currently based in Dallas, Texas, was founded by
Brother ChiSing, M.Div., M.A., as a spiritual ministry inspired by the
universal teachings and practices of the contemporary Buddhist
teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, and his "Order of Interbeing"
composed of both lay and monastic members worldwide.
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Awakening Heart Affirmation:
Noble Community, we gather here now
to honor the Way of Peace and Non-violence,
the Way of Wisdom and Compassion,
the Way of Joy and Beauty
in solidarity with one another,
with all Humanity,
and with all Life on Earth.
Friends on the Path, we gather here now
to deepen our solidity like a mountain
and to renew our freshness like a flower
through mindful sitting and walking,
mindful singing and breathing,
and mindful speaking and listening.
Sisters and Brothers of Awakening, we gather here now
to celebrate the One INFINITE LIGHT that shines
through many religions, many cultures, many teachers;
to practice the teachings of our ancestral teachers,
including Siddhartha Gautama the Shakyamuni Buddha,
and of our contemporary teachers, including Thich Nhat Hanh;
and to affirm our faith in the capacity
within ourselves and all persons,
both men and women of every race, orientation and class,
to realize full and complete Enlightenment.
Spirituality, meditation, and "The JOY of Mindful Living"
are the basis of all our Sangha gatherings. Interfaith Buddhist
spirituality, as it was originally intended by the Buddha, is not
exclusively "Buddhist" but universally applicable and
beneficial for people of all faiths. The word "Buddha"
simply means to be "awake" or "enlightened,"
which is the potential in every person. Mindfulness is not limited
to one religion, it is an ecumenical spiritual practice and a
non-sectarian way of life that can benefit anyone and everyone,
whether Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, or those of other faiths as
well as the non-religious.
We are intentionally very beginner-friendly, and we warmly welcome and
affirm people of all ages, religions, genders, ethnicities, sexual
orientations, abilities, classes and levels of meditation
experience. We especially welcome those who have been spiritually
abused by religious fundamentalism and who are seeking a safe
refuge for inner healing within genuine spiritual community.
Whoever you are, and wherever you are on life's journey, you are
welcome here. "I have arrived, I AM HOME."
Welcome to "AWAKENING HEART: Community of Mindful
Living" (Sunday Sangha), an Interfaith, Integral and
Inclusive spiritual community inspired by the engaged "Unified
Buddhist" tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh ("Order of
Interbeing") and the new "ONE DHARMA" tradition which
practices the essential insights of the Theravada and Mahayana
schools of Zen, Pure Land and other lineages in a contemporary
way. We also honor the paths of Yoga, Qigong, and other genuine
If you are new to Interfaith Buddhist practice or to our
tradition, you may be unfamiliar with some of the forms we use,
such as bowing, sitting, walking, chanting or sharing. What
matters is not the outer forms but the inner essence of what we
are all about, which is simply and deeply to awaken as our True
Self, Buddha Nature. Please feel free to practice comfortably in
your own way. You do not need to feel obligated to do anything
here other than to honor your own Heart.
It is not necessary for a person to enjoy every single practice
here to benefit from the Sangha. We present several different
practices so that everyone will find at least one practice that
deeply nourishes them. If you can focus on even just one
practice, then eventually the other practices will also begin to
resonate with you as well.
Brother ChiSing, M.Div.,
Brother ChiSing's vision for ministry included encouraging Buddhist,
Christian and other faith communities to practice Mindful
Spirituality in an Interfaith Earth-based way, with an emphasis on
creativity, music and the arts.
was an Interfaith retreat facilitator, spiritual
director, ritual artist, musician, and the founder of
"Awakening Heart." He was also a former Community College
adjunct professor of World Religions. He was born and raised in
Texas, lived in California for ten years, and spent the last ten
years of his life in Dallas, Texas, near his family. He received a
B.A. in Religion from a Protestant university, a M.A. in
Spirituality from a Catholic college, and a Master of Divinity
degree from a Unitarian Universalist seminary.
His primary meditation teacher was the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh,
and he was ordained by him into the "Order of Interbeing"
(Unified Buddhist Church) in 2003 with the spiritual name of
"True Wonderful Happiness." He was also commissioned into
ministry by a congregation of the United Church of Christ
(UCC) in 1995.
In the past, he has collaborated on several events and retreats
with S.F. Bay Area spiritual teachers Matthew Fox (Creation
Spirituality, Original Blessing, Techno Cosmic Mass)
Christian de la Huerta (Q-Spirit, Coming Out Spiritually,
. He has led and spoken at several
retreats for Interfaith, Buddhist, and Christian communities from
as small as 10 to 80 persons to as large as 300 to 800 persons, and
he founded three young adult spiritual/social/discussion groups in
San Francisco, Berkeley and Los Angeles, as well as a large
meditation community in San Francisco. He has also served as a
Youth Director, Children's Director and Religious Education
Director at various churches. He is the founder of the Dallas
Meditation Center, "Awakening Heart" (Community of Mindful
and "One Dharma" (Houston, TX).
On the morning of March 8, 2016, after living with nasopharyngeal
carcinoma for two and a half years, Brother ChiSing passed from
this physical life in his sleep.
Some of Brother ChiSing's past
- facilitated meditation retreats for college students at the
University of North Texas (UNT) in Denton and the University of
Minnesota (UMN) in Minneapolis
- preached at several Unitarian Universalist churches in Texas
and UCC congregations in California on "Interfaith Buddhist
- facilitated music and ritual for Interfaith services at the
Unity Church of Dallas, the Center for Spiritual Living, and other
New Thought communities
- facilitated "Interfaith Christian" retreats
co-sponsored by the Minnesota Council of Churches and UCC
- facilitated a workshop on "Gifts of Asian Spirituality for
Christians" at the General Conference of the Universal
Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC)
- keynote speaker on "Buddhist Spirituality" at the
Annual Forum for The Center for Progressive Christianity
- keynote speaker on "Spirituality and Activism" at the
"Re-Energize Texas" conference for young adults regarding climate
change issues at the University of Texas (UT) in Austin
- guest speaker at several churches, sanghas, conferences,
► See Brother ChiSing's website with his music and books.
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Thich Nhat Hanh (affectionately
called "Thay" by his students)
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is a world-renowned
Buddhist teacher of the "Art of Mindful Living." Millions
around the world from all faiths have benefited from his over 80
published books and his family-friendly meditation retreats for
beginners. He has many Jewish and Christian students, several of
whom are priests, rabbis and ministers. Thomas Merton, the famous
Catholic author, called him a true brother and friend. And
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., nominated him for the Nobel Peace
Prize in 1967. Some of his books have become national bestsellers,
including the classic: Living Buddha, Living Christ
inspiring book on Interfaith dialogue and spiritual practice in
In collaboration with his community, he has authored Fourteen
principles as the foundation of his spiritual work in
mindfulness. Here is one of them:
Aware of the suffering created by attachment to views and wrong
perceptions, we are determined to avoid being narrow-minded and
bound to present views. We shall learn and practice non-attachment
from views in order to be open to others' insights and
experiences. We are aware that the knowledge we presently possess
is not changeless, absolute truth. Truth is found in life, and we
will observe life within and around us in every moment, ready to
learn throughout our lives.
Thich Nhat Hanh is contributing to a gentle, transformative
revolution in religion, ecology, education and social action
through this compassionate, non-dogmatic and practical approach to
spirituality and life.
Each year in late summer/early autumn, Thay and dozens of his
monastic disciples come to the United States to facilitate retreats
in Massachusetts, Vermont, Colorado, California and other states.
For more information, you may visit Thich Nhat Hanh's websites at:
Awakening Heart is a ministry
based on the teachings and practices of the "Order of
Interbeing" (Tiep Hien) in the engaged
"Unified Buddhist" tradition of Thich Nhat
The aim of the Order of Interbeing is to actualize Buddhism by
studying, experimenting with, and applying Buddhism in modern life
with a special emphasis on the Bodhisattva ideal (of
The Order of Interbeing was founded within the Linji
(Rinzai) School of Dhyana (Zen) Buddhism (and is
also blended with the best insights of the Theravada and Pure Land
Schools of Buddhism in a contemporary way). It is grounded in
the Four Spirits:
- the spirit of nonattachment from views,
- the spirit of direct experimentation on the nature of
interdependent origination through meditation,
- the spirit of appropriateness, and
- the spirit of skillful means.
All four are to be found in all Buddhist traditions.
The Order of Interbeing does not consider any sutra or group of
sutras as its basic scripture(s). It draws inspiration from the
essence of the Buddhadharma in all sutras. It does not accept the
systematic arrangements of the Buddhist teachings proposed by any
school. The Order of Interbeing seeks to realize the spirit of the
Dharma in early Buddhism, as well as in the development of that
spirit through the history of the Sangha, and its life and
teachings in all Buddhist traditions.
The Order of Interbeing considers all sutras, whether spoken by the
Buddha or compiled by later generations, as Buddhist sutras. It is
also able to find inspiration from the texts of other spiritual
traditions (such as Judaism, Christianity, Taoism, Earth
Spirituality, etc.) It considers the development of original
Buddhism into new schools a necessity to keep the spirit of
Buddhism alive. Only by proposing new forms of Buddhist life can
one help the true Buddhist spirit perpetuate.
The Order of Interbeing rejects dogmatism in both looking and
acting (and affirms understanding, compassion, peace, happiness,
open-mindedness, creativity and reconciliation). It seeks all
forms of action that can revive and sustain the true spirit of
insight and compassion in life. It considers this spirit to
be more important than any Buddhist institution or tradition. With
the aspiration of a bodhisattva, members of the Order of Interbeing
seek to change themselves in order to change society in the
direction of compassion and understanding by living a joyful and
To protect and respect the freedom and responsibility of each
member of the community, equality is enjoyed between men and
women, between persons of diverse orientations, between persons of
various ethnicities, and between monastics and laypeople in the
Order of Interbeing.
The Order of Interbeing does not recognize the necessity of a
mediator between the Buddha and lay disciples, between humans and
ultimate reality. It considers, however, the insight and
experiences of ancestral teachers, monks, nuns, and laypeople, as
helpful to those who are practicing the Way.
The mindfulness trainings (five and fourteen precepts) of the Order
of Interbeing reflects the life of the Order, which considers
spiritual practice as the base of all social action. The Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings.
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Bobbie Perkins, Executive Director, See biography
Cornell Kinderknecht, Operations Director, See biography
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