"From War Zones to the Happiness Country" with Ha Vinh Tho

How can Gross National Happiness in Bhutan contribute to creating an enlightened society? In the 6th Annual Bayard and John Cobb Peace Lecture Ha Vinh Tho explores how engaged Buddhism can contribute to conflict resolution, reconciliation, and healing.

From War Zones to the Happiness Country

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

In the following excerpt, Ha Vinh Tho discusses the four main challenges that he sees humankind facing  and addresses our responsibility to the next generations:

View the full lecture below:


Ha Vinh Tho explains, "From Vietnam to Afghanistan and Darfur, my life has been intimately linked to war. Working with the International Committee of the Red Cross, I have seen most of the armed conflicts of the past decade. As a Buddhist practitioner, I have tried to investigate how inner transformation can lead to social change.

I now live in Bhutan, the country that has been a pioneer in promoting human happiness and the wellbeing of all life forms as the goal of a new development paradigm.

My endeavor at the GNH Centre is to create transformative learning experiences based on contemplative practices, to support people in finding ways to meet the individual and collective challenges of our time."

Ha Vinh Tho, PhD, program director of the Gross National Happiness Centre in Bhutan, is in charge of setting the learning objectives, as well as developing the curriculum and learning process for both Bhutanese and international participants. He also served as the head of training, learning, and development at the International Committee of the Red Cross from 2005 to 2011, and has trained humanitarian professionals working in war zones and emergency response in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. Ha Vinh is the founder and chairman of Eurasia Foundation, a humanitarian NGO developing educational programs for children and youths living with disabilities, as well as advancing ecological projects in Vietnam. Learn more about Ha Vinh Tho at his blog.