The Fifth Mantra

December 27, 2009. This 55-minute dharma talk in English given by Thich Nhat Hanh in New Hamlet, Plum Village.

We know The Four Mantras in the Plum Village tradition and here we learn more about the fifth mantra: this moment is a moment of happiness.

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Muni Sutta

December 20, 2009. Upper Hamlet. Plum Village. 75-minutes. Dharma talk given in Vietnamese and this translation is provided by Sister Chan Khong.

Sound quality is poor and recording begins a little late, but it us still understandable. However, the first few minutes are spent with description and background on new meditation hall in Upper Hamlet. The hall is done after six months of construction.

Muni Sutta
Background: A translation in prose by an English author and a Vietnamese translation by Thay. Translations are from Sanskrit, Pali, and Chinese.

Muni is not a proper name; it means a serene monastic. The calm one. The silent one. A successful monastic. Free. The term existed already in Hinduism.

The purpose of this sutra is to answer the question put to the Buddha on what is a true muni.

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The Lineage of Thich Nhat Hanh

Zen Master Li?u Quán (1670-1742)December 17, 2009. New Hamlet. Plum Village.

Thay tells the story of the beginnings of the Lieu Quán Dharma Line, of which Thich Nhat Hanh is the 8th generation of this Vietnamese branch. Our lineage is also traced to through the Lâm Te Dyana School (Linji), of which Thich Nhat Hanh is the 42nd generation.

The talk begins with the gatha given to our main root teacher, Zen Master Lieu Quán (1670-1742), by Zen Master Tu Dung in Thuan Hóa, Vietnam in 1702.

All phenomena rely on Oneness, what does Oneness rely on?

Thay then traces all the teachers through the generations and how they each received their name from a gatha of Zen Master Lieu Quán. The classical Chinese characters of the gatha represent the name given to each of the generations.

The English translation of the gatha is as follows:

The great way of Reality,
Is our true nature’s pure ocean.
The source of Mind penetrates everywhere.
From the roots of virtue springs the practice of compassion.
Precepts, concentration and insight –
The nature and function of all three are one.
The fruit of transcendent wisdom,
Can be realized by being wonderfully together.
Maintain and transmit the wonderful principle,
In order to reveal the true teaching!
For the realization of True Emptiness to be possible,
Wisdom and Action must go together.

Students of Thich Nhat Hanh are encouraged to memorize this gatha.

Editorial Note: not all the accent marks are correct in this post.
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Craving and Mindfulness

December 13, 2009 dharma talk translated from Vietnamese by Sr. Chan Khong at Lower Hamlet, Dharma Nectar Temple, Assembly of Stars Meditation Hall, Plum Village.

This 85-minute talk is the fourth and final part on exploring the Discourse on Happiness (or Sutra on Auspicious Sign) during this Winter Retreat (other parts available at Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3).

Specifically, the final three gathas of the sutra are discussed. Gatha 13 is on the recognition of our craving. Gatha 14 is about livelihood and gatha 15 is on serving.

The next talk will begin a new sutra.

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