Alan Clements was the first American to become a Buddhist monk in Burma, where he lived in a monastery for a decade during the late 70’s and early 80’s. He is also an established teacher of Buddhism as well as a writer. He now runs Buddhist retreats and travels extensively on lecture tours as a layman.
VOA Burmese Service recently interviewed him about his latest book “Instinct for Freedom – Finding Liberation Through Living” and his Burma experiences including his meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon.
Clements holds the idea that each of us plays a unique role in shaping the events of the world surrounding us. His new book highlights his religious –dhamma – experiences through its practice and his exposure to the Burmese society as a whole.
In the interview Mr. Clements said based on his conversations with Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, he would like to call her “the mother of Dhamma” because of her sublime nature, abounding love and infinite patience to fight for her people in Burma in a non-violent way.
He even suggested that with a peace-loving Buddhist way of life being so predominate in the Burmese society, the ruling generals and other political groups together with the people in general and with Aung San Suu Kyi in particular could, through negotiations, make a difference in bringing the country to loftier heights in terms of peace, understanding and prosperity which it fully deserves.
Alan Clements is now on a book tour all over the United States and Canada, where he now lives. The book "Instinct for Freedom - Finding Liberation Through Living" is published by New World Library.