31 Oct 2023

By Community of Interbeing UK

Open Letter to UK Prime Minister

Please find below a draft letter written with input from UK Dharma teachers and COI Trustees to the UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak. This letter is currently open to endorsements from practitioners, Order Members and Sanghas or others who endorse our practice of peaceful and nonviolent just solutions. This final letter will come as an official document from the Community of Interbeing UK, and will be delivered to No 10.

Practitioners can add signatures to the letter via this link

**A final review of the editing and grammar will be undertaken before printing.

An Open Letter from practitioners of Plum Village UK, following the teaching of Zen Master Thích Nhat Hanh

Your Middle East Mission

Dear Prime Minister

We write with care and compassion for you. We are a growing community of engaged Buddhist and Mindfulness Practitioners committed to growing a culture of peace and non-violence.

We ask you, in your global leadership role, to call for an immediate ceasefireto end the bloodshed in the Middle East, and work to open unrestricted humanitarian aid to those suffering in Gaza.

We have seen in history that wars do not bring about peace. Violence breeds more violence and killing brings retaliation in kind. This and every war affects us all. Human beings are interconnected, and at such times we need political leadership that adopts every non-violent means possible to prevent loss of
human life and to broker just peaceful outcomes.

Our teacher, Ven Thích Nhat Hanh a Vietnamese scholar, author, monk and lifelong peace activist, nominated by Dr Martin Luther King for the Nobel Prize for Peace, was tireless in his work in seeking non-violent dialogue to bring about reconciliation, justice and peace between individuals, society and
nations. He reminded us that we can never achieve peace by eliminating the other side.

“There is no way to peace, peace is the way”

We believe our teacher’s universal message of peace can offer hope. History also shows us that war can be transformed into peace. We have seen in South Africa how peaceful just solutions were brokered, and how the Truth and Reconciliation Commission promoted deep dialogue, understanding and

At this moment, when Israel and Palestine cannot see beyond the pain of the suffering of their people, we need wise leadership, brokering peaceful solutions, without which the violence will worsen and spread. We see this already in the rising violence and hate crimes against Muslim and Jewish people around the world.

This is a real opportunity – to take the path towards building a safer world, not through warfare, but through engaged collaborative dialogue towards creating just, peaceful sustainable long-term solutions.

A commitment to peace does not break political alliances and may be the only feasible way left to end this ongoing cycle of bloodshed and loss of life.

It is our sincere hope, Prime Minister, that you will succeed in initiating and brokering true peace through dialogue in the Middle East.

We have also attached a peace meditation and a copy of the UNESCO 2000 Manifesto. We invite you to share this with other leaders in parliament.

Endorsed by:

Lay Teachers

Martin Pitt 

Murray Corke

Jane Coatesworth

Lesley Collington

Dene Donalds

Angie Searle

Mhairi McLuskie

Teri West


Jonathan Edwards
Kevin Place
Philip Croton
Liz Beth
Angie Searle