Saturday, April 21, 2007

Claude AnShin Thomas to lead veterans retreat in Southern California

(Note: The following is a press release from the San Diego Veterans for Peace. The speaker and leader of the retreat is Claude AnShin Thomas who is currently walking the US-Mexico border from Brownsville, Tx to San Diego, CA.)

Contact: Jon Monday, 760-451-1959,, interviews are welcome.

For Immediate Release:

San Diego Veterans For Peace, the Hugh Thompson Memorial Chapter, is honored to bring the Venerable Claude AnShin Thomas to San Diego to speak on his experiences as a soldier in Vietnam and eventual conversion to Buddhism. Claude AnShin will also be leading a retreat for Veterans after his public talk, for healing, reflection, and sharing by and for veterans and their spouses and significant others.

The Venerable Claude AnShin Thomas speaks and leads retreats internationally on mindfulness practice, transformation, and reconciliation. He is the author of the book At Hell’s Gate A Soldier’s Journey from War to Peace and is the founder of the Zaltho Foundation, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote peace and nonviolence in and among individuals, families, societies, and countries.

Claude AnShin Thomas volunteered for active duty at the age of 18, when he served as a crew chief on assault helicopters in Vietnam . By the end of his tour of duty, he had been awarded numerous medals, including 27 Air Medals, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Purple Heart. He witnessed horrifying cruelty, narrowly escaped death on multiple occasions, and was responsible for the deaths of many Vietnamese.

When Thomas returned home he found, like many Vietnam veterans, that he continued to live in a state of war. For years, Thomas struggled with severe post-traumatic stress, drug and alcohol addiction, isolation, and even homelessness. Today, Thomas is a Zen Monk, an International Peace Activist, an Author and a Teacher in the United States , Europe and Asia . He shares his inspiring spiritual odyssey from the horrors of combat to discovering the Buddhist path to healing. Thomas’ powerful story can serve as a road map for others who might feel trapped in cyclical patterns of response that are a fact of the trauma experience, regardless of the nature and extent of the trauma.

Public Talk: The Soldier’s Journey from War to Peace

The talk is open to the general public and will be held on Thursday, June 14 -7:00 p.m. at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Theatre, University of San Diego . The talk will be followed by a book-signing and reception. This event is co-sponsored by the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, San Diego Veterans for Peace, and the School of Theology and Religious Studies.

There is no cost to attend, however donations are welcome. Space is limited so please R.S.V.P. by June 7th.

Retreat: A Three-day Retreat to Explore the Soldier’s Journey from War to Peace

The retreat is for veterans, and their spouses or significant others, and will be held on Friday, June 15th – Sunday, June 17th at Manzanita Village, which is located near Warner Springs, in Northern San Diego County. It is the country retreat center of Ordinary Dharma, a Los Angeles-based group, which weaves together the teachings and practices of the Buddhist Traditions with the timeless themes of Peace-Making and Non-Violence, Social-Justice, Personal Integration and Creativity.

In this three-day retreat, Claude AnShin will address veterans’ issues. He says: “We who have fought in war know intimately about life and death. We who have been wounded by war – physically, psychologically and spiritually – need to come together in order to support each other.

Many of us live with the after effects of war, known as post-traumatic stress: explosive anger, depression, and flashbacks. The attempts of traditional counseling and therapy, although valuable in our healing, often leave our spiritual wounds unaddressed. Without doing the work of healing spiritually, we only address the symptoms, and this often does not support a change in our hearts and our minds.”

You are invited to attend this retreat regardless of your religious or spiritual tradition. Many different forms of meditation will be practiced. Meditation can simply be understood as the art of discovering what prevents us from living directly.”

The cost to attend the retreat is $110 per person, which covers all meals and housing at the retreat. If you require transportation, please add $25. Please note that some veterans do not have the means, but need the retreat! We are looking for donations to cover the cost of the needy.

For more information see
Jon Monday
@Sales & Marketing
4441 La Canada Road
Fallbrook , CA 92028
Phone 760-451-1959
Fax 760-451-9504


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