'On the fifth of February in 1966, a full moon day,
Thay Naht Hanh ordained the first six members of the Tiep Hien Order, the Order
of Interbeing. This Order was created
by Thay to help bring Buddhism directlyinto the arena of social concerns during a time when the war was
escalating and the teaching of the Buddha were most sorely needed.
It was a wonderful
celebration! Each of us was given a lamp with a handmade shade on which Thay
had calligraphed “Lamp of the World,” “Lamp of the Full Moon,” “Lamp of Wisdom,”
etc. in old style Chinese. During the initiation ceremony, we six ordainees
vowed to study, practice, and observe the Fourteen
Precepts of the Order of Interbeing. Since that day, I have felt that these
precepts are my primary teacher, especially when I have been under stress and
do not know the best way to act.'