Vietnamese peace activist Thích Nhất Hạnh took religion out of the monastery and onto the street with his notion of “engaged Buddhism.” His insight into the way that individuals participate in social change was formulated during the Vietnam War and endorsed by Dr. Martin Luther King, who nominated Thích Nhất Hạnh for a Noble Prize in 1967. The Buddhist teacher has influenced celebrities, lay people and clerics from different faiths. It is inspiring to hear Thích Nhất Hạnh’s views on diet, protecting oneself from harmful influences.
Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I vow to cultivate good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking and consuming. I vow to ingest only items that preserve peace, well-being, and joy in the body, in my consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family and society. I am determined not to use alcohol or any other intoxicant or to ingest foods or other items that contain toxins, such as certain TV programs, magazines, books, films, and conversations. I am aware that to damage my body or my consciousness with these poisons is to betray my ancestors, my parents, my society, and future generations. I will work to transform violence, fear, anger, and confusion in myself and in society by practicing a diet for myself and for society. I understand that a proper diet is crucial for self transformation and for the transformation of society.