The Horrible Conditions Of Human Trafficking

Thay Inviting the Bell

Thay Inviting the Bell – Photo by Hasustan Kosi

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is now offering a retreat in Ayutthaya, Thailand. This particular day, Comeron Conaway’s attention was drawn to the horrible conditions of human trafficking, which is a major problem in places like Thailand.

In this article which appeared in the Woman News Network on April 12, 2013, he ponders how mindfulness can be a method to combat human trafficking.

Thinking about the Third Mindfulness Training, Conaway wrote,

There are 5 Mindfulness Trainings in Thây’s Plum Village Tradition and a line from #3 came to my mind: “I will do everything in my power to protect children from sexual abuse.” The statistics flashed in white font before me like this: 1 in 6 boys, 1 in 4 girls [are] sexually abused before 18.

Then came a line from #5: “I will practice looking deeply into how I consume the Four Kinds of Nutrients, namely edible foods, sense impressions, volition, and consciousness.”

He then proceeded to talk about Thay inviting the bell:

Thây then held a small bell at eye level and with such curiosity that an onlooker would think it was the first time he ever saw it. He didn’t “strike” or “ring” it as we would say, but “invited” it. The sound is meant to bring our attention back to the moment, its rhythmic cadence like the inhale and exhale of our breath, the opening and closing of our heart’s valves. I again drifted to human trafficking and how in many ways this practice of mindfulness is the perfect antidote.

Although he didn’t have a plan on how the horrible conditions of human trafficking could be improved, he did say that he thought mindfulness could help. Conaway tied the problem to mindless consumption provoking greed and desire in the perpetrators.

My thoughts are that mindfulness can help, but without a plan not much can be done. How can we educate the children and the perpetrators to be mindful?

This is a severe problem without many solutions. Families in Thailand and Burma need to eat, and the governments are more interested in keeping them in poverty than finding a solution.

Please share your thoughts about the horrible conditions of human trafficking.

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