Buddhist abbot Jian Hu Shi made his fifth annual visit to Harker Oct. 21, bringing his message on how to cope with life. The robed, tonsured, quiet, humorous monk, the first speaker in the Cum Laude Society Lecture Series, told a crowd of about 30 students and faculty members of the four noble truths and how suffering can be traced back to greed, ignorance and anger.
Jian Hu, who has a doctorate in computer science and worked in the aerospace industry before making the spread of Buddhism his life’s work, told a few stories of how Buddhist thinking, seeking the source of the conflict, had helped people resolve important issues. Jian Hu, abbot at the Chung Tai Zen Center of Sunnyvale, noted even an issue as large as global warming, caused by greed and ignorance – greed for personal possessions and ignorance of the long term pollution from them – can be addressed with Buddhist logic.
In response to questions from the audience, Jian Hu addressed perceptions about Buddhist doctrine, including respect for animals while understanding that killing an animal is not as bad as killing a human, and that it is hypothetically permissible to kill a human to save a village. He told of a couple methods of meditating and recommended meditation as a way to deal with anger, along with finding the source of the anger and examining its rationality. Jian Hu noted that nothing has real value except one’s mind.