, TỪNG BƯỚC CHÂN AN LẠC, all over Vietnam, especially at the 15,000 Buddhist Pagodas in a country where all the monastics are vegetarian with most being vegan. Our message to the approximately 60 million lay Buddhists in Vietnam is to practice compassion and non-harming according to the Buddha. The Mahayana sutras (scriptures/texts) are 100% clear that the Buddha was a vegetarian and expected his followers to also be vegetarian! In addition to the Buddha’s message of compassion and non-harming towards ALL animals, DVA also emphasizes the health benefits of a vegan diet and that such a diet is the best way to support Vietnam’s fragile environment and reduce the devastating effects of global warming.

Our Vietnam Project has produced an original song about the amazing benefits of a compassionate diet, Ăn Chay An Lạc Chùa Pháp Vân.

Vietnam Project Original Song Ăn Chay An Lạc Chùa Pháp Vân
Original Song Ăn Chay An Lạc Chùa Pháp Vân

Our Vietnam Project is reaching out to other religions in Vietnam. The Cao Dai religion encourages its followers in Vietnam to be vegetarian. There are many similarities between the Cao Dai religion and Buddhism. DVA President Bob Isaacson visited Tam Nhu, the head of Cao Dai in Vietnam, in September 2018 and again in April 2019. The Venerable shared that he was inspired by DVA’s message of compassion for ALL beings, has been talking more to his followers about why they should eat a compassionate diet, and has started offering free lunches to large numbers of people at his temple. DVA looks forward to working closely with the Venerable to reach the approximately 2 1/2 million followers of Cao Dai.


Volunteers

Our volunteers assist our social media campaign, organize events, run errands, and may even help us by being an advocate. If you are interested in volunteering to help DVA’s Vietnam Project contact us at: volunteer@dharmavoicesforanimals.org


Profile of our Esteemed Director, Ven. Thich Thanh Huan

Venerable Thich Thanh Huan
Venerable Thich Thanh Huan

Venerable Thich Thanh Huan (his real name is Phan Nhật Huân) was born in 1967, in the North of Vietnam. He was born to a Buddhist monastic family with all but one of his six siblings being Buddhist monks and nuns. After graduating from high school, he ordained in 1984 at Quán Sứ Pagoda, the headquarters of the Vietnamese Buddhist Sangha (VBS). In 1992, he earned his Bachelor of Buddhism degree. From 1994 to 2003, he studied in Taiwan, receiving his doctorate in Buddhism. During that time, he also successfully completed the doctoral program in Philosophy in Vietnam. The Venerable also studied in Làng Mai (Plum Tree Village) France, being taught by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, who designated him a Buddhist teacher in 2003.

Currently the Venerable Thich Thanh Huan is the abbot of the 1,000-year-old Pháp Vân Pagoda in Hanoi, Vietnam. The Venerable is a member of the Standing Committee of the Vietnamese Buddhist Sangha (VBS) which oversees Buddhism in Vietnam. He lectures at many Buddhist Academies, speaks Vietnamese and Chinese, and has started to learn English.

In addition to leading DVA’s Vietnam Project, the Venerable’s main activities include humanitarian work of helping people with life changing diseases find jobs and places to live and protecting our environment and biodiversity.

The Director of DVA’s Vietnam Project, the Venerable Thich Thanh Huan often leads retreats for over 1,000 Buddhists at his Phap Van Pagoda. The Venerable uses every opportunity to encourage each person to adopt a compassionate diet.

A Retreat Phap van Pagoda in Vietnam
A Retreat Phap van Pagoda in Vietnam

Our Vietnam Project team is currently visiting as many Hanoi area Pagodas as possible, looking to deepen support for our Vietnam Project. We are planning to soon expand our Project to the southern and central regions of the country.