At Hell's Gate: A Soldier's Journey PDF/EPUB Ë Gate:

At Hell's Gate: A Soldier's Journey [PDF / Epub] ✅ At Hell's Gate: A Soldier's Journey By Claude Anshin Thomas – Thomashillier.co.uk In this raw and moving memoir Claude Thomas tells the dramatic story of his service in Vietnam his subseuent emotional collapse and how he was ultimately able to find healing and peace Thomas went to In this raw and moving memoir Claude Thomas Gate: A PDF/EPUB ä tells the dramatic story of his service in Vietnam his subseuent emotional collapse and how he was ultimately able to find healing and peace Thomas went to Vietnam at the age of eighteen where he served as a crew At Hell's PDF \ chief on assault helicopters By the end of his tour he had been awarded numerous medals including the Purple Heart He had also killed many people witnessed horrifying cruelty and narrowly escaped death on a number of occasions When Thomas returned home he found that he continued to Hell's Gate: A PDF Æ live in a state of war He was overwhelmed by feelings of guilt fear anger and despair all of which were intensified by the rejection he experienced as a Vietnam veteran For years Thomas struggled with post traumatic stress drug and alcohol addiction isolation and even homelessness A turning point came when he attended a meditation retreat for Vietnam veterans led by the renowned Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh Here he encountered the Buddhist teachings on meditation and mindfulness which helped him to stop running from his past and instead confront the pain of his war experiences directly and compassionately Thomas was eventually ordained as a Zen monk and teacher and he began making pilgrimages to promote peace and nonviolence in war scarred places around the world including Bosnia Auschwitz Afghanistan Vietnam and the Middle East At Hell's Gate is Thomas's dramatic coming of age story and a spiritual travelogue from the horrors of combat to discovering a spiritual approach to healing violence and ending war from the inside out In simple and direct language Thomas shares timeless teachings on healing emotional suffering and offers us practical guidance in using mindfulness and compassion to transform our lives.


10 thoughts on “At Hell's Gate: A Soldier's Journey

  1. Jessaka Jessaka says:

    At Hell's Gate A Soldier's Journey by Claude Anshin ThomasIn the early 2000s I became friends with a very homesick Australian monk who lived at a Dai Dang monastery in CA He has since gone back home and assured me that his loneliness has ended He gave my husband this book to read hoping that it held a message for him because he had served in Vietnam I was the one to read it; my husband doesn't wish to rememberThe source of this poem is from my living in Berkeley and seeing veterans on the street even giving them money to buy a bottle of wine but it also comes from a scene in this book that actually happened to the authorThis book begins with the wordsImagine for a moment that you are standing outside in the rain What do you typically think and feel as rains falls around you?For me every time it rains I walk through war For two rainy seasons I experience very heavy fighting During the monsoons in Vietnam the tremendous volume of water leaves everything wet and muddy Now when it rains I am still walking through fields of young men screaming and dying I still see tree lines disintegrating from napalm I still hear seventeen year old boys crying for their mothers fathers and girlfriends Only after re experiencing all of that can I come to the awareness that right now it's just raining The first few chapters of this book were very heavy with scenes of war Taking a scene from out of the book where a baby was left lying and crying in the road where Claude AnShin Thomas wrote one of them reached out and picked up the baby and it blew up I wrote a poem in remembranceIf you have never been to war or even if you have this book is a blessing a story of a man's survival and how he found peace Perhaps he didn't find peace completely by becoming a monk in Thich Nhat Hanh's monastery a monastery where he didn't stay long but he was well on his way by doing so We all have to find peace in our own ways if we ever can Today I think of the refuges that are leaving their own war torn country the fears the hunger and the cold that they face and I wonder if they will find peace in another land? ps Claude AnShin Thomas is now a monk in Budapest and can be found on facebook This poem I wrote is for him LIVING IN BERKELEY BACK IN NAMI saw you standingin front of the market on Telegraph Avenueasking for spare changeWith fearseeping throughthe shadowsof your hallowed eyesyou let me know that you were back in Namwhere you watched your buddyholding a Vietnamese babyin his protecting armsblow upbefore those very eyesthat I am staringinto nowIn one breathyou told me that itwasn’t real that itnever really happened;in the next breathyou asked me “Why?”And I had no answerother than to offer youa fewcoins And you walked into that storeto buy yourself anotherbottle of winewritten by Jessica S M 20051


  2. Abigail Abigail says:

    I read this when it was first released and remember being uite struck both by Thomas's story and by some of the facts and figures about Vietnam veterans that he includes The profound dysfunction both social and psychological that Thomas experienced after his return from serving in Vietnam left me greatly moved I have not read many memoirs of this kind so it may very well be that the author covers ground with which other readers are already familiarThe author's eventual conversion to Buddhism his growing sense of self and his slow climb out of his own personal hell are extraordinary I want to call them inspirational though I fear that the word has been so abused that in using it I might unintentionally occlude the really visceral nature of some of Thomas's experiencesSuffice it to say that despite having read this some time ago certain passages still stand out uite starkly in my mind In particular the author's exchange with an angry veteran during his peace march across the country in which communication finally becomes possible when the other man discovers that Thomas too is a veteran; the author's profound sense of dislocation and fear when visiting Thich Nhat Hanh's retreat in France even though he is now a Buddhist This last was a powerful reminder that the experiences of the past are never entirely behind us Finally I was struck by Thomas's assertion that an astonishing number of older homeless men are Vietnam veterans I forget the exact figure What an indictment of our nation


  3. Catherine Catherine says:

    Claude Anshin Thomas volunteered at 17 to go to Vietnam and fight the war his nation was waging there He did so in part because his father suggested his should his father who had fought in WWII and who passed stories to him about the valor and honor of serving in combatWhat Thomas uickly learned was that there was little valor or honor to be had in Vietnam that the lines of combat were ill drawn that it was impossible to clearly identify an enemy and so he disassociated; grew numb; withdrew from all emotion so as to survive his experiences and the ramifications of killing and almost being killed He returned from Vietnam with PTSD which led to him self medicating with drugs alcohol and sex and then by 1990 feeling so desperate so wracked with pain that he was willing to try anything to help him withstand the daily turmoil of his diseaseThe anything turned out to be a meditate retreat held by Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh a man Thomas immediately recognized as not my enemy which confused and frightened and unhinged him even This book is the story of all that came next of Thomas' life at Plum Village in France where Hanh is based; of his slow healing; of his discovery through Buddhism that only by existing with emotion rather than repressing running from or trying to manage it could he make peace with his actions in Vietnam in large part because the residents of Plum Village offered nothing but peace to himI loved Thomas' reflections on how ingrained aggression is in Western culture that in everything from sports to everyday conversation we're urge to compete to dominate to 'be the best' at the expense of others I also very much appreciated his critiue of the idea that the WWII generation is the greatest since they carry within them such deep wounds inflicted by a war that was unspeakable in almost every way I would frankly have enjoyed such reflections and less about his life as a monk; about his ongoing struggle as he still has PTSD and less about how you go about trying to life a compassionate life It's not that I find the latter uncompelling I am deeply interested but that to fully grasp the difference such a commitment to compassion makes I feel as though I need to know about the moments when compassion breaks down as it has to in all of us imperfect as we are


  4. Kit Kit says:

    This book was amazing It is well written almost poetic It is one of those books that changes your life It is a must read


  5. Aaron Aaron says:

    This is an amazing and powerful book about the ongoing practice of transforming suffering I cannot say enough good things about At Hell's Gate it moved me that much An autobiography of a Vietnam combat veteran At Hell's Gate shares with the reader the author's life experiences from the traumatic to the transformational This is not your typical Dharma book and much contained within is not pretty to read about What makes this book so precious to be is that Claude Anshin Thomas a mendicant Zen priest does not portray himself as a monk sitting on a golden lotus So many contemporary Buddhist authors do not share the ugly in their lives and when they seem to try they really only portray common faults Here is a humble and peaceful man who takes personal responsibility for hundreds of deaths during his tour in Vietnam as a gunner on a helicopter Beyond his combat he witnessed so much horror the story is very moving And despite now being a Zen priestmonk he still remains affected by his past and it is by that admission that I find hope and inspiration This book is recommended for anyone but especially those interested in the spiritual path but who may feel a disconnect from authors who despite their wisdom might not have experienced what it means to have caused serious harms in their lives to have been victimized or even addicted to drugsalcohol This book is an encouragement for those who stumble on the path and who may tend to judge their worth andor practice due to difficulties of strong emotions and heavy baggage As a side note if you or someone you care about is a veteran interested in spiritual practice this may be a great resource as well as Claude Anshin Thomas often does retreats for veterans and he himself still lives with PTSD


  6. Ajwubz Ajwubz says:

    At Hells GatebyClaude Anshin ThomasAt Hells Gate is about a man the was in Vietnam and tells the stories of how it was like to be a helicopter gunner and he explains the suffering he went through all his life whether it was in Vietnam or back home and how he reached peace and transformed his suffering into ways he could handle it and not let his anger and fear from his past consume him Claude Anshin Thomas was a boy that grew up in a family that loved war Claude was a great sports player and he had the possibility of going to a good college I liked this book because thinking about how Vietnam the war that changed people’s mindsets about war because before Vietnam WWII veterans always would glorify war and make it seem like it was great but the veterans had seen things themselves that were hard to believe but they buried them and suppressed them well When Vietnam came around times were changing and hippies were everywhere and a time for peace and integration was happening This book interested me so much because he talks about the psychological side of the civilians supporting the war until they came back with such a substantial defeat the people hated them and wanted to forget about the soldiers that were coming back and they were treated with the utmost disrespect The book is definitely worth reading it is thought provoking to say the least He makes very good points and I believe that the whole world should listen to this man and read this book for the message he sends to people He talks about how peace should be a way of life instead of being seen as an objective and somebodies desire or wishes Yet again this book is one of the best books I’ve ever read


  7. Diane Diane says:

    Anshin is a Viet Nam vet who suffered from severe post traumatic stress for nearly 20 years before discovering a sense of healing using meditation His book is really written for other veterans and his life work is directed at veterans and others directly affected by war although he would say we are all damaged by war and all damaged by violence The chapter I liked best was the one on pilgrimage and walking as meditation Anshin has taken walking pilgrimages from Auschwitz to Viet Nam across America and across Africa as well as others I also liked his final chapter on using one's own anger and violence to learn and how to interact without superiority or aggression towards those you feel anger towards It made me think of my interactions with the Indian subcontinent Verizon folks The best parts of the book are those with specific examples of interactions with othersAnshin spoke at the Unitarian Fellowship in Wenatchee An interesting and helpful session His book is not nearly as good as interacting with him in person For me it was still very worthwhile reading and I may give it to others to read


  8. Biniam Biniam Biniam Biniam says:

    Peace can exist Without warmongers no weapons and without weapons no warmonger Biniam Yibaleh My Review about the book AT THE HELL's GATE Soldiers are trimmed it to dehumanize other people or the so mentioned enemies and therein lies the seeds of war This reading A soldier overcomes hatred and violence showed the unimaginable understand namely how it is possible to look at a stranger as an enemy so that killing appears to be legitimate ? Soldiers pay for most mental illnesses that result from extended tours in combat When they get home to a country and government that would just as soon forget they existed? And they suffer in being a puppet for a corrupt war based on liesSo soldiers need self discipline and the courage to transform inveterate habits of thought and reaction patterns to change Soldiers or militants who constantly belief in militarization overprinted the everyday peace all these must be unconditionally and without delay transform to civilian structures to live in FREEDOM PEACEWHO USED TO BE SOLDIER and TRIMMED to HATE KILL ? Your comments pls


  9. Melinda Melinda says:

    War is just the acting out of suffering He had me on the first page This small but rich and truthful book took me four months to read a testimony in part to the great wealth of dharma it contains Below are just a few of the many passages I gleaned from my first reading some transcribed onto my study wall p 42 The only way to heal to transform suffering is to stand face to face with suffering to realize the intimate details of suffering and how our life in the present is affected by it p 88 Healing and transformation from this deadly and ever tightening spiral is possible What is important about the telling of the story of millions of people affected by war and violenceis not so much the details of the story as the telling itself p 128 So I must look at where these seeds of superiority are in my life see how they manifest themselves and make a commitment not to turn away In the course of reading At Hell's Gate I discovered my willingness to face into this persistent human reality I bowed


  10. Greg Brooks-English Greg Brooks-English says:

    So many lessons That we are all potential killers that we are all potential awakened people like Jesus or Buddha eually It's up to us to choose what we want to be and make better causes and conditions for our lives Claude Anshin Thomas became a solider in Vietnam killing hundreds of Vietnamese people who he learned to dehumanize and label the enemy Only many years later after returning home to a people who rejected him after chronic drug addiction did he finally learn to heal himself with the help of meditation and unconditional love from the Plum Village community of Thich Nhat Hahn Now he is a monk who travels the world teaching about how to transform and heal from the wounds of severe violence


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